Web 3.0 Is Here – Why Klout Should Matter to You Now!

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Anyone saying “your Klout score doesn’t matter” is wrong.

After my last post about the future of Klout, I saw many comments like “Ignore Klout scores!”, “Stop feeding the hype!” and “Why do you even care?”

Because I appreciate the discussion and would like to help the misguided, I spent the rest of the week preparing this post.  I hope it helps build an awareness for those folks, any ignorant “experts” out there (Klout haters), and my fellow 8pm Warriors who look to our community to stay on top of a changing world while they are busy building a future.

The world is changing.  So is the internet.

Here’s how…

Brief History of the Internet:

Web 1.0 was based on one-way communication (static websites with read only content)

Web 2.0 introduced two way communication (wikis, social media, blogs, etc.)

Web 3.0 is driven by technology that reads and understands activity on the internet and uses that data to make recommendations and perform tasks using artificial intelligence.

 

Web 3.0 is here!

Klout is an example of a Web 3.0 technology. It is being used by computers and people to decide if you are newsworthy, important enough to get a free upgrade in Vegas, or skilled enough to get a job interview. There are many ways to use it.

No matter what anyone says, it’s already happening and you can’t stop it.  Here are just some of the 3,000 groups using the Klout API in their technology.

(Image from developer.klout.com)

Last month, Klout had more than two billion (2,000,000,000) requests for information from all of their partner development organizations.  That’s an incredible amount of information!

Keep in mind this number will only increase as we rely on applications using artificial intelligence to help us save more time, make smarter decisions, and take advantage of trends as they are happening.  It’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

Looking back at this past month, I used Klout to discover others in my field, screen out spammers on twitter, and make a hiring decision.  Even though I like to pioneer new practices and use new technology, I know that I’m not alone on this one.  Ready or not, this is really happening.

Klout matters

How can it not?  I’m starting to see these scores everywhere!  I see Klout scores in email marketing, social media updates on Twitter or Facebook, and in news articles I read.

This is what I see when you tweet @Biebert.

If I only have 5 minutes every hour to respond to 50 tweets from unknown people, who do you think I respond to first?

If I’m doing it, others are too.

Like all smart leaders, I use data to make decisions.  Klout is data.

Klout will also improve artificial intelligence and automation.  Computers that know who to target will be more efficient.  There could be a time when you are followed, unfollowed, retweeted, or featured in the news based on a computer calculation.  That time may be sooner than you think.

Flaws are no excuse to ignore an emerging technology

Yes, there are flaws.  Everyone keeps saying that, hoping it will somehow change something.

However, its a silly argument because there are flaws in almost everything that we use today.  When is the last time you heard someone say that the Kelley Blue Book was irrelevant because it had bad information on a couple cars or sportscasters on TV are unnecessary because they called out the wrong name in one game.

It happens.  Especially when a technology is in a beta stage, like Klout.

These errors do make me concerned, hence the reason I wrote my last post.  However, I was dumbfounded by how many people were saying that Klout doesn’t matter or that I and other bloggers are only feeding the beast.

The beast will grow no matter what I write and it’s time to embrace it before you get left behind.  Since I’m always eager to be proven wrong, I openly declare a challenge to any expert to show me why Klout is not relevant.  Show me why I’m wrong and we can all learn something.

At the bottom, I will update this post to link to any trackback article written to oppose or support my position:

Klout matters and everyone needs to get on it if they’d like to work in any occupation that requires influence.

If you agree, share this post on Twitter, Facebook or wherever.  If you disagree, write me a rebuttal.  I’ll share it.

Let’s have a meaningful discussion on this and show true leadership into the next era. Join the conversation on Twitter, on our 8pm Warriors community Facebook page, or comment below. It’s time the world knows that data and analytics, no matter impersonal or unfair, will be disrupting the way we’re using the internet right now.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

PS. If you’re not registered for free on Klout.com yet, click here if you’re interested in registering.

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Blog Responses to Our Klout Discussion

Influence Peddling Down The Rabbit Hole by Jacob Varghese

Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

111 comments on “Web 3.0 Is Here – Why Klout Should Matter to You Now!”

  1. Aaron, did someone at Klout pay you to suck up and shush up? As much as I agree that Klout IS the future, the future doesn’t have to be Klout.

    Remember early in the 2000s when MySpace was all the rage? We drank the juice and sucked ourselves into believing that MySpace would be the future, that all of our social things would happen there. Then all of the sudden Facebook came along and displaced that. Now MySpace is struggling to even be relevant and losing more members per month than most Universities have students.

    There will be a replacement. People innovate.

    Companies tout themselves with bullshit monikers like “The standard of influence” to get you to think that they are all the rage, when its seriously not. As a whole, influence metrics will be an important part of the social media future, but again, flawed tools like Klout do not need to lead the pack.

    I don’t mean to sound angry or mean, but don’t back down from what you said a few days ago. You know you’ve been fighting the battle and have felt the way you felt about the platform for awhile.

    1. Albert, yes, Kleiner Perkins paid me to stop writing negative posts about Klout. Haha! (not true, yet)

      MySpace was the future until they blew it. Klout is the future unless they blow it too. PeerIndex and TweetGrader don’t look too promising right now.

      Klout may be replaced with something else someday, but the same concerns I had in my last post will be there. My same feelings from this post will be there. Klout = Whatever is measuring our influence on the internet.

      That idea isn’t going away and Klout is currently carrying the banner. They are in fact the standard of online influence. That’s why I’m discussing them.

      I know this must seem odd given that my last post was critical of Klout. However, critical doesn’t mean skeptical. I am critical of myself, but I still believe in myself.

      Klout has lots of things to work on, but that doesn’t mean it is worthless like so many people tried to say. That’s why I wrote this post.

      1. I agree — PeerIndex and TweetGrader are going the way of MySpace. Klout is doing essentially what Facebook did to stay relevant: start connecting people to brands and start incentivizing people to stay. MySpace had none of that, and for that, I give Joe Fernandez and co. credit. They have done a great job there.

        My problem with Klout is still the problem that I see on my profile — that I am a dabbler. Perhaps the folks at Mobclix put in a word to Klout that I am a dud and not to be bothered with (I kid, really, but who knows… people who come from sorority backgrounds come from a very scathing culture), but the bottom line is that they want to label people based on their supposed ability to capture social media.

        I’d like to see them improve, but as they are a growing company and gaining considerable clout, they will probably stay the way they are going. Like all big companies they will begin to forget about the little guys (me, you) and go after the big guys.

        You still down for writing that letter? I should email you about a joint blog post.

  2. While I do agree with the fact that these metrics are not going anywhere anytime soon, it will always be adopted with limits. Not all brands are using it or basing their decisions off of it. They all don’t even use the most currently popular social media outlets. To think/believe that these measurement tools will be the ‘new credit score’ is a little bold. (My interpreted words.)

    Yes, it is a great tool, depending on how you use it and what your goals are, but it is not the end-all, be-all. Faults or no faults.

        1. Yes, I would agree. The more data they get, the more refined they can make it.

          Plus, with partners that have technology development investments in using the Klout API, it won’t be easy to convince them to leave for another system if it isn’t clearly better.

          Great comment Jack!

  3. Aaron,
    Your comment section teaches me a lot! There’s a lot I could say about what I learned in the past 15 mins. googling all of the stuff I didn;t understand. But I won’t!
    In your last post you admitted to being very competitive. That’s what I’m looking at when it comes to me and Mr. Klout. I’ve only been watching it for about a month. I was fascinated watching the score go up just because I was doing what I wanted to do-interact with people I found interesting. But I started to have life burn-out this week and the #’s are plummeting! I’m competitive, too. So I watched myself want to drive that number back up.
    That’s when I learned something. I’m going to focus on controlling what I can. I DO believe that I have to be engaged with people in order to learn and grow. So I’ll continue that habit. If Klout makes the mistake of saying I’m influential about pizza maybe in a way they’re letting me see that I need to focus more on what I’m all about (family history) AS WELL AS staying connected to people that stimulate my mind in other things.
    So I’m going to use Klout to keep me focused. And I’ll expect one of my perks to be pizza coupons if I’m so influential in pizza!

    1. Betsy, I learn a lot from the comment section too. It’s my favorite part of our 8pm Warrior community!

      Mr. Klout definitely changes the way a competitive person measures and pushes themself. As I always say, “What gets measured, gets done.”

      As for your score plummeting, have no fear. You’re up more than 12 points in 30 days and I just retweeted/favorited a tweet of yours. Hope that helps.

      Someday when you get free pizza, you’ll have to send me a slice.

      :-)

  4. love the open discussion here! totally agree that as a tool to measure influence, the ‘likes’ of Klout are here to stay. I would prefer to see them use more relevant descriptors as well, and am not sure how some of the descriptions are decided on! I watched an interview with KLout & Forbes last month and was greatly impressed. LIke Betsy I choose to use Klout as a focus tool :)

    1. Thanks Bronwyn! I love our discussion here too. The community is really my favorite part.

      As for Klout, there are definitely improvements they need to make (i.e. @AlbertQian’s classification as Dabbler, the lack of WordPress/Blog integration, and others). However, I think it is a useful to tool to speed up certain activities and simplify data.

      Thanks for the comment!

    1. Yes, I am not sure why that’s happening. If you’d like to share it, I have another twitter sharing button at the bottom.

      Thanks for the heads up, I just put a notice at the top of the blog post.

  5. Aaron

    I totally agree with what you’re saying. I’m tired of all these haters.

    I love Klout but they aren’t perfect. Klout isn’t the be all, end all of metrics or influence. Just take what you can use. It’s a snap shot, a tool in combination with your other tools.

    I’m their unofficial poster child how anyone (average joe) can have influence. I know they use me in their presentations in pitches to Brands. Klout has pushed my influence up a lot.

    They’re always open to listening and trying to improve. They have been good to. Because of Klout and influence, Brands have approached me and have been written up in Forbes, BNET and interviewed by Bloomberg Television.

    – Cal

    1. Calvin, thanks for the comment and retweet. I appreciate your generosity.

      As for haters…

      Where do I start? Klout is definitely not perfect, but the idea is exactly what will power the next generation of internet technologies.

      Sure Klout doesn’t feel good to everyone, but many people don’t like their bank accounts, credit scores, or wrinkles. We are who we are and Klout simply measures that using an algorithm that will continue to improve.

      Thanks for the comments!

  6. Influence metrics are here to stay. I don’t really like it because it’s gonna be the new penis size.. another vanity metric. Unless Klout or other company does these metrics perfectly. Klout does get some people right and that is useful, but still, people getting measured by some score on the net is lil’ cruel..

    1. Adrijus, they say that it’s not the size that matters, but how you use it. :-)

      I’m not sure Klout would be classified as a vanity metric. I just think most people still don’t understand how it will just be a fabric of our online lives. We’ll get used to it, just like we got used to Facebook sharing every update/comment/Like with everyone on the news feed.

      At first it was creepy, now it’s normal.

      Klout seems like a vanity metric right now to you, but it will be normal in about 18 months. I promise. <— can I promise stuff like that?

      Thanks for the comment!

  7. So what you’re basically admitting to is looking over your mentions & choosing who to respond to based primarily on the follower’s klout score, not based on what they’ve tweeted to or about you?

    Wow, just wow, credit for being blunt & honest here but sad panda face for the people who think they have a real online relationship with you

    1. Jean, I loved your comment when you retweeted this article! It’s definitely going to be a fascinating discussion. I just retweeted your comment and got my popcorn and lawnchair ready. :-)

      Ok.

      What I’m basically admitting is that when I’m crunched for time, I make decisions based on data to help decide how to spend that time. No one has unlimited time.

      With that said, everyone that engages with me on Twitter will tell you that I respond nearly every single time and thank people for almost every single retweet to my @Biebert account.

      In fact, I am so insistent on it that every Saturday I spend at least 4 hours playing catchup on Twitter so I can respond to everyone no matter what their Klout score is.

      Now go turn that sad Panda frown upside down! :-)

      I am real.

      1. sorry but all “the data you need to decide how to spend your time” is contained within the tweets your followers have directed at you, not their klout score. An LOL type tweet often requires no response, a call to action for a good cause, an invitation to an event, a friend sharing great new content does.

        1. I generally agree with you. Maybe I’m not the right example? Someone like @GaryVee might be a better one.

          He probably gets 1000’s of meaningful tweets a day. He doesn’t respond to many of them anymore. He doesn’t have time.

          1. I think for some unique users, their following reaches such massive numbers that they essentially become broadcasters, this is ok if the stuff they broadcast is important to their followers.

            I’m speaking more to what you said & I’ll quote you “If I only have 5 minutes every hour to respond to 50 tweets from unknown people, who do you think I respond to first?”

            I do know how to read & you’ve admitted that you respond to your followers based on their klout scores. All others can wait till your Sat catch up on twitter session

            I gave you props on twitter for being blunt & honest even though I’m not in favor of your system. Please don’t dilute the power of your post or your honesty by insinuating in open stream that I & others aren’t able to understand the written word

  8. Btw, I certainly don’t “hate” klout, in fact I think @meganberry is a total sweetheart & I’ve got my fair share of bennies from their metrics. What I am saying is that smart PR reps look at the total picture in deciding who to offer paid gigs to. IMHO, you cannot grow a really robust network without having a wide cross section of people you actually interact with. My rules are simple, you reach out to me, speak to me w/out spamming me & I’ll speak back, easy, real & builds a community

  9. As each new thing hits, it is easy to be overwhelmed. One needs to sort through to see if there’s any real purpose in what you’re signing up for or if it’s just a time suck, a game or a popularity contest. Klout is rather simple so far and I love how you have explained its link in the evolution of the internet. Good work… now k+ me ; )

  10. I agree, this is the future.

    I suppose it is a basic human need to categorize things into easily distinguishable brackets, and a simple influence score or very few such scores will be tremendously significant.

    It is interesting to note that this same path has already been traveled in online gaming.

    For example, in World of Warcraft, there was an addon called Gearscore, which showed a single figure based on the quality of the gear that any character you viewed was wearing in the game.

    Soon this became the basis for selecting who to adventure with, the logic being that characters who had collected better gear were better partners during adventure.

    Eventually, the feature was built into the game itself, deprecating the addon but universalizing the behavior.

    I have no doubt that the same will happen in other online communities and spread into the offline world as the integration between the two becomes deeper. Some of this has already happened.

    I’m not sure if the name of the score will be Klout, but it sure looks like a strong contender.

    Another thing to note is that I don’t think such a system will ever be perfect. When a thing is simplified enough, something of the original is always lost in the process. Therefore, there will be plenty of complaints for years to come.

    1. Ville, your WoW case study is a great example of what I think the future looks like. Thanks for sharing that!

      I agree that there will be some name, and that it may not be “Klout.” Right now, it’s there’s to lose.

      Thanks so much for your thoughts. This was a really substantial comment!

  11. I think a little more emphasis on the importance of building community by engaging with all rather than a slipped in ‘first’ would be nice – otherwise an interesting post and have subbed to your blog.

    1. Louise, your point is well taken. I am a big proponent of real engagement and open communication with anyone. However, for this post, I had to show the darker side to make my point and I used myself as the example.

      I appreciate your understanding and the subscription to the blog. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the upbeat topics I usually write about.

      This one is challenging.

  12. I completely agree with you!!!!!!!! If the haters get left behind, “oh well!”. Sorry to be like that, but people need to grow up and grow WITH this new digital world!!!! We created it, we participate in it yet so many bash it!! Yes, there are some crummy social networking sites out there, but you are right! KLOUT matters!!!!!!

    1. The problem with leaving the “Klout Haters” behind is that some of them are my dear friends.

      Nevertheless, it is time to just settle this matter of whether Klout (or other scores) matter and get on with what to do with it.

      Thank you for the support!

  13. Despite its flaws, I think the reality is that Klout will inevitably become a benchmark by which we determine one’s reputation on social media. Business pros needs to be aware of how they are being interpreted- even if only to gage their effectiveness in their chosen field.

    Once upon a time, facebook was “just for college kids”, and twitter was just a ‘facebook knock off’. Klout, like LinkedIn has the potential to act as a sort of virtual reference check, and maximizing its potential will likely be hugely important in the social media/business world.

    Thanks for an interesting and thought provoking- looking forward to reading more like it!

    1. Zita, I like your point about the virtual reference check. I think that instead of using TruTwit direct message validation, that system should just use artificial intelligence and Klout’s spam filter (no score).

      Thanks for all the kind words and adding your excellent thoughts to the discussion!

  14. Well Aaron 8 months ago I would have been one of those “Klout haters”. I mean honestly at that time Beyonce & Justin Beiber both had “Perfect Klout” scores without having ever tweeted! So of course this did not make me put too much faith in “Klout” however as the months have passed and they have broaden the items that they use to measure influence and reach I would definitely say “Klout” matters! It matters so much so that people really need to figure out quick, fast & in a hurry, how to raise their “Klout” scores if they want to find employment in this social economy! I’ve heard so many stories of people being passed over for a job lately because of thier “Klout” or lack there of!

    1. Karen, you are a wise women to be flexible enough in your beliefs to change as the time change. Many improvements have been made and will be made and I hope many others join the “converted” and get with the times.

      Also, thanks for sharing the stories about the job searches and Klout. It may be unfortunate, but true. Using social media matters.

      Take care and thanks for the comment!

  15. Hey Aaron,

    Love that your blog is such a hot topic – rock on!
    See I would say that Klout doesn’t matter but when I looked at my Tweet it had a lower Klout score than normal and I was bummed. So crap, can’t say I don’t care at all. I use TweetDeck so I don’t see people’s Klout scores when I respond. I really do just try to respond to everyone, unless it seems like they are a weirdo.

    I’ll try to maintain a high enough level so you tweet me back, what is my cut off?
    Peggy

    1. I just really don’t respond to people with no Klout scores because they are spammers 99.9% of the time. At the risk of getting in more hot water, I’ll share with you that I don’t follow back any business under 40 Klout score or any person who is under 20 unless they are engaging with me. They usually just aren’t worth it otherwise.

      Am I evil? :-)

  16. Was a nice read. I don’t think Klout alone is gonna make the Web go from 2.0 to 3.0. Sure its Social Media. But you fogot to mention Web Technologies such as HTML5 and CSS3. There’s a lot more such as the WebM codec too. And you have a referral link at the end. Smart plug. =P

    1. Thanks Deep! I agree that there is more to Web 3.0 than Klout, but that is about as far as I can go before I’m out of my league. :-)

      Thanks for adding your expertise to the discussion. It is appreciated!

  17. I still thoroughly disagree with you and I’m not a Klout hater. I think Klout is a mildly interesting way to get a snapshot of how much often people act on a certain person’s Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin. But anytime I hear someone say they only focus on people with high Klout scores for job interviews or responding to or interacting with I want to scream!

    One of my biggest promoters has a 37 Klout score. Another one has a Klout score of 23. These are people that have referred me business. I have two twitter accounts on autopost that have higher Klout scores than that!

    The people I’m trying to get business from have no Klout score at all usually.

    Seth Godin doesn’t even have a Klout score.

    The only reason you should focus on your Klout score is if you want free stuff from Klout Perks. Otherwise, you should still be focused on getting business and making connections with good people.

    While many people use Klout to determine whether or not they should engage, they are missing out on a possibly valuable relationships.

    1. Jeff, Klout is a measure of online influence only. You may get business from people who have low Klout scores, but I highly doubt they are sending you business through their social media presence. Someone with a Klout score of 23 is barely even using social media.

      Seth Godin has a Klout score of 73.

      As always, I appreciate your comments…even if I disagree. I continue to believe your position will change in the next 18 months.

      1. But it is a partial measurement only. Your comment that a 23 Klout score is someone “barely even using social media” is also inaccurate. That’s been my point this whole time. A blog IS social media, as is Google+, as are forums, as are podcasts and vodcasts. There are SO many social media channels that to declare Klout an accurate measure of online influence is to fundamentally lack an understanding of the scope of the social web.

        See Brian Solis’ Conversation Prism: http://www.theconversationprism.com/media/images/size1024.jpg

        Influence is more than Twitter and Facebook. And it’s more than who retweets and clicks “Like.”

        Furthermore, @thisissethsblog is simply an autoposting of his blog. Only a fraction of Seth’s audience is represented in that score. He’s an author, a speaker and a blogger. The majority of his blog traffic comes direct, through RSS or via the sharing of others.

        Klout is important but this conversation where people focus on raising their score is nonsense and points people in the wrong direction. Why focus on social media to raise a score, rather than to get business.

        PS. I got 4 referrals from someone that used to be a 23 and is now a 37, do I care what her score is, or that she sent me business opportunities?

      2. But it is a partial measurement only. Your comment that a 23 Klout score is someone “barely even using social media” is also inaccurate. That’s been my point this whole time. A blog IS social media, as is Google+, as are forums, as are podcasts and vodcasts. There are SO many social media channels that to declare Klout an accurate measure of online influence is to fundamentally lack an understanding of the scope of the social web.

        See Brian Solis’ Conversation Prism: http://www.theconversationprism.com/media/images/size1024.jpg

        Influence is more than Twitter and Facebook. And it’s more than who retweets and clicks “Like.”

        Furthermore, @thisissethsblog is simply an autoposting of his blog. Only a fraction of Seth’s audience is represented in that score. He’s an author, a speaker and a blogger. The majority of his blog traffic comes direct, through RSS or via the sharing of others.

        Klout is important but this conversation where people focus on raising their score is nonsense and points people in the wrong direction. Why focus on social media to raise a score, rather than to get business.

        PS. I got 4 referrals from someone that used to be a 23 and is now a 37, do I care what her score is, or that she sent me business opportunities?

        1. Jeff, any intelligent blogger that wants to be influential online is using Twitter or Facebook.

          We can focus on the outliers (Seth Godin, Apple, etc.), but I’d much rather focus on the masses. Klout is for the masses.

          I don’t need a Klout score to know how influential Apple is, but I do need one for people I don’t know.

          It saves time. It keeps people honest.

          Focus on the masses…

          1. Again, I disagree. “Any intelligent blogger that wants to be influential online is using Twitter or Facebook?”

            Really? That’s your answer. Ok then, but WHAT IF THEY DON’T? Are they not influential? Not everyone wants to use Facebook or Twitter. It’s within their rights, but that doesn’t make them less influential. If the conversation is about whether Klout measures online influence then you can’t possibly believe that it accurately does.

            I think the disagreement comes down to what influence means. Klout measures the likelihood that content you create and share will be acted on, in the form of “likes” or “tweets.” That is not influence. I use Triberr and get tons of tweets, I didn’t become more influential, I simply employed a system to increase my reach.

            Asking your network to do something specifically and getting it done through the conscious ACTION of your network is influence. Klout is measuring several factors from 10 networks out of the whole internet. If you still think that is influence then you have a very different idea about what influence is.

            Anyone trying to effectively sell or market something knows that it’s not about the masses, it’s about your target audience.

            Finally it doesn’t keep people honest. That is entirely false. It keeps people trying to figure out how the Klout game works so they can appear more influential.

    2. I so like your answer related to the job interview. I am just waiting for a smart recruiter to decline a candiate based on klout score. I smell great legal issue in whole of that. Simply being in beta they should never sells themselves and tool for making decisions. There is another issue that has legal issue in it and its related to privacy issue that klout has when it comes to collecting data or sharing it. Everyone has Klout Score and simply what i am missing in whole Klout is simply option of restriction who can see your profile and who can’t.

    3. This is a great comment.
      I would add: How can Klout measure the influence of someone that manages, daily, 30 twitter accounts and 40 Facebook pages? It can’t because it doesn’t establish relationships.

      1. One will always be able to find exceptions to almost anything. Klout will never be perfect and there will always be something to point out.

        However, if you take it for what it is (a data aggregation tool), it is clear that it does offer something of value. That’s all I’m saying.

        It’s never going to be everything everyone wants it to be.

        1. And what you said there is more along the lines of what I’ve been saying. It is ONE piece of data. Use it in conjunction with other pieces of data. But to disqualify a candidate, ignore a relationship or focus on influencers at the expense of your low Klout scoring network, solely based on Klout score is a mistake.

      1. It is the Klout score of a retweet of his blog, for clarification.

        It doesn’t factor in: RSS readership, videos outside of YouTube, the domino project, or anything else beyond the 10 sites that Klout measures.

        To recap, ALL Klout is measuring about Seth Godin is the retweet of his primary blog. This is not a true measure of his online influence.

  18. Can someone tell me whether or not Seth Godin is influential? I can’t find his official Klout score anywhere, not even in the books of his that I’ve read. Oh wait I just found it, he’s a 10: http://klout.com/sethgodin

    I guess I can ignore him now.

    Here’s my biggest issue with the Klout conversation. Instead of using it as a snapshot, people are using it as if it’s true. There are still SO many flaws in Klout that it’s gives people an excuse not to actually engage with other people. Social Media gets less social everytime someone is ignored because their Klout score isn’t high enough.

    Until we can accurately measure people in the offline world, Klout should only be used as one of MANY measures.

    1. Seth Godin has a 73 Klout score and doesn’t use that account you found (clearly stated in the bio).

      Try this one: http://klout.com/#/ThisIsSethsBlog/topics

      I think it’s odd to say that Klout has given people an excuse to not engage when it rewards engagement. I also think it’s a difficult argument for me to accept when you suggest we ignore one sort of measurement (online) because it doesn’t measure everything (offline and online).

      Klout is built on data. Pure and simple. No intelligent leader ignores data.

  19. great post! I don’t know if I shared this here or somewhere else but my Klout score was like a 77 or something like that and when I quit caring and started just to concentrate on the community I was building it went up to an 84. Trust me, I wasn’t trying AT ALL….not a bit.
    so in some ways, I say pay attention but don’t read TOO much into it. keep building community and the high scores will come :) xo

    1. Jessica, and that is why I think Klout is so valuable. It is accurate when you don’t look at it. You are one of the most influential people I know and somehow Klout magically knows it.

      Must be worth something…

      Great advice from a great one. Thanks for the comment Jessica!

    1. Hi Michael! I like how you can use Klout for various things. For instance, I use it for spammer screening, finding topical expertise, learning about someone’s use of Social Media, a hub to all social media accounts, and more.

  20. Hi Aaron,
    I think you make a lot of assumptions based on very narrow foundations. There are just too many variables in play including social, economical and technological. In any case I wrote a post..maybe even a rebuttal based on the fact that both the current and future validity of these metrics are vague. Cheers!

      1. Hi Aaron,
        I replied to your comment. Like I mention. I feel your equating Credit Scores with Influence scores is more ‘shaky’ ground. Influence is too much of an abstract to be calculable in more finite terms. More explanation in my reply to you.
        I have not had much time to blog or be part of the blogosphere lately, I have to thank you for egging me back in :)

        1. Jacob, glad to help out. :-)

          Influence is difficult to measure, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do our best. Human measurement systems rarely are perfect (Nielson Ratings, Credit scores, IQ tests, SAT/ACT scores, etc.). However if they measure actual data, they are worth something simply because data is worth something. The assumption that goes with that data (influence in this case) is what is debatable.

          Saying that FICO scores are “The Standard of Trust” would be incorrect, and so it is with influence as well. Maybe their using the wrong words, but the data is still relevant.

          Glad to have your thoughts on here. You are making this worth it for me. Love hearing alternate views. It keeps me sharp, moving, and alive. :-)

      1. Simple: I’m not Apple, with award winning products, distributed globally, with tens of millions of fans, who can promote my product by word of mouth; plus a few tens of billions of dollars for marketing (if they wanted to do it). Apple has all the word of mouth networking it needs; for the rest of us, there’s social media.

        Let’s flip it back: why SHOULD Apple have a Facebook presence? People were recommending them, interacting with them, and loyally buying there stuff long before the invention of the Web.

        1. I guess my point is that Apple is choosing not to be influential online, but most of us can’t afford to make that choice.

          I like to focus on the big picture, not one example. It makes it easier to see what’s really happening.

          Millions of people are looking at Klout scores now, even if Apple isn’t.

          1. I don’t agree that Apple isn’t influential online. Millions of their customers are constantly talking about how much they love their products, offering each other help, and interacting with each other. That’s influence. Look at YouTube and you’ll find thousands of videos made by Apple’s customers on how to use their product, watched by thousands of people as well.
            Influence doesn’t have to be “command and control” style. The goal of social influence is to get customers engaged in your products, to keep them in the loop of consumption, recommendation and loyalty. There are lots of other ways to do this than simply “feeding them stuff” from a website or asking them to “comment or like” items in a social network.
            In the big picture, if you look merely by Apple’s soaring sales during a recession, it’s clear that there can be a very effective strategy for attracting, engaging and maintaining relationships with customers that doesn’t involve tweets, likes, plusses or comparative clout. Millions of people may be looking at Klout scores, but do you know of a single one who has woke up today and said, “I’m not going to buy an “X” because their Klout score is too low!” ?
            — Matthew

            Matthew Ferrara Learning Network
            matthewferrara.com

  21. Web 3.0 is yet another overhyped fad. And no it isn’t Klout. Clout is JUST another indication of epeen, an old concept.

    Web 3.0 is the current generation of web applications that use event-driven architectures, NoSQL stacks, and more, working on all kinds of screens and all kinds of browsers — all without using browser-specific hacks.

    1. Peter, that is one definition of Web 3.0 that works for smart people like you. :-)

      I’m not sure there is only one definition or that it isn’t big enough to include all of our thoughts, but I appreciate your comment.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  22. At first I tried not to pay attention to it, but this thing is coming on strong like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction – It will NOT be ignored!

    I only started looking into it when people kept on “Klouting” me all the time. Klouting me relentlessly with props…oh, my achin’ head.

    Whether it’s right or wrong, people WILL use it to make decisions, so I might as well use it to my advantage if possible.

    The next step is to see if I can get my room comped at the Palms. I don’t think my score is high enough yet, but maybe if I get some more Klout love in comics or something then I can pull it off.

    As soon as I hear some rapper bragging about his Klout score I’ll know then it’s definitely ON!

    Until that time, I’m off to Klout some people. er, I mean GIVE Klout to some people…

    1. I like this one John: “…right or wrong, people WILL use it to make decisions, so I might as well use it to my advantage if possible.”

      Exactly.

      It doesn’t matter if it’s flawed, wrong, full of errors, too harsh, too nice, too slow, too fast, or whatever.

      People are using it today to make decisions and it’s time people be aware of it. That’s my main point and I’m glad you got it. :-)

      Thanks for the retweets and comment John!

  23. Aron hi,

    i will not call myself Klout hater but I am far away from being supporter of them as well. Answer is simple i was never fun of Groupon so i am not fun of Klout. Klout score can be simply manipulated and in fact is in many cases.

    If Klout would be “really” and influence measurement platform why then offering an promotion packages or so called Klout Perks ? What’s all about that ? I never saw Credit Bureau offering any product promotions, and they measure so kind of your influence as well.

    Me personally don’t need Klout Perks to get USD 10 of the Subway sandwich and spread the news around the world for that.
    Believe me if you send a great tweet about how nice yummi sandwich you had in the morning in Subway they will send you directly a code or coupon with discount or even give you FOC next time.

    But lets go back to Klout. You mention in your post that Klout helps you select to who you will replay. A while ago i run some test on how accurate their data is, and is close to zero when it comes to spammers. I went and check klout scores of people who tweet every day the same things. For example: tweet which is full of @ and ends with #F4F or #FollowBackTeam.I was surprised that from 10 tweeter users that i checked all had #klout score btw 79 -81. How influential they can really be when all what they do whole day is sending a tweet with @ as content. Well Klout counts who many RTs and replay you got, but they dont check so much the content of the tweet.

    I also checked the user who tweeted out 400 tweets, follows 700 users and had 1 user following him back, account was open 3 days before i checked and klout score was 54? Asking myself how this can be possible, when friend of mine who is on facebook already for 4 years, extremely active, has hundreds of likes per day, shared post and much engagements in comments score only 31 on klout, just coz he is not using twitter.

    I agree with you, they are in Beta stage and they might stay in beta for next 10 years or forever as there is simply answer to that and was always proven: Influence simply can not be measured the way Klout is selling to public. There is more then just few algorithms.

    And simply why i personally dont like them is due to their non responsive attitude that they have. I recently had an issue which i address to klout community on there website, and was related to an unrealistic droop of my score in period on 24 hours. All i got back from them was that my score was reinstated and my question where i ask for clarification was simply deleted.

    I personally more believe in measurements offered from http://tweetlevel.edelman.com/ who will divide your score btw trust, engagement and popularity. One component that missing in Klout is def Trust, lets not forget if you or potential client has zero trust in brand / product, brand will never be successful no matter how high klout score might be.

    And thank you to be in circle of people that you always replay back :)

    Have a great one!

    1. All good points Jure. Thanks!

      Joe and team used to be more responsive, but now I’m not sure what happened. Probably too busy or successful for us. :-)

      I’ve been literally begging them to fix my friend’s “Dabbler” designation (@AlbertQian) for a while now. No luck, even though he has 20,000 updates…

      Frustrating for sure. That’s why I wrote my last post.

      Regardless, it is something that matters right now. We’ll see if they hold on to it. The lead is theirs to lose.

      Great comment, case studies, and ideas. I appreciate it!

      1. If they are “too busy or successful for us” I question the company and their work- Klout is supposed to measure influence and we are supposed to trust them to do so- yet they are too busy to respond to their community. Totally misses the point of social media and community building online.

  24. Klout is not an effective, accurate, or insightful measure of online influence. Purportedly, it is Klout’s aspiration to be a trustworthy arbiter of online influence. Presently, it is an unaccomplished aspiration. [grin]

    Klout is a novel approach to a sketchy sampling of an individual’s online engagement and social skills on Twitter.

    Klout still needs to work on the scoring – especially for Twitter. And in terms of Facebook and Foursquare, Klout needs a lot of work to get the scoring to be meaningful in a novel manner. Myself, I’m not convinced they have the right kind of think, vision, and feeling to do anything meaningful – quickly.

    I have noticed, however, that Klout’s people are doing their best-est. [grin]

    On the other hand, Klout is generating stereotype, prejudice, and privilege. Once upon a time, we thought that was a very bad thing. Or, at least, we were taught to think that way. Maybe, it still is a bad thing. There is no doubt, however, that if the outcome effects you, you will have a strong opinion about Klout – one way or another.

    That said, my questions about Klout do not preclude me from using Klout – especially in giving props and kudos to upstanding members of the Triberr community.

    Anyway, I think we should keep talking about Klout. And you’re doing a good thing, Aaron, sparking ongoing discussion and debate about Klout is worthwhile.

    1. Stan, it’s all about the discussion and I appreciate you weighing in on the topic.

      You make some great points.

      I’m not sure I have all the answers, but I do know that Klout is shaking up some things and causing even the haters to get logged into it. It’s growing fast and is not something to ignore.

      That’s my main point.

      Let’s keep discussing this as things change. Have a great night Stan!

  25. If I may I’d also like to throw this into the mix for consideration and discussion piggy backing off Jacob Varghese’s post where he talks about the preference of Twitter in Klout’s algorithm.

    MONEY!

    Money is power (as the saying goes) and money/power can create influence.

    And yet according to a recent post by the Wall Street Journal http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2011/08/17/millionaires-pile-into-facebook-drop-twitter the wealthiest people are flocking to Facebook and flushing Twitter. (And if Google+ has it’s way Facebook will become a ghost town as well).

    So that being said… If Klout wants to stay around and *actually* become the standard of influence they claim to be, then they need to make sure the are integrating and monitoring the channels that are being used.

    Otherwise they run the risk of become the Betamax or MySpace of the influence ranking genre.

  26. *Full Disclosure* I’ve been a Klout user since it appeared on the market.

    I can’t agree with you, at all, on this. Why?

    Klout is a very well orchestrated marketing campaign. They are good at Marketing and PR but its algorithm is not good at all. Something that any analyst should note is that Klout has gone from claiming that they could track your social media activity to be totally vague about what they really did. A sign of this was when the top ReTweet content disappeared from the user’s page. Wht did it? Because the results were totally wrong/outdated. Instead of fixing it (something that I doubt that can be fixed or tracked) Klout decided to remove it.

    Again, I think that Klout is a great marketing campaign and I am glad that they are making money from companies that are naif enough to think that they can “buy” influence on social media: it is a business like any other but to call it influence and, as in your post, something that you must pay attention to, is just way too much. My influence is measured by the amount of people that, at any time, I have on my contact’s list. That is the only way to measure influence.

  27. Hey Aaron,

    Great to see this, thank for sharing. We are aware of the responsibility that we have and work every day to ensure we keep getting better, more accurate, and more transparent.

    Thanks,
    Megan
    Marketing Manager, Klout

  28. Definitely enjoyed the post. I’d like to be able to do longer term analysis…i’ve been avidly tracking my Klout for the past couple months…i’m curious to see trend analysis that includes several months of data. Thanks for a great post.

  29. Measurement tools only become relevant when people believe they are relevant. I do not understand the algorithms for any of the components such as “true reach’ or “amplification”. The one that totally mystifies me “Klout Style”. Over the weekend my style changed – I don’t believe I’m doing anything differently.

    The score however is the score.

    Klout’s relevancy increases in direct proportion to the number of people using it as a tool to evaluate potential connections.

    When I first joined Twitter a few years ago, the big thing was to look at the number of followers. Logic being that, the more followers you have, the more interesting and influential you might be. Now, of course we know that there is no real correlation.

    I look at my Klout score once every couple of weeks. It’s been as high as 49 – then when I took some time off and didn’t post on SM too much for a couple of weeks – it dropped to 28. I’ve been back for 3 weeks now and I’m up to 40. Go figure.

    Good to know – good to use it as a single data point when looking at potential connections. It is not something to obsess over hourly or daily.

    1. Rick, thanks for adding your perspective. I do believe that it is only as relevant as people make it out to be. It’s becoming very relevant to some very important people now.

      I agree that it isn’t something to obsess over for most people. It’s time to be aware of it.

      Glad you agree.

      Thanks for the comment!

  30. I sometimes wonder if we are truly upgraded to Web 3.0. I feel that there are still many static sites out there and the marketplace has not been primed to truly embrace social media and be socially-responsible too. For Web 3.0 to become a true reality, every online and business entity has to learn to market less and engage more.. and kill the noise!

    Aaron, the way you described Web 3.0 is beautiful. Most do not have a REAL concept about it. I was on some professional forums recently and everyone had different visions for Web 3.0. These were fellow web developers, SEOs, webmasters, social media enthusiasts, etc.

    That may be an indicator that we’re not quite there.. Once Web 3.0 becomes a pervasive concept, I’d say we are there.

    http://unbounce.com/seo/the-adaptive-seo-approach

    I know you saw my article but I invite you all to share your thoughts on that because I really feel we can help shape the Internet. In some ways, we’re going back to the way things used to be before all the screamers and spammers started over-selling online.

    The difference now is that information travels MUCH faster, everything is a lot more connected, and dynamic, user-generated content is on the rise.

    I would say that Web 3.0 really builds upon the two-way communications of Web 2.0 standards by placing the “end-user” at the center of the experience. That means more opt-ins, filters, and customizations to tailor experiences to our specific needs.

    That also means we’ll have to work extra hard to really make some warm connections and inspire people to WANT to listen and perhaps spread our message. 8)

    1. Yomar, I’m not a tech guru so it’s possible I’m jumping the gun a bit. I’m glad you appreciate my brief overview of it, and I imagine we’ll be there soon as computers help us humans make our decisions.

      It’s coming!

      As for your article, it’s brilliant. The future is coming…time to adapt now.

  31. Aaron, I agree with you 100%. I think that, when people say that Klout scores don’t matter, what they really mean is that they don’t think that they matter or that they think the scores SHOULDN’T matter. The reality of it is that decision-makers DO actually use these metrics to make decisions. Regardless of the reliability of Klout, it is a stretch to argue its influence. Decision-makers who know about it seem to think it’s the greatest thing. ‘Wow, you mean all I have to do is look up someone’s Twitter account and I can tell how engaged a person is with his or her audience?’ What decision maker would not be drawn in by that kind of time-saving metric? Klout certainly has some things to work out; for example, I’m not fond of the descriptions it gives users like “Dabbler” and “Broadcaster.” These seem highly subjective and arbitrary. But it doesn’t matter what I think; it matters what the people think who are actually using it to make real-world decisions. And, it seems to me that that is going to be a lot of important people.

    1. Yes, people are hating the player when they should just hate the game. :-)

      I’m not sure all the metrics, descriptions, and accuracy are perfect, but I am sure that it matters. That’s enough for me.

      Doug, thanks for the great thoughts!

  32. I haven’t gone to Klout for a few months and when I logged in after reading this article I was scored a lame 32/100. The issue I have is that i feel compelled to post more, tweet more do more…simply to increase my “klout”. It’s a measure of quantity not quality – this is the issue I have with measuring votes and klout scores…it feeds traffic but not necessarily quality traffic. I understand it’s beta – but we should be working on better filters to measure quality influence.

    b

  33. Aaron, I respect, admire and appreciate you and your high Klout score.    

    Given your dedication and commitment, your high rating is an impressive merit badge representing your hard work. It also acknowledges how you provide value and a positive impact throughout the social media community. 

    However…irregardless of how Klout measures yours or anyone elses influence, it’s crucial we remember that Klout itself, is still a business model that has its own objectives and self interest at heart.

    In my view, true relationships are still based on emotional, interactive, behavioral and intellectual decisions. And even though data can be used to evaluate a human capacity for influence, you and I engage with each other based on many other more important metrics that are still, at this point, immeasurable. 

    What I’m about to say Aaron may shock you – I have a confession. Five months after you wrote the post above, I committed murder.

    Yes, I killed my Klout score. My Klout score died because I want to be evaluated based on clear human interaction. I am not a Ford Focus or Panasonic Plasma TV.

    How I influence online is only a fraction of how I influence or am influenced in life. If judgement is be passed upon me, then let it be based upon my real world actions and behavior. 

    Keep on keeping on, Mr. Biebert. May you, and to a lesser degree your Klout score, always thrive and prosper.

    1. Andrew, screw Klout.  I’m over it.  I log in maybe once a week to give +K back to people who still use it to and appreciate it.

      I’m not one of them.  
      By the way, I killed my score too.  Use to be a 75, now in the low 50’s and steadily dropping.  I cut them off from Facebook and other accounts.I like how you put it:  “I’m not a Ford Focus”.

      Thanks dude.  Let’s connect more.  Screw Klout.

  34. Aaron, I respect, admire and appreciate you and your high Klout score.    

    Given your dedication and commitment, your high rating is an impressive merit badge representing your hard work. It also acknowledges how you provide value and a positive impact throughout the social media community. 

    However…irregardless of how Klout measures yours or anyone elses influence, it’s crucial we remember that Klout itself, is still a business model that has its own objectives and self interest at heart.

    In my view, true relationships are still based on emotional, interactive, behavioral and intellectual decisions. And even though data can be used to evaluate a human capacity for influence, you and I engage with each other based on many other more important metrics that are still, at this point, immeasurable. 

    What I’m about to say Aaron may shock you – I have a confession. Five months after you wrote the post above, I committed murder. 

    Yes, I killed my Klout score. My Klout score died because I want to be evaluated based on clear human interaction. I am not a Ford Focus or Panasonic Plasma TV. 

    How I influence online is only a fraction of how I influence or am influenced in life. If judgement is be passed upon me, then let it be based upon my real world actions and behavior. 

    Keep on keeping on, Mr. Biebert. May you, and to a lesser degree your Klout score, always thrive and prosper.

  35. Wow! That was fast, I accidentally, (because I’m human!) posted my stream of consciousness twice and was busy trying to figure out how to obliterate the duplicate one, then suddenly, there’s your reply. 

    Wow, what’s that say about the business model? Once an outspoken advocate becomes so disappointed with the Klout “product” he and many others begin to abandon it. 

    Klout score murders are becoming a trend I’d say, which does not bode well for their business. 

    The actual profile removal -wow, intensely satisfying and liberating!

    Too many folks devote too much precious time to the Klout cause  and honestly there are far more important things to do!
     
    Peace, brother!

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