Without Klout, Google+ is dead to me

Without Klout, Google+ is dead to me

Summary: Google+ is an interesting new social medial tool. It can be great. It could be a lot of competition for Facebook but it has no Klout. And, for me, Klout is more important.


If you have anything to do with media and you haven't discovered Klout yet, you're behind the curve. Klout is the measure of your online influence. Media types (writer, on-air personality, podcaster, videocaster, celebrity), need to check your Klout score immediately). Very low scores (<30), need help fast. But, you won't be able to pump it up with Google+ because they're not connected. So, for me, that means I'm not posting anything to Google+ until it is. Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and LinkedIn are all Klout connected. Google, if you want more acceptance, you're going to have to have Klout or you're dead to me.

I like Google+. I really do but it has got to get plugged in to compete with or usurp Facebook as the "Go To" Social Media outlet for users. Adoption by users will be transitory unless Google moves fast in the social media networking circles. So far, the adoption of it is slow.

The Significance of Klout

Your Klout score is kind of like your credit score: You don't care about it until it limits you in some way. Media people may find that editors who pay attention to Klout scores will shun them if their scores aren't high enough. Let's face it, if you can't influence a lot of people, you just aren't worth as much as those who can.

I foresee a time when your Klout score will mean so much to those who pay for influence will have a sliding pay scale depending on that all-important score. Mine is pretty low today (41) because I was on vacation for eight days and didn't tweet, didn't post to Facebook and didn't contribute to LinkedIn. My bad.

My score fell about one point per day. That's a pretty tough hit on someone who needs to influence a lot of readers, advertisers and editors. I need a high score but it's a part-time job to keep it high. We, as media folk, don't have the advantage of a paperboy who stands on the corner shouting, "EXTRA, EXTRA, read all about it, Google+ is dead without Klout."

Our circle of influence has replaced that paperboy with his digital equivalent: Social Media.

Joining the "Old Media" Pity Party

Many old school media moguls don't "get" social media or services like Klout. Too bad for them. A lot of people didn't think they needed the shouting paperboy either. Some of my non-ZDNet colleagues bemoan the use of social media for content promotion but that's their problem. They will be left in the carbon-dated strata of the Paleozoic Era where they belong.

Things change, Times change and people must also change.

I don't care to listen to the naysayers and grumblers about "new-fangled" this and "back in my day, we..." Who cares? Get with it or get out of the way.

And Now, Back to Google+

When I tweet, it raises my Klout score. When I Facebook and friends comment, my score goes up. Same for LinkedIn and Foursquare. Google+ gives me nothing. What's my motivation to use it? Not much from a Klout perspective.

But, I'm motivated to acquire more friends on Google+ to help boost my score should Google decide to connect to Klout. So, if you'd like to connect, hit me up and I'll gladly add you. Follow me on Twitter too (@kenhess). I could use the associated Klout boost.

I'd gladly use Google+ but I have so little time for social interactions that I need to maximize my influence when I do. For me, social media outlets are for promoting my writing work that I do here at ZDNet and at other places. I will carry on conversations with Twitter followers on occasion. I'll engage you on LinkedIn on a mutual topic of interest. Heck, I'll even jump in on some Facebook wall discussions but I'll be darned if I waste a bunch of time on Google+ just yet.

Google+ needs Klout.

Google+, without Klout, you're dead to me.

Related Stories:

Dear Google, where the hell is my Google+ invitation?

Can Klout really determine true influence with an algorithm?

Google +: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Can Google+ be a Facebook Killer?

Topics: Social Enterprise, Apps, Google


Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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  • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me

    So, what you're saying is that there's this thing called "Klout" that only media types care about. The rest of us, who haven't heard of it, don't care - and don't care that you do!
    • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me

      @rick1947 I've heard of "first world problems", but "talking head problems" - that's a first for me! Speaking of which, the page is serving me a political campaign ad right now... Google must agree with my description. :-)
    • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me


      Anyone remember GearScore in World of Warcraft? Told you what people were wearing, but nothing about their knowledge and skill. I can see similarities already ;-)
      • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me

        @tonymcs@... nice -- sounds like a very potent example.
      • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me

        @tonymcs@... :))))))) Nice one
    • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me

  • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me

    And if you keep posting outrageously vapid articles like this, ZDNet will be dead to me... Millions of people are using social media right now to network, make money, etc without any regards to "Klout." Their work and real world reputation can speak louder than some random website that you think everyone should care about.
  • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me

    I checked my score (19) and I was much higher until Google+ came out. Since that point I have plummeted to this point because I almost completely stopped posting on Twitter and Facebook. Klout needs to add Google+ into their scores in my opinion. <br><br>If I have to like your page on Facebook I will not follow you and I will only follow you on Twitter if you are relevant and not just spamming the channel with blind links to stories. I have started dropping people on Twitter that I was following and adding them on Google+ instead. I did this because the content is so much better. I dropped 53 people last week on Twitter and added most of those people on Google+. I now basically get traffic reports and other miscellaneous information from Twitter and Facebook has become the Classmates.com for me. <br><br>I know as a writer you care about the scores and would use the media that they follow to help raise your score, but look at the people on Google+ right now. A majority of the tech people that influence readers are on Google+ already. The ones that aren't I am not paying attention to. As a writer you need to be anywhere you can to get views and with 18+ million users you need to get on board or you will be left behind.
    • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me

      Well said. Klout tries to measure influence, but it only measures connections, not the weight of the connections.

      What matters is the weight of connections. In many things, I can basically control the outcome of some of my friend's decisions... that's influence weight, but it's not high in number. The automated processes can't track/determine that kind of weight, and so, they miss a lot of value.
  • Message has been deleted.

  • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me

    Klout? Never heard of it. Probably rigged like everything else and those who have "Klout" I probably wouldn't care one iota about their opinion.
  • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me

    Klout, Klout, what the hell is klout!!!
    I think Klout is the one that's dead not
    google+ :)
  • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me

    I'm a nobody and my Klout score is 51 (@mightysquid). I'm a Klout OG since I am just interested in media and will sign up for whatever new thing that comes around just to check it out.

    Having used it for a long time I do have issues with what factors affect your score. For example my "true reach" has been in updating status for about a month. They have some growing pains with pages being down ect. They aren't far enough along to be constantly obsessed over. Maybe someday.

    Also why am I supposedly influential about the Minnesota Vikings? Can someone explain this to me? I don't even know what they are.
  • Be Social, dont DO Social

    I am a huge fan of Klout (I have a 70 and even launched a ranking board http://klokal.com which shows all the top Klout scores in an area) but we should not allow a measurement to dictate our actions. Do you pay your bills ontime because you owe the money or because it will help your credit score?

    I guess the point I am trying to make is two fold:
    1. Klout will only get more recognized and we SHOULD be aware of it.
    2. We should be social in an authentic sense and not pollute the Twitterverse and Facebook Walls in the name of a higher Klout score.

    Aloha, Rob
    • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me


      I'm Klout-driven. Klout is the all-powerful. I submit to its greatness.
      • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me

        Yes ... all hail Klout ... all-hail Klout ... Sorry, what is Klout again?
    • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me

      How silly. All this social networking stuff is ignored by people worth hearing from, use of things like Facebook and Klout scream "wannabee".
    • RE: Without Klout, Google is dead to me


      I know what Klout is, and I care about it, but it doesn't drive my online actions. It can't, or I will be a slave to the technology and instead, the technology should be a slave to my needs. (Isn't that why we invented it, or are we all just trying to build Skynet?) You are completely right in your assessment.

      It would be nice to see Google+ integrated with some of the social media tools (like Hootsuite) to help those who are too busy to spend time on the media directly, but the whole point of social media is to BE social.
  • Without Google , Klout is dead to me.

    Why are you berating Google+ for Klout's shortcoming?
  • You have it backwards

    Your logic is all backwards... and it will help your Klout score significantly to remember these words: SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

    Social media is most effective when you are engaging with your audience, connecting with people on a real level. Klout is a flawed algorithm that attempts to measure your influence and how you are engaging with others. But the effectiveness of your posting isn't about a number but by how many people respond to you.

    That said, the engagement level on Google+ is the highest I've seen on any beta site. While it doesn't change my Klout score it changes the number of hits I'm getting on my sites and helps cement many of the relationships I've forged on other networks.

    If you really just care about your Klout score then good luck with that. Your score of 41 is ok... not a beginner but certainly not an expert yet.

    -Stacy Nelson (Klout=66)

    P.S. I found this article shared on Google+