Getting Down With Klout

Klout scrapes social network data and creates profiles on individuals and assigns them a “Klout score”. Klout currently claims to have built more than 100 million profiles. Klout is not an “opt-in” service, but individuals who register at Klout can ensure that all of their social networks are accessed and therefore evaluated in their Klout scores. Klout also builds profiles of individuals who are connected to those who do register at Klout.

Here is a brief report:







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  4. I’ve been researching a lot whether or not Klout is currently useful. There’s not a lot of academic research on social networking influence. Is Klout a direct measure of anything, in the same way getting on a scale is a direct measure of your weight? Or is it a kind of nebulous indicator like the Dow? If it’s going up that is kind of good but it does not necessarily represent good fundamentals.

    That danger is Klout becomes a metric people spend a lot of unproductive time trying to game (for example spending a lot of time begging followers to re-tweet things that will improve your score). IMHO, the Klout gamers are employing a post-hoc fallacy: a higher Klout score leads to more influence. Therefore any means to increase my Klout score pays dividends. Wheres as the truer picture is you’re just using Twitter in a smarter, more sensible fashion and your rising Klout score is a follow-on measure of that.

    So, unlike SEO to get a higher page rank on Google, I’m not sure a higher Klout score does anything for you. Yet…

    The yet: merchants are taking notice. Klout allows merchants to offer perks to users with certain Klout scores. How much effort am I willing to put into gaming Klout to get a 50% discount on lattes? I don’t know.

    The biggie is if journalist turn to Klout to look for sources/talking heads. Retweet to pundit-hood… that’s a ROI.

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