Klout-less (and proud of it)!
Man, it’s both Groundhog Day and James Joyce’s birthday. So I really should be focusing my attention on whether Punxsutawney Phil and/or Stephen Dedalus is going to see his shadow.
Instead, I feel compelled to follow up on a recent e-mail from iMedia asking me whether future employees will check my Klout score.
Until I got this e-mail, I didn’t even know I was supposed to have one. Or what one was.
Klout is an online…an online what, influence peddler? Whatever they are, they apparently have enough clout to have scooped up $30M in investment capital by computing Klout Scores.
Klout measures your online influence from your social networks.
Or, in the words of the head Kloutster:
Klout founder and CEO Joe Fernandez (Klout score at time of publication: 69/100) says, "It's simple -- if you create interesting content that your network interacts with and shares, you will have a high Klout score." Fernandez noted that the average score is about 20. Most consider a score above 30 to be reputable and a score above 50 to be elite. (Source: iMedia article linked above.)
Klout “helps” you by providing:
…you with insights to help you better understand your own influence:
- Do others trust your opinions online?
- What topics are you the most influential on?
- How do you compare with your friends?
Klout also gives you insight into the world around you. For example, did you know that Lady Gaga is influenced by Ellen DeGeneres?
No, I did not know that. And, frankly, my life is not exactly measurably improved by knowing it, either.
I suppose that, as a blogger, I should be totally into this, but, as anyone who’s seen my FB page can attest, other than blogging, I don’t spend one whole hell of a lot of time “doing” social media. (However, I am planning on hiring my nieces to give me an FB makeover and some coaching this summer, if only so I won’t have to rely on my sister Trish to keep me up on extended family doings.)
Perhaps because I am more interested in the creative process, and the appreciation and readership of my small but loyal cadre of regulars, I spend 99.9999% of my social media time working on my posts, and the remaining 0.0001% of my social media time honing my self-promotion skills.
But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And that’s write, rather than work on my metaphorical social media tan and worry about my Klout score. Which is probably a lot lower since Tom Peters got rid of his blog roll – thanks, Tom – on which Pink Slip was listed just below Dan Pink.
How I long for the good old days when it was possible to live a decent life, in which you worried about the content of your character, and not the connections to your content. When “influence” was what you wanted to have among your colleagues so that you could get good stuff done, and when companionship, mutual respect, affection, and caring were all you wanted to have from your friends and family.
These days we’re all on the gerbil wheel of perpetually updating our “presence” and blowing out the spokes on our wheels so we have mo’ (if not necessarily mo’ better) “connections.”
In Klout’s world, you want to make sure that those connections “matter.” Don’t waste your time with low Klout folks. The way to up your Klout – and high Klout people get perks, i.e., free stuff in areas they’re influences in* - is to “engage” with high-Klout individuals. Which may, alas, not include people you actually know, like, and care about. (Sorry, Mom, your Klout score is just not good enough.)
Personally, I prefer real personal connections to virtual impersonal ones ones.
And, personally, with a week still constrained to that boring old 24/7, I’d rather spend my “free time” with those real personal connections – in person, on the phone, and – yes – via e-mail and texting. (I’m not a complete Luddite.)
And of course, there’s also that nasty free-time habit I’ve developed over the years that involves reading a book. (When people tell me that they no longer have time to read, I wonder whether they take their iPads into bed with them, rather than a Stewart O’Nan novel. Doesn’t everyone try to get a bit of real reading in – and I mean a book or a magazine here, not just checking Nate Silver to see what the over and under is for November 6, 2012 - before lights out? Or has tweeting replaced this entirely…in bed, new flannel jammies, nose cold but otherwise comfy…)
Alexia Tsotsis, over on Tech Crunch, in an October 2011 post, managed to talk me out of worrying about Klout:
Klout’s pervasive problem is that the deeper among us are never going to judge anyone based solely on some arbitrary decimal score. Especially when that decimal number ranks teenbot Justin Beiber at 100.
Thank you, Alexia.
I’d be happy to connect with you any old day. Even though I have nothing Klout-worthy to offer.
*Isn’t this a recipe for whoredom?