Klout Craziness

Klout Craziness

Summary: Up, down, and all-around: If it wasn't for that fact that Klout's social networking measurements actually mattered, we could just ignore its latest scoring gyrations, but they do.

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Klout Score Craziness

Klout Score Craziness

I know many people think Klout, the social network reputation measurement service, is utter nonsense or even evil. Too bad. Klout does matter. Businesses may give you work or a job depending on your Klout score. You may find that troubling. Deal with it. What I find far more troubling is that Klout scores can bounce up and down like hyperactive five-years old on a trampoline.

What the heck is your social network reputation you ask? According to Esther Schindler, co-author of the forthcoming book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Twitter Marketing, while "No one can comfortably compare how important one person is compared to another," the bottom line is that "some people can have more of an impact on your company than can others and that's why services have sprung up to measure social media influence. " Klout isn't the only company that tries to measure this--PeerIndex and TweetGrader do as well-but it's the most important of them.

I used to think Klout was dumb... and then an editor who was trying to talk me into writing a book wanted to know what my Klout score was. Since then I've talked to others and they tell me that their would-be employers wanted to see high Klout scores before giving them a job or contract. So, while you may doubt Klout's value, your potential employers do care about your Klout score.

And, it's not just people who might hire you or pay you for your services. Saleforce.com, the online Customer Relationship Management (CRM) company, has just released a new version of its Radian6 marketing program which uses Klout to help companies decide how to react to your calls and inquiries. So, if you were to call say AAA, GE, or UPS--all Radian6 customers--the kind of service you get will be influenced by your Klout score. Welcome to 2011, where social networking matters in ways you never could have imagined when you first said you liked Coldplay or U2 on MySpace.

So it is that I'm really unhappy to see Klout constantly changing its metrics. In the last few months my score has been as high as 69--almost celebrity range!--to 54. This hasn't been because I've been doing anything different on my favorite social networks--Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. No, it has everything to do with Klout changing its ranking algorithms.

I know they need to work out their metrics, but I'm getting as tired of these constant shifts. I feel as annoyed as a company CEO or marketing executive watching their business' Web site Google PageRank run up and down on a roller-coaster.

First, my score plummeted like a rock with the October update, which was meant to produce a more accurate and transparent Klout score. Then, it bounced up when Klout started measuring Google+ activity. Since I'm very active on Google+ that was nice news.

But, then on November 30, Klout announced "Our Google+ data collector encountered an issue where it was not collecting new data for some accounts. We have resolved this issue and affected users will see an update to their Scores on 11/30. Some users will see an increase and some users will see a decrease as we take into account the new data and the distribution change."

Klout added that the average change would be on the order of +0.2951. Me? My score went down by 5.64. What the heck!?

Listen, for better or worse, Klout matters, and while I'd love to have a super high score, what I really want is just some stability in Klout's social networking metrics. I don't want to lose a potential contract just because of another "issue" which causes my score to spin downward in an instant. I don't think a little scoring consistency is that much to ask for!

Related Stories:

Salesforce.com's Radian6 eyes social marketing transition

Social burnout: I am officially sick and tired of chasing social platforms

Google+ gets Klout

What happened to my Klout!?

Online influence is more than a number...

Topics: Collaboration, Apps, Google, Networking, Social Enterprise

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8 comments
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  • RE: Klout Craziness

    Funny, I work at a software company and NOBODY has ever mentioned Klout scores; it NEVER comes up during interviews or in conversations with our customers.
    aep528
    • RE: Klout Craziness

      @aep528 Same here. And I think only around 60% of uur employees are even active on a social networking site.

      At my previous place, the figure was around 10%.
      wright_is
  • RE: Klout Craziness

    I think Klout is bull. People who want to know your Klout score are people who are just too lazy to see what your REAL impact is -- by learning more about where you share info and how you're quoted by others.
    @...
  • RE: Klout Craziness

    The male obsession with ladders and hierarchies is a bit sad. The only thing that really matters is the score.

    Klout is essentially a joke at your expense ;-)
    tonymcs1
  • Seems counter productive to me.....

    If this means spending more time on social networks and getting less REAL work done, is necessary to increase a Klout score, then I would rather do without.
    linux for me
  • RE: Klout Craziness

    I would have more faith in Klout - even with the algorithm changes - if it weren't for the advertising gimmics and the fact that you can raise your score by tweeting your score and tweeting about Klout. That should not have an effect on my overall reach or influence - that impacts Klout's reach and influence (and taints their results).
    swaynette
  • Couple Corrections...

    1) "If it wasn???t for that fact that Klout???s social networking measurements actually mattered" BS, pure and simple. If you think that way, you need to step away from Twitter and talk to people outside of the SV bubble once in a while.

    2) Klout is to reputation what steaks are to fruit. What? exactly. Klout is a vanity metric that simply measures engagement in social networks, as proposed by a secret algorithm that only looks at activity... if you stop tweeting, for example, for two weeks it goes down -- does that mean you reputation goes down in just two weeks because you did not tweet? what if i was accepting the nobel prize in my field and could not tweet for those two weeks - did my reputation go down? my influence?

    Nah, just m level of engagement on social networks. The fact that people make more of Klout than what it is is why I deleted my Klout score... and I have not felt bad, or stopped being influential, or my reputation has not gone down yet...

    Klout convinced a few brands that they matter -- good for them. probably will get acquired for a lot more than they deserve based on the technology and the value it brings. Glad that Joe and friends will get something in exchange for the work they put in - but let's not go crazy. still does not matter.
    Esteban.Kolsky
  • Bad craziness

    If a company uses a customer's Klout score to determine the level of service they get, then they'd better prepare for an almighty PR disaster when that misguided gem goes public - "the kind of service you get will be influenced by your Klout score"; really? Think for just a second what that means - it's entirely unworkable and is completely contrary to the type of relationship building which the web is supposed to be about these days. As for selecting employees on the basis of their klout score - that shows such a primitive understanding of employee worth that I doubt such a company would be able to attract valuable staff. Mind you - if you did get asked the question in an interview ('what's your klout score') it would be a good opportunity to demonstrate a deeper, richer understanding of analytics and metrics by explaining all that is wrong with that question. Here endeth the rant.
    John Wedderburn