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Are you scared or excited about where all of this is going?

Author Rank: Google gets smarter - by letting you claim your identity and content.

Author Rank is Invisible Klout

For the first time, Google has the capacity to value content you create on other platforms. Google can even begin to value your contributions based on its assessment of your actual identity.  from Jay Bear's Convince and Convert:

I love it, but those of you that hate +Klout  should realize that this is not so different, albeit done with a lot more depth and finesse.
Lyndon NA's profile photoJohn Kellden's profile photoMeg Tufano's profile photoGregory Esau's profile photo
Claiming your stuff is already law in most countries, de facto upon publishing.  (Meaning right when I hit enter.)

Not sure what Google is trying to accomplish.
I'm not sure if people are fully grasping what all of this is, why it's happening nor where it may lead us.

So a quick cathup?
* Google has various "products", Search, Places/+Local etc.
* Google ranks things on Signals
* Some of those signals are readily abusable, others are unreliable, and the majority are bias towards "tech".
* G needs a way to allow "normal people" that use the net to have a voice.  It needs a set of signals that is more diverse, and thus harder to abuse.  It needs signals that are more tailored to "people" than to machines.  G needs signals that it can put more trust in.

This leads us to G+ Profiles.
What better way to identify people, vouch they are real, see how they interact?
From there, they can start to associate activities, such as hitting the +1, leaving a rating on a Product and leaving a Review on a Place.
Not only is it traceable, they have a far better idea if it is a valid/real/legit activity, not a spammer/fake/fraud/extornist etc.
So G now has the capacity to take Your input and weight it - something it previously wasn't really able to do with any real degree of trust in that data.

Then you have the next step - Authorship, AuthorRank, ProfileAuthority and Interaction.
They can look and see what you post about, what you read, what you + and what you comment on.  They can see that you aren ot only real, but what your interests and knowledges are.
Who better to state that Diner X is good than someone who spends 10% of their online time looking at cuisine sites etc.?
Who better to + an article about Parenting than a parent?
Who should be considered as more Rank worthy than someone who appears personally trusted by 5 thousand people when they talk about the latest Gadget from Sony?

This isn't just some "social metric".
This isn't simply who has the biggest audience.
This isn't social reach, industry impact or any other barely useful stat that often has little real application.

This is a way for Google to provide you a real voice in how it answers your searches.
This is so you get to express your opinion on a company, and it have some meaning.
You will be able to potentially influence those you know and those you don't as to what is good, useful, important, relevant online.

So it's not just Identity - it's your presence and your influence.
+Lyndon NA The PageRank model, based upon academic citation analysis, is predicated upon a peer review publication system, where it's actually hard to publish documents and cite others documents.  The Web also used to be a more difficult place to publish.

It's become a much more social web, and self publishing is much easier for everyone.  The chances that Lyndon points out reflects that reality.
Sort of scared. Page rank and contextual search is just a big matching game. Assigning authority to people seems on the surface to me to lead to a greater opportunity for bias to be built into the system. Maybe I'm entirely wrong, but it just scares me a bit to know that something I say in one forum could impact my authority in another. I'm particularly worried that this will make people who are authoritative in one field or dimension of life overly credible in areas that they shouldn't be.
+Brian Deyo
Though it's not perfect, G already have a model (or two?) in palce for this in regards to SiteAuthority.
Though a site is highly popular ... if it primarily focuses on Cars, it doesn't tend to show for Rabbits.

I'm assuming G are transfering that sort of setup - so you will be noted for what you appear to be interested in, what you seem to know about, and what others recognise you for.

Thus someone who posts alot about Cabbages will likely be seen as an Authority on Cabbages and rank higher, be suggested to those with a simialr interest etc.,
but not to those searching or interested in Bricks.
To clarify, page rank is more than just a matching game, and now that I think about it, the exact same mechanism will work for Agent rank. The difference that I hope is built into the system is that they properly account for context. So if I'm an agent with a AR of 6 (1-10 scale like PR) and I like, +1, share (link) to someone, I want to make sure that their authority boost because of my approval of their content is in some way proportional to my specific agent rank for that topic or context. If not, things get really scary really fast with the most popular and credible poeple driving the conversation all over the place. I think they'll sort it out. The problems aren't much different than the link graph.
I haven't had opportunity yet to compare Social vs Link graph,
but I'm guessing there are strong relationships.

As for the PR thing ... there's so many parts to it all.
PageRank, Trust, Subject Authority, Relevancy ...
They can transfer quite a bit of this over.
I'm pretty sure they have been migrating stuff between other products (Citations/References from Places to Web, Ratings etc.).  So I don't see them having difficulties applying the same here.

But I'm hoping what ever the differences are - they are minute/small.
I don't think PersonX should be worth x10 PersonY.
The divide between some sites is already bad enough - thoring the same distance in again due to social will make some things unasailable.

I'd rather see them crack real Relevancy and Quality.
This is going to make a huge impact. It makes everyone personally vouch for the content they put up on the internet. If you write a bunch of crappy content, it'll be stuck with you, dragging down your personal authority.
+Fraser Cain 
Not if you can disassociate from it.
Not if you can remove it.
Not if you run psuedos.

We don't knwo how G are going to handle such things.
Chances are - nor do they.
Considering they didn't even bother planing consolidating + values across variant URLs/Canonicals/Redirects ... I doubt if they are ready to tackle the other possibles.
+Fernando Fonseca I'm much more positive on Klout than you.  I think it does have value in an aggregate way and I wouldn't classify it as a scam.

But you are right that Google is analyzing deeper and better.

Still, I bet that if Google were to show you an overall number of what they thought of you, they would get the a lot of venom.  And maybe that is the point. Its about data and topicality, not a single number to rule them all as +Brian Deyo and +Lyndon NA point out.
The difference here, +John Lewis  is that ownership isn't currently part of the Link Graph...  Google is allowing you to encode your site such that you claim it and link it to your G+ profile.  

The value to you is that it can potentially increase your search rank if your author rank on related topics is high.  Ultimately, this means its harder to game Google by gaming the Link Graph. 
That is a great data point, +Fernando Fonseca.  I understand your concern.

But we cant reliably extrapolate from one data point. Or even effectively draw conclusions based solely on personal experience.

I write a lot about reputation and influence and even Klout. It has many limitations.  But it also has value to marketers that take the time to understand its limitations.

Here is another take from +Gideon Rosenblatt :: Klout, Influence, and the Future of Business 
+Lyndon NA I would look at reputation on eBay as a good example. You can always abandon your profile and start from scratch with a new identity if you like. But if you want a good reputation, you have to earn it over time and build up connections in a specific topic area. 

You can create content and dissociate from it, but content you dissociate won't give you any benefit either. 
Regarding Klout, I did a quick essay on that. The bottom line is that Klout matters. Maybe not in its current incarnation, or even with this company.

But there will absolutely be an online reputation system that people can use to learn about every single person on Earth. We'll all be in that system, whether we want to or not. It's just too easy to create and maintain that system. You can see it getting built in vertical niches, like rating doctors and instructors.
+Fraser Cain
Multiple problems lay there though.

If you are able to disassociate content ... then you can shed weaker, less interesting, low value produce.
If certain methods are implemented for ranking - it will pay to cut the fat.

As for making in roads with others - that has so many dangers it's pathetic.  It would be like real life, with all it's ugliness spread for everyone to see.
You'll be forced to bite your tongue, turn a blind eye, kiss backside ... just so you can "rise through the ranks".
And lets not forget e-sociopathy - gaining associative glory, hooking into various names and rising simply through proximity.

The PR system was flawed ... and G never really bothered to correct it.
They have built on top of it and applied additional factors.
I've witnessed G's general inability to learn from past mistakes ... and worry that they will recreate the same problems, but on a Social Scale this time.
Not good if they do.
+Lyndon NA But something like this is going to be inevitable. The success of Klout so far shows you there's huge demand for it. It will be built, so the question is how it's going to be built. For good or evil. The only way to opt out will be to fully disconnect. This system will be built and it will include you, whether you want to be in it or not.

As with eBay, I don't think you'll be able to disassociate content. If you've ever claimed ownership, then you're stuck with it. If you give bad customer service, that's stuck on your permanent record.

I think you'll be able to disconnect entirely and start up with a whole new profile - just like you can on eBay. 

So if you want to create content that isn't associated with your main identity, you need to claim it from another identity. You won't get any benefit or penalty to your main identity.
I still will not join FaceBook!  Klout is just going to have to start realizing that some people are not FB people, just like some people are book people!  (Do they bring books into this +Jeff Jockisch ?)
You need a Twitter or FB profile to get into Klout's SSO, +Meg Tufano, which is a shame.  But you do not really need to use them.  Once in, you can connect up your Google + stream and watch your score soar :)

No way to track and value what books you read, Meg... Yet. :)

Same as things like keyword search volume - how many of the reported usage stats etc. are merely ego-trip occurances?
How many are realising it's limitations, it's irrelevancy, that some of it has no real bearing on reality etc.?

No idea how G will handle the "memory" or "record".
They retain copies of pages in various states ... but will they reference old data that nolonger seems to apply?
If so - for how long until they classify it as non-active?

Opting out isn't that hard.
You simply don't use the same profile, you don't publish in ways that can be associated etc.
(For example, until G+, there was very little out there that ties me to my stuff.)

You could publish - see how it fairs, then claim it ... or not ... or with an alternative profile.
Well, you could digitise them, then apply Rel Pub and Rel Auth... :D
+Lyndon NA +Jeff Jockisch My real problem is that I don't care.  I mean I DO care that people read what I write and I love having friends online and off, but I am just hopeless in worrying about popularity per se.  One of the many reasons I do not want to be "liked" or "friended."  It dilutes what those words really mean.  But OK +Jeff Jockisch , I'd rather have a tooth pulled without anaesthesia, but I will join FB.  I've been worn down.  ;')  Come friend me so I won't be all by myself.  I will probably never make a post there.  
I couldn't agree with you more.
I was forced to do that too.  Apparently one cannot be a social media expert without being a twit.  ;')  @MegTufano Come and tell me something pithy!  ;')  
Yeah, I'd go the Twitter route and log in there.
+Jeff Jockisch We know that Google would love it if ownership were part of the link graph though:

Google's Affiliated Page Link Patent

That patent was filed in 2004, which predates a lot of the thought that Google might have had involving authorship. It's something that they would still likely consider doing, especially if it were much easier to verify the ownership of a website. How much do we gain, and how much do we potentially lose by associating our sites with ourselves?
+Bill Slawski I like the idea of always being who I am no matter where I am. I don't know if that's in the algorithm or not. Then again I would never stoop so low as to post a picture of a cat on FB ( +Jeff Jockisch ). (Kidding. But not about wanting to be ME no matter where I am posting or speaking.)
+Meg Tufano If you want to give me a clue as to why you're telling me that, I would appreciate it.
I'm different on Facebook and Twitter, +Meg Tufano 

Twitter and LinkedIn and Google+ are mostly professional for me.  Facebook is a whole other story, even though I'm not really engaged much there :)
Provocative question, +Bill Slawski re: 'How much do we gain, and how much do we potentially lose by associating our sites with ourselves?'

I think its becoming a whole lot harder to private in our connected world. I might want to be associated with me, but maybe not

Its a little scary to think that we are forever beholden to our past actions/connections/purchases. No mulligans makes life tough...
Not sure if this is part of the Google plot. Google is applying for app. 100 new TLD's. If Google is the registrar, they make the rules. That means that if you register with one of Google's TLD's you may be required to be who you say you are. Hmmm... BTW Amazon is doing the same.
Right now, my website is under attack by Norton Identify Safe, which proves that no one's identify is truly safe. When visiting my page, I get redirected to a message that says that my page is a known fraudulent Website.  Except it's not!

A visit to Norton Security via onsite chat, and I'm told that it's an error, and one that is affecting a lot of websites.  They are working on a fix, and it should only take 24-48 hours.

I explain that they are harming the reputation of my website. They offer me an additional 30 days credit on my Norton subscription.

If I wasn't a Norton subscriber, I would have never known that they were telling the world that my website is a known Fraudulent website.
My condolences Bill :(
+Jeff Jockisch Google is a company build on knowledge and hard work, useful for the community all over the world. Klout throw away chewing gums, mustaches and other useless perks... This company destroys trust between business and consumer because their data is spammed and tricked...
I trust Google because Google works together with me and gives me a lot of things I can use and work with. I will never trust Klout because their tone is arrogant and there are only big words and a lack of service behind...
+Meg Tufano +Jeff Jockisch and +Lyndon NA Thank you. It looks like Norton figured out what was going wrong and rolled out a live update, and I'm no longer seeing that message. It does show how much power a company might have in impacting your online identity for the worse.
It's more than a little scary that so many people can influence your availability and the perception of you that directly.

Then again - in this day and age - none of the big corps/co.s are accountable.
Google can get it wrong, and leave you shafted for Months.
OS creators can release updates that kill your machine.
AV providers can mis-label you.

Gaurantee if any normal person went around say/doing the same to them though - they'd hold us accountable.

Still, glad it is resolved, and somewhat quickly too.
+Bill Slawski Wow.  That's amazing.  Glad you were able to get that fixed.  There is just so much that we cannot know about what is being done with our identities.  The thing that I just will never understand is who has the time for all this nonsense?  It's like vandalism, what's the thrill in breaking something?  Literally never "got" it.
Eventually, metrics needs to be empowering. Metrics designed to be improved when gamed. For all the people who realize we're evolving towards an intention economy, this will be good news.
The only problem with the whole "intention" barrel is the vast variety of possibilities, and the limitations some face from the start.

As yet - I cannot see a way to level the field and have everyone as an "equal" - there is always bias, and it often seems to be by order of magnitude and favouring the same groups ... which is tiresome.
I see no way for new ventures, new people, new sites, new businesses etc. to be able to take placement based on legitimcacy, quality, real intent, true value etc.
All the other metrics fail to promote equally :(
+Meg Tufano 
It's a concept/view of empowerment of the individual, and feedback up the chain.
Rather than the Companies/SItes holding the cars, the end-user/customer will hold more sway and control.

Personally, I'm not exactly a believer - but I can see a degree of where it comes from and how parts of it may apply.
+John Kellden I'll look Searls up.  Meantime +Lyndon NA , I guess I am a perfect example of this entire idea!  I met (totally by accident) up with first +David Amerland in +Gregory Esau 's hangouts (Greg is trying to create an online community that is similar to an angel investor/charitable/sustainable community) and then David and I started talking about what we're "into" (I then read his book, "The Social Media Mind") (I design online courses and teach philosophy).  We kept finding ourselves "into" the same threads, got to know +Robert E. del Sol who was trying to help me figure out how to become a Google Enterprise Partner (answer:  lots of hard work) but also taught me about so many business things that he is like a total business resource in one person (he is a successful serial entrepreneur and beyond generous with his knowledge).  +Leland LeCuyer and I meeting is a small miracle:  we both attended the same college (different years), but only 100 students per class!  What are the ODDS?  (I can do the math, but, seriously.)  And he is a philosopher who keeps me asking questions and, trust me, I ask enough of my own for ten lifetimes.  Then +Shaker Cherukuri kept quietly being in so many of the same threads and kept making succinct, accurate, points about business, social media, philosophy and life in general that . . . we formed a social media think tank!  And we're going to have our first event on August 10th AND WE DID ALL THIS HAVING NEVER MET IN PERSON!!!!!!  You can come and see the sparks fly:
If this is not an example of the future of social, I don't know what is!  Now that I have been forced to join Twitter and Facebook, I will report back to +Jeff Jockisch to see if I now have any Klout.  ;')  
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