Why Klout Should Not Be A Synonym For Influence

February 18th, 2011 | Shonali Burke | 79 Comments

Bloddy hell, we just can’t get away from “influence,” can we?

Image: Jonathan D. Blundell via Flickr, CC 2.0

Reminds me a little bit of a cheer from my high school days:

Everywhere we go-o-o!

People want to know-ow-ow!

Who we are-are!

We are ______ (insert school/team/whatever of your choosing)

The mighty mighty _______ (see above)

YAY TEAM!!!!!

Or words to that effect.

Ugh.

The tool that’s making the most rounds these days, it seems to me, is Klout.

There have been blog posts ad nauseam by online influencers (and I don’t mean to use that term in a belittling way, so please don’t anyone take it that way) on online tools such as Klout.

If you use HootSuite to manage your social platforms, every time you click on someone’s profile, you’re hit in the face with their Klout score.

And now mainstream media’s getting into the act: I give you last week’s Wall Street Journal article on how certain wannabe cool kids are trying to game the system.

Good grief, after reading that, even my husband, who couldn’t care less about such stuff, asked me if I knew what my Klout score was.

And, then, yesterday’s Inc.com article on how to measure your brand’s online influence.

Now, I have no axe to grind with Klout.

I’m sure Very Nice People work there.

And I have received my fair share of “influencer perks” from them, some of which I wrote about, though probably not in the way they would have liked, and others I didn’t.

(For a funny look at Klout Perks, check out Olivier Blanchard’s recent post on the swag he’d like.

Maybe I shoulda done something like that. ‘Cos the Sony PSP I received as a promo for “Are We There Yet?” is still sitting in its box.)

But if they claim to be “the standard for influence” (I’m not making that up, that’s their tag line) and people are being influenced to the degree that (quoting from the Inc.com piece) …

“We have people who are getting jobs because of their Klout score,” says [Joe] Fernandez [Klout CEO].

“We have hotels in Vegas that use the Klout score to upgrade rooms, so there’s real value. Klout does actually have real impact on people’s lives.”

… then it seems to me that if they make a prediction of what’s going to happen, based on folks’ Klout scores, it should be at least 75% accurate.

Shouldn’t it?

Let’s take a look.

The Grammy Awards aired last weekend.

Klout decided to predict some of the Grammy winners based solely on their Klout score.

Let me repeat that: based solely on their Klout score.

Here’s how that turned out, with what Klout called accurately indented and in bold below:

Record of the Year

Klout prediction: Eminem

Actual winner: Lady Antebellum

Album of the Year

Klout prediction: Lady Gaga

Actual winner: Arcade Fire

Best New Artist

Klout prediction: Justin Bieber

Actual winner: Esperanza Spalding

Best Female Pop Vocal

Klout prediction: Lady Gaga

Actual winner: Lady Gaga

Best Male Pop Vocal

Klout prediction: Bruno Mars

Actual winner: Bruno Mars

Best Metal

Klout prediction: Iron Maiden

Actual winner: Iron Maiden

Best Female R&B Vocal

Klout prediction: Monica

Actual winner: Fantasia

Best Male R&B Vocal

Klout prediction: Usher

Actual winner: Usher

Best Rap Solo

Klout prediction: Kanye West

Actual winner: Eminem

Best Rap Album

Klout prediction: Drake

Actual winner: Eminem

Four out of 10. Four out of 10.

Hmm. I wonder why?

Could it be that…

… the members of the Academy, who actually vote for the Grammys, don’t really care what people are tweeting about?

Image: Mr. Thomas via Flickr, CC 2.0

… all the people tweeting about and re-tweeting Justin Bieber (Klout score: 100) have little-to-no influence on the people who actually decide who wins the Grammys, i.e. the members of the Academy?

… someone’s Klout score is merely one facet of how influential they might be in real life?

My best guess is that it’s all that, and then some.

I don’t blame anyone for trying to identify influencers and then get them on their side.

But the truth of the matter is that any influence score and influencer outreach must…

… be taken in context

customized to your organization’s particular needs and circumstances

… be undertaken only once you have clearly identified your ultimate goals.

How do you explain influence?

Justin Goldsborough had a great post yesterday on eight questions to help explain influence.

I left my $0.02 there; I suggest you do so as well.

But my short answer is: influence is when you can get people to actually do something.

It doesn’t matter whether or not they have a gazillion Twitter followers.

It doesn’t matter what their Technorati ranking might or might not be.

It doesn’t matter what their Klout score is.

If you can’t get someone to do something that benefits your organization’s business objectives… they are not an influencer as far as you’re concerned.

In public relations

our clients (or organizations) look to us for strategies on how best to use communication tactics and build relationships that will benefit their business objectives.

Can we please please please not get hung up on discrete scores without looking at the proverbial big picture?

If Klout could get egg on its face with something as silly as Grammy predictions, so could you… with something far worse.

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Shonali Burke
Head honcho of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke is President & CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc. Based in the Washington, D.C., area, she loves helping for- and non-profit clients, both small and large, turn corporate codswallop into community cool™. She also loves ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
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67 comments
WordsDoneWrite
WordsDoneWrite

The Grammy's angle is interesting. I mean, look at Justin Bieber. He has a rare, and perfect, Klout score of 100. Yet he lost out to someone that most people never heard about. Go figure, eh?

When I wrote my post last week about the "mean girl" mentaility creeping into Klout, the company's Chief Product Officer chimed in to say that scores weren't determined by number of followers. I get that and I, too, subscribe to the quality over quantity theory. However, too many people are manipulating the system.

Technology is great, but as long as people have the power to skew the information, we'll always have "mean girls" who try to get ahead at the expense of others.

It's an interesting prediciment and here's the ironic part. WE, the active social media users, are the ones engaging in this discussion. NOT, the companies who are using Klout to pimp their products. Should be very interesting to see how things play out this year.

Amber Avines @WordsDoneWrite

DoctorJones
DoctorJones

Nicely written. I arrogantly dismissed Klout's validity last year when the LA-Toronto Virgin Air promotion was getting Toronto's Twitterati all frothy with the promise of a free flight to introduce the route. While it struck me as a popularity contest vs. an identifier of influence (several people won who likely have never flown on a business trip anywhere, let alone to LA) I entered myself to see how it would work. I won the free flight, but never redeemed it. Lots of people with good Klout scores got free flights, took them, tweeted about it, etc. Were they the right people? Were they hardcore business travelers who'd appreciate the difference between an Air Canada cattle car and the coolness of a Virgin flight? I'd hazard a guess and say most weren't. Heck, I've been a light business traveller for 19 years and I haven't gone to LA...yet.

I do have to add a proviso. It is entirely possible this was just a way for Virgin to test the social media waters to see what's possible. I wasn't involved in the strategy or execution, so I have know way of really knowing what the intent was. At the very least, it was an interesting experiment. Likely pretty easy and cheap to execute and probably resulted in a lot of insights and data that can be used in the future. Full marks for giving something untradtitional a shot. I'm all about test & learn.

But as a way to sample people who have "influence" I'm not entirely sure it resulted in the success that Klout wanted to see. Virgin closed its LA-Toronto route last month. http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/Virgin+America+drop+Toronto+route/4148876/story.html

mdurwin
mdurwin

On the Grammy's:

If Twitter and Klout measure public sentiment, what relation does that have to Grammy picks? Only members of the academy vote on Grammy nominees. By "members" I mean rich, famous, insulated members of the music community who are completely out of touch with the public. If you didn't realize that the music industry was out of touch with the public, you've never watch MTV Cribs or listened to the radio.

On Klout and Influencers:
Several reports have been sent around that show that "influencers" aren't even that influential. Once major brands and personalities began to infiltrate Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, THEY became the influencers. Who has more influence when it comes to carbonated beverages on Facebook: a user with thousands of friends or Coke with 22 million+ fans? THe same goes for Twitter, et al.

This is not to say that social networks and their members are not important, quite the opposite, but it does mean that you're better off targeting a large group of medium users than a few users with large followings.

MattOwen
MattOwen

Good post Jonathan, especially relevant as some businesses are starting to look at influence scores and 'reward' those who score highly. I wrote a similarly themed post over on Econsultancy.com a while ago ( why Klout doesn't count -putting social influence in context: http://ecly.co/ecSWt9 ) which you might find interesting, basically I ran some simple tests and found Klout to be pretty innacurate in general,.

it's my firm belief that too many people are still treating social as a numbers game, when they should be concentrating purely on relevance to the audience.

Jillfoster
Jillfoster

I've delayed comments because of my covert-now-overt quest to beat @shonali 's Klout score. This takes a lotta strategic tweeting ( ...feeble attempt at Klout humor).

...The conversation has been engrossing here. The business insight and stance regarding true, blue influence is fantastic, well-rounded. I interact with Klout on a more individual level vs organizational; so it's been riveting reading opinion and trial-error approaches these past months.

This all brings to mind a recent discussion with a friend and colleague. He shared how someone called him an influencer, specifically by 'an online influencer' that my friend held in high regard. This compliment surprised him (my friend) and differed from his self-perception. As much as he valued the other influencer's opinion, he was unsettled and asked me questions like: "So what does this mean? How do I act? Am I good enough to be paid this compliment? It's a good thing, right?"

I wasn't sure how to respond but his nervous reaction was a concern. The influencer label was distracting him from his normal level of confidence and clarity of mind. I replied with: "It's a nice psychological eff-job. Ignore it and do your thing."

I see how it was a well-intended compliment for my buddy to experience; he's effective and good hearted. I don't mean to poopoo that. And certainly, being well regarded would be a wonderful advantage. That compliment though tapped into what is a deep and fragile psychological place in we humans. Is tapping into that a reasonable starting place for making a credible online influence tool? ...or is the question inevitable vs reasonable? I don't know. But it is a hope Klout (& the industry) tenaciously moves toward a more comprehensive, transparent metric in light of the sphere from which it draws 'data.'

Thanks @Shonali for again writing a post that evokes as much psychological intrigue as it does business reflection.

LisaThorell
LisaThorell

Excellent post. And yes- Far worse than failing on predictive validity with Grammy awards, a
<a href="http://bit.ly/gsq3hw"> number of people </a>see Klout fundamentally affecting the style of our online interactions moving forward.

commammo
commammo

Great Scott! You've opened up a real can of worms here.

Is it possible that none of this matters at all? Influence surely emerges from other places than social media. Perhaps people generate awareness and understanding of their personal brands on social media, but does their influence emerge from social media, or from their own existence? Chris Brogan and Brian Solis are published authors, speakers and business owners -- I have to wonder whether influence comes from that triple threat than from their blogs and tweets... Otherwise, Cogito Ergo Tweet -- Tweet Ergo Sum, eh?

jpundyk
jpundyk

this discussion is going on simultaniously all over the web, which means Klout has done a great job of claiming this space. That said, Klout seems to be a proxy for reach, which is by no means the same thing as influence...nor is it even the goal of many programs. In the b-to-b world, for instance, a qualified audience would trump a mass audience every time. so, Kredit to Klout for getting on the Kultural radar so fast -- clearly they've touched a nerve, but I've yet to see a Kompelling use for it as a business tool. The search for great metrics goes on.
@jpundyk

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

Alright, alright! I give! I blogged about this. It airs on Tuesday. I wasn't going to blog about it, but you and @markwschaefer got me all riled up (I agree with you). I think if they figure out how to target and segment, they'll make a gazillion dollars. Until then, it's pretty disconcerting to me that big, global companies are sending people with high Klout scores stuff we don't want or need.

FrancisMoran
FrancisMoran

In defence of Klout and its Grammy predictions, I don't think they did any better or worse than most of the flesh-and-blood pronosticators I read. Guessing four out of 10 Grammy winners means only that trying to predict any award winner is largely a mug's game. I mean, no-one in the U.S. predicted our great Canadoian indie band Arcade Fire would prevail over Lady Gaga!

That being said, I don't disagree that a single measurement of how popular you are on a single social media channel ought to be any kind of reliable proxy for how influential you might be in any given situation.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

I give Klout credit. The CEO Joe Fernandez was in a SM chat on twitter just getting hammered yet he glaldy answered questions. They have done a great job of branding. And kudos for them.

My issue is that Social Media is not very viral. Very few things get pushed around on a large scale. We see so little of our streams. I was realizing today how many accounts I follow with big Klout that I followed early on I never see any tweets of theirs, yet they still tweet a lot. When BP was happening it wasn't the same tweet going around we all were tweeting. And as I had mentioned to @ginidietrich recently when I looked at the Edelman Trust rating it was based on RT's. So if I tweeted $10 off at this store and 1000 people ran and bought something, but no one retweeted me, my influence was zero! And with most Facebook communication private and only 10mil US users of Twitter each (if that) I don't understand the value. We have 250mil consumers. We talk way more via SMS, Email, talking live in person or on the phone or from watching TV etc.

So the big problem is they are purposefully confusing Real Life Influence with Online Influence. Two hugely different things. And for each company your need is different. The NY Times wants their article linked and shared. Macy's wants purchases. One wants online influence much more than the other.

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@WordsDoneWrite I'm very glad to meet you too. :) Yes, @ginidietrich is one of the "real" rock stars, IMHO.

Klout... well, it goes with the territory, doesn't it? And they've set themselves up for it, in a way. But I'm told they handle criticism well, even though I haven't really had first-hand experience of that... oh, actually, I have. When I wrote about the LoneStar/FOX promo, Megan did post a comment.

WordsDoneWrite
WordsDoneWrite

@Shonali @ginidietrich I bet the folks at Klout are overwhelmed at the number of people writing about them this month. I was completely surprised to get the comment and am not sure how he even heard of my post. As for Gini, well, I'm sure Joe reads her blog all the time since she's such a rockstar!

Anyway, I'm pleased that Lisa Thorell told me about your post. Glad to meet you, Shonali!

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@WordsDoneWrite Hey, thanks so much for commenting, Amber! Yes - that was my point exactly in using the Grammy example. Frankly, I was surprised Klout would set itself up like that.

Well, at least you got Klout's CPO to comment, and @ginidietrich got a comment from @joefernandez on her post. So far no one from Klout has even acknowledged this one, let alone commented. Guess my Klout isn't that clouty... or their listening platform leaves something to be desired. :p

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@DoctorJones Thanks, Doc. :p I remember the furor (sp?) over the LA-Toronto Virgin/Klout promotion - wasn't that the first such promo, or at least one of them?

I think you're absolutely right that this may have been a way for Virgin to run some tests and, yes, kudos to them for trying - as also to FOX re: the LoneStar promo (I signed up for that, wrote more about the marketing than the show, thought the show sucked, said so, was told I was an idiot... and the show got pulled), Pop Chips (another promo I was part of but didn't write/tweet about) as well as the recent "Are We There Yet?" promo (Sony PSP is still in its box). These are all organizations with money to spend and yes, at least they are trying something new. But I'm pretty sure they are also trying a whole bunch of other things and not getting caught up in the "one-score-shop" that so many others are. That latter is what really frightens me.

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@mdurwin The reason I used that Grammy example was to illustrate how when even Klout uses its own system to pick winners, it failed, because it went purely by the nominees' scores. As to whether the music industry is completely out of touch with the public, that may be, but that doesn't mean Klout scores are representative of overall online influencers, because it only seems to track a couple of touchpoints - and certainly not "the public." many of whom are still not using Twitter as much as folks like you and I do.

As to Coke v. the user: it depends on what change they effect. In fact, I think people would be more likely to listen to a friend's opinions on carbonated beverages than the brand's official representative... because, really, how likely is the brand to give you an honest opinion v. try to get you to buy more product? Hence the emphasis brands put on reaching people who are willing to talk about their experiences and opinions, thus generating action, or change in some way (e.g. changed thinking).

I personally think a hybrid approach is good. Don't ignore the "biggies," because you never know what might come of reaching out to them, but also including medium users, as you put it, should definitely be part of the plan.

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@MattOwen LOL, don't worry about it. Thanks again for stopping by!

MattOwen
MattOwen

@Shonali lol, I seriously apologise -obviously one of the perils of having several tabs open at once! A really useful post, I believe that Klout's measurement methods are improving quickly, and they will ultimately be able to avoid valuable information, but it's dangerous for companies to put too much faith in numbers just yet, especially when searching for measurable ROI -excellent post as well!

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@MattOwen "Jonathan"? Oh, please don't re-christen me. :p
Seriously, though - thank you. And what a great post and experiment you ran, Matt. Thanks so much for sharing that, as well as for stopping by.

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@Jillfoster Yay, you commented!

All I can say is I am in VIOLENT agreement with you, Jill!

WordsDoneWrite
WordsDoneWrite

@Shonali@LisaThorell@JGoldsborough
Thank you guys for reading my "Mean Girls" post about Klout last week (and thanks, Lisa!). I'm sure this issue will only get more complicated and controversial with time. However, if the right tweaks are made, it might be a whole new ballgame out there. Should be interesting to follow, though.

Amber Avines

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@LisaThorell @JGoldsborough This really is frightening and, IMHO, despicable, if that's what people are doing. I forget who, but someone on Twitter pointed me to the original "Mean Girls" post that this one drew from. At the time I found it hard to believe that anyone would actually go to such lengths to "protect" or improve their Klout score. I guess not.

LisaThorell
LisaThorell

@JGoldsborough @LisaThorell Absolutely. Think back to college. We all knew that some reverse-engineering of how the grades/scores were computed was necessary to get an "A". So here we are with Klout, a grade. Should we be surprised at people's change in behavior in terms of priorities of their follows, retweets?

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@commammo Heh! So... yea, it's certainly possible that none of this matters. But, when people start getting job offers or not based on their scores, then it does matter, doesn't it? And, for the record, I have neither been offered nor rejected for jobs/work because of my Klout score or lack thereof. :p

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@jpundyk LOL!

I'm with you; I really have nothing against Klout or any of the people who work there, but the hype does not live up to the promise, and the promise does not live up to the reality. On the other hand, many tech/SM products and services start off like this - by creating hype among the tech/geeky crowd, and then that has a ripple effect... like Twitter. I'm yet to use Quora actively, btw.

Completely agree on the point of context. That was why I wrote this earlier: http://www.waxingunlyrical.com/2011/01/11/on-influence-in-public-relations-and-social-media/

jpundyk
jpundyk

@Shonali I surrender on the "Ks"!
not trying to pick on Klout. I'm sure it has its place. Just think the hype among insiders far outsrips real world awareness/interest/action. (Quora is another example. ask a "civilian" if they ever heard of it.)
one quick, easy example: Right now, if you sell servers, who do you want to reach: somebody with a big K score and no budget or somebody with a big budget and a low K score? Mass audience is a siren song. It requires real discipline and self-knowledge to weigh its value in the context of your goals. Same logic applies for valuing any measure of influence. Influence over who is a key question. Maybe Klout and others will evolve to offer segmented scores. Assuming the methodology is sound (a big assumption), then they start to get interesting.
Love that this topic is so alive. speaks to a real need.

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@jpundyk I absolutely agree with you, about Klout having Klaimed this space, or at least having an extremely prominent position in it. Very good point about the Kwalified audience (hey, you started it with the Ks!) - I still think that should be what people should look at. Certainly, don't discount the mass audience, but if a qualified audience is not a part of the strategy, then it makes everything that much harder.

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@HowieG I think they actually do have something that could be huge, like@ginidietrich does. My problem with it is that right now it's not broad enough, yet people are making it out to be so.

markwschaefer
markwschaefer

@ginidietrich @markwschaefer I'll take any stuff you don;t want. I'm a Klout whore. Seriously. I'll sell it on eBay or something. Official Klout graft. I haven't recevied a damn thing yet. C'mon Fernandez throw me a bone.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@ginidietrich @markwschaefer I don't think its a winner even if they figure it out. I think we are way over emphasizing online to a few magnitudes higher than the real influence on our lives. Only 40% of people surveyed by th Center for Media Research (I have to find it and I will) said they at least ONCE took a social connection review and tried something. So again it comes down to goals.

But we all know Mark and @Shonali like to stir the shit up =)

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@LFJeremy "One look at you... now I'm a Belieber..." :p. Couldn't resist that one. :p

jpundyk
jpundyk

@JGoldsborough @markwschaefer @LFJeremy depends what they're talking about. we compartmentalize our experts...trust so and so for baseball and somebody else for stock market advise but not vice-versa. trust and credibility does not cross categories. there's no one-size-fits all influencer (except for those who you don't trust for anything!)

JGoldsborough
JGoldsborough

@markwschaefer @LFJeremy The other problem is that there's no such thing as universal influence. Even Oprah or Beiber are not influential to all audiences. I don't give a rip about either and wouldn't do anything because of something either of them tweeted. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

markwschaefer
markwschaefer

@LFJeremy The old Oprah argument. Klout is a proxy for influence on Twitter. Oprah doesn't tweet. So on Twitter, yeah, your friend is probably more influential. It's really that simple. If Oprah started tweeting then your frined would be toast. Klout is not an absolute measure of anything, it's a small indicator of a small slice of the world where Justin Bieber is king.

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@FrancisMoran "A mug's game," LOL.

What was silly about this post was that - even if it was meant to be fun and get attention because of the Grammys - was that they used their own system as a yardstick. I suppose it's easy enough to cop out and say, "Oh well, it was just fun," if they wanted to, but my point is, when their entire product is based on how relevant their score is, the post was a prime example of why it's not... at least, not as a discrete number. I don't think it was a very smart thing for them to do. Just MHO.

Thanks for stopping by - I really appreciate it!

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@MattOwen @treypennington @ginidietrich It *is* bizarre, because they definitely have smart people working in their marketing departments. But I guess those people don't write the stories.. the latter are looking for traffic & clicks, so the more salacious or spicy a story, the better.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@ginidietrich @treypennington @Shonali do you know how much money has been made on laziness? In my opinion all the digital ad networks have forged a mint of money this way. Buying email and address lists to send out mass shotgun approach marketing. It is ingrained in marketing for sure. How many Twitter accounts have in their profile 'get rich with Twitter' tag lines? Because it's so easy everyone can do it.

MattOwen
MattOwen

@Shonali @treypennington @ginidietrich Again absolutely agreed -doubly perplexing as surely MSM/NY Times etc should be ahead of the curve when it comes to sentiment analysis and audience targeting, it seems bizarre that large media outlets are so willing to simplify and take figures at face value when they should be dynamically working towards genuine cross-channel marcoms integration. Still, seeing some really interesting developments in the field of sentiment analysis lately so with luck things will improve in the near future.

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@treypennington I was just going to say that and @ginidietrich beat me to it (so what else is new? :p). This is why I am so irriitated with the MSM coverage of tools like Klout. They boil them down for the lowest common denominator, without - IMHO - thinking of the impact it's going to have in the real world.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@treypennington @Shonali Unfortunately you're right, Trey. There is a NY Times blog post on this very idea (my blood is boiling)...that PR and marketing pros are lazy, can't quantify their results, and use the easy way out. Klout is just another tool that allows our industry to continue being lazy. It's the new way of sending 2,000 news releases to reporters in the hopes of getting 200 stories.

treypennington
treypennington

@ginidietrich @Shonali @HowieG @treypennington Thank you for the shout out. Loved the back-and-forth comments around the blogs as a result of those infamous "4 keys to increasing your Klout score" and the necessity of Klout. Klout is indeed a weak tool, but the tool is not really the problem. The real tragedy seems to be those overwhelmed, understaffed marketing directors who say, "Thank God, now there's a two-digit score for influence so I can get my boss off my back about measurement, and oh wow, I can just BUY Klout's top influencers and I can quit trying to figure this stuff out for myself. Whew."

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@markwschaefer When Klout says they're "the standard for influence," doesn't that pretty much contribute to the confusion? @HowieG @ginidietrich I too have heard about how nice Joe is, and kudos to him and his team for that; they all seem to work very hard. But they also seem to be ok with the way these scores are, IMHO, being misused at times - to offer jobs, etc., as has been reported. I'd really like to see them take a stand, as Twitalyzer's Eric Peterson did, when he made it clear that this is NOT the way any scores should be used. If they're not in context, they're nothing.

markwschaefer
markwschaefer

@HowieG @ginidietrich Who is confusing online influence with offline influence? I don;t think Klout would claim any such thing Howie. Are they confusing it or are you? : )

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@Shonali @HowieG There is a post on Social CMO that @treypennington wrote that talks about how nice Joe is and why Klout is necessary. I also love that he handles fire very gracefully. And we all want to work with nice people. But until they figure out WHERE people have influence, it's all a big joke.

Shonali
Shonali moderator

@HowieG From all that I've read of Joe Fernandez he seems like a decent guy, and is clearly smart. And he seems to handle fire very gracefully.

The problem is exactly what you say: online influence and real life influence are two different things. Moreover, the way Klout currently positions itself, Twitter activity seems to be the prime driving factor. They say they have changed their algorithm to improve it, but that needs to be reflected on one's profile as well.

Trackbacks

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  2. [...] Go all the way down to the bottom and click on “1 Answer Collapsed”. I posted a link to an article I thought applicable followed by QFT. Someone obviously didn’t find my sense of [...]

  3. [...] Lors des Grammys 2011, Klout s’est totalement planté dans ses prévisions. Dans son billet Why Klout Should Not Be A Synonym For Influence, Shonali Burke fait un tableau comparatif des prédictions de Klout vs les vrais résultats. Elle [...]

  4. [...] didn’t really want to add to the conversation about Klout. Shonali Burke did a nice analysis, Mark Schaefer created quite the conversation, Trey Pennington discussed why it’s necessary, [...]

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Schaefer, J. Martin Poston. J. Martin Poston said: RT @markwschaefer Hey markwschaefer, just mentioned you in my comment on "Why Klout Should Not Be A Synonym For Influence" http://fyre.it/sP [...]

  6. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shonali Burke, Alex Greenwood. Alex Greenwood said: RT @shonali: New post: why Klout shouldn't be a synonym for influence: http://ow.ly/3YFi9 #pr #socialmedia h/t @JGoldsborough [...]

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