First there was Twitter and then along came Klout – a website that purports to measures how successful you are at influencing people on the internet. Here’s my alternative fun guide to Klout and why on a serious note, I believe it is best avoided … all opinions my own of course…
Klout is self-appointed
All credit to the makers of the wheeze that is Klout. I commend them for coming up with such an amazing idea and for marketing it so well that people actually believe it matters so much that some worry a low score might lose them their job. But I’m afraid that’s where my admiration ends. Because otherwise I have no idea how trustworthy the people are behind it, how accurate their software is or whether it has undergone any testing by any independent third party.
It is unlikely to be accurate
How do you measure influence? As a bylined writer for all the UK press – including one of the biggest and most influential newspaper websites in the world -in the last seven days I have had one three page spread in a national newspaper, two double page spreads in another national newspaper, two single page stories in yet another two more national newspapers, two double page spreads in national women’s magazines and a couple went on national TV on Monday. And every single one of those interviewees found their way to me via my sell my story website, Featureworld. Did Klout measure how many millions read those stories or watched that couple on TV? Mmmm… thought not.
Klout is more divisive than a school playground and places people into boxes
Anything that lumps people into bizarre ‘categories’ – and then encourages that person to brag ‘look everyone at how popular I am’ by tweeting their Klout ‘score’ should be viewed with scepticism. For the uninitiated a brief overview of the polite Klout names for each Twitter user (although Klout claim they take Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress and an array of other social websites when they calculate your ‘score’) – with my view of their real meanings:
Observer: you just sit there, bringing nothing to Twitter’s table
Explorer: Trying your best but you have a Twitter mountain to climb
Dabbler: You’ve been doing Twitter a while but still don’t have a clue
Conversationalist: You think you’re clever with your witty retorts
Syndicator: You like to think you’re trendy with your finger on the super trendy pulse
Curator: You have Twitter OCD – do you have a life?
Activist: Using Twitter to ram home your message
Feeder: A shameless gossip
Socializer: Stuff work – you’re forever seeking the next party
Networker: Get you and your ambition to climb the Twitter tree!
Specialist: Always droning on about your favourite subject – you, your business, you or you.
Thought leader: A mini-politician, you push your self-righteous views onto others.
Broadcaster: Don’t you ever stop to listen to what anyone else has to say?
Pundit: Almost a #celebrity# – well actually with your fascinating tweets you think you already are.
Celebrity: All hail the Twitter king or queen. You can be as boring as you want – your little followers will RT you and be still grateful for any crumbs (such as you deeming to @mention them.)
Klout takes the enjoyment out of Twitter
Apparently Klout takes account of how influential the people are who you engage with so unless you want your Klout score to freefall don’t bother talking to Johnny whose only follower is his mum. Instead, concentrate on giving a Twitter wave (the @mention) to those who can give you more ‘Klout influence.’ You can also become obsessed by your ‘score’ – if you are engaged by ‘influencers’ with a high score (or not), your true reach, your amplification or your network – an utterly baffling array of ‘scores’, which are inadequately defined, which go up and down – or bump along the bottom if you’re in the Twitter corner with the dunce’s hat. I’m sure it won’t be long before I am selling the story: Klout ruined my life or Banker claims Klout score ruined his career prospects. You have been warned…
Do you agree with me about Klout or have I been a little mean? Do let me know…