Firstly, I realise that this will split people, opinion-wise. I remain astounded at the emotional reaction that Klout causes amongst many people. From those who advocate it hugely (usually those with the top-end scores), to the disenchanted masses that suffer every time there’s an algorithmic adjustment. Either way, it seems that being “scored” in this way bring out the best and worst in people. I’ve seen countless social media consultants, commentators and exponents, journalists and more, leave and return to Klout. Some don’t return, and seem to make more noise about not being there than they ever did when they were part of the Klout fraternity – ironically something that would no-doubt have raised their score!
I’d like to think that size doesn’t matter, but in the world of Klout, that’s the whole raison d’etre! Don’t get me wrong, my score, which currently hovers between the 57/58 mark, puts me well inside the top 5% of so-called “influencers” (more on that, shortly). I get the odd Klout “Perk” – many of which don’t seem like perks at all – rather an opportunity to shift some of that marketing tat, left over after a trade show, and my network often give me the odd +K on my chosen topics of social media, business, and marketing. So far, so good.
The mere fact that Klout, Peer Index and Kred differ so much raises doubts about the legitimacy of such a scoring system. How can someone truly be influential, if only 2 out of 3 such measures say so? I know people with scores of 79/80 in Klout, but whose Peer Index score is in the low 20′s (not good) – how can this be?
I recently saw the excellent Mark Schaefer speak at an event in London, around the time of launching his new book “Return on Influence”. He stated that Klout, rather than a measure of true influence, is more a measure of one’s ability to move content. This makes perfect sense. Anyone who has paid attention to the “causes” of movement in Klout score, or who even scrutinises the now more visible system of scoring, as shown on your Klout profile, will know that it’s more about Retweets, Likes, and +1′s than anything else. Causing such a reaction is borne of creating compelling and reactionary content … portable content. Perhaps that is the new and most important measure of influence in the social media age?
My score has been erratic to say the least. Where other operators in the social media space remain fairly uniform, when you track the “trend” or pattern of their score over time, mine reads like an ECG on a Tottenham Hotspur supporter! (no hate mail, please)
And I know why this is – it’s the very basis of why I’m proud of my Klout score. Not because of the score itself, but of the pattern – one that displays the true nature of someone who doesn’t schedule everything they send to their social streams. As unpredictable as the real-world schedule of anyone who operates in business – who knows where you’ll be at a certain time, in a week or two from now? Some days I am head-down in client work. Others, I’m delivering all-day seminars and workshops, that prevent me from posting, listening, responding to the social conversation. I always catch up, though. I hate to leave messages and mentions unanswered, and I love to share the thoughts and comments of my friends, colleagues and Tribes.
The resultant Klout “graph” is one that reflects the nature of true engagement, I think … some days you’ll find me in rapid response mode. Others, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait – sorry about that. I hope many of you reading this would be more comfortable in dealing with a real person via social media, though, and my streams are a true reflection of how I operate – unpredictable, not always present, but ultimately keen to connect, which is my objective. I hope you’ll connect with me, too, by sharing your comments below. What are your views on Klout and being “real” in the way you present, online?