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Identity and Reputation circle

Who wants to measure your influence?

And don't forget Google, Facebook and Twitter, because they all want to know what info to display for you in your stream.

It's nice so see so much activity here: the competition will give you and I more transparency.

from Ad Week: and via +Esteban Contreras
Lyndon NA's profile photoJ H Gaines's profile photoJeff Jockisch's profile photoGust MEES's profile photo
> the competition will give you and I more transparency.

are any of these transparent?
+Jon Pincus good question, and I think so far the answer is 'no, not really.' But we will get there if I have to build one myself. :)
Do any of these actualy measure real interaction,
or just prominence, volume and fame?

If none of them actually track who see's your post, who comments, what you say/do in return etc. ... then they aren't worth the time it takes to load the page.
+Jeff Jockisch why do you think we'll get there? Competition in search hasn't led to transparency.
"... But we will get there if I have to build one myself. ..."

It's a nice concept - but there is a major problem.
A fair amount of interaction goes on behind locked doors.
Private circles, non-public posts, non-crawlable forum pages etc.

So the perception is skewed already.
This graphic clearly illustrates the mess that this will quickly become. Although, as discussed in another post on this topic, I believe online social influence metrics are here to stay.

Transparency and openness will require a distributed #OpenSource Social Influence standard. See my post on that idea:
+Lyndon NA +Jeff Jockisch Weirdly, as we go forward, transparency emerges because you cannot hide from your online anything. At least not as long as Google lives up to its promise to "do no evil." What you post is what you have to stand behind. (Yes, there are bad actors, liars, pretenders, etc. but we start to have a feel for this kind of thing if we're online a great deal.) And I think the experienced people online can and are already culling to those whose posts are authentic, in real time, etc. Going to continue to be "interesting times." ;')
+Jon Pincus That's a fair assessment. But now we are talking about people directly, not just abstract pages. My identity, my reputation, my influence.

Much more valuable and likely in this use case, even without court or governmental intervention, which is possible here.
+Lyndon NA You are right that all of the data is not available, but I expect that it can be done, even if only by gathering drips from the leaking fire hoses for social data.
+Meg Tufano Certainly we are more transparent. +Lyndon NA and others are concerned that Klout and Google and the other s will not be transparent back to us about how we are being rated, graded, red-lined. And it is a big concern.
+Jeff Jockisch It SHOULD be a concern so I get their issue. One of the most serious questions on our plate in this time in history is just that: who are we letting into our lives? Prior to this online era, one had to know someone who knew you and your family in order to be even able to speak to one another. Class, all that. What we are doing is jumping into our own Constitution and betting that "all men" have the ability to be at least reasonably good constituents in our (at the least, on-line) lives. It's a huge jump.

I have reason to believe that it will turn out well. But I sure can see how it could be gamed, etc., and make life harder for most people who cannot write or reason. It (the internet) probably is already doing that. separating those who cannot express themselves from those who are very good at it.

My mission is to make everyone (in my charge) good at it. I feel like a Hobbit in Mordor. ;')


---Meg Tufano
[ Warning: Turned into a bit of a long rant ;) ]

+Meg Tufano
The problem that currently exists is that those doing the measuring, those promoting the scores ... are not measuring anything of value nor import.

Lets take dear old +Matt Cutts as an example.
How many are following the chap?
How many make sensible, intelligent, thoughtful comments to his posts?
How many people does he respond too?
How many respond to his responses?
How many of the responded to responses does he respond to? (okay ... enough of that, that was far to much hard thinking :D)

Then compare that to someone like Madonna.
Then compare to, well, yourself, myself or Jeff.

What is the interaction level difference?
What is the, for lack of better wording, quality difference?

Now - a human can look and gauge.
With a little time/effort - they can gauge accurately.
As far as I know - there is still nothing out there that can tell Quality content. They can identify low quality (nonsensical, nothing relating the the posts topic, nothing being referenced else where etc.) ... but they cannot look at your previous comment and score it as "insightful".

And that is at the complicated end of the pool.
We are looking at teh shallow and simpler end ... and they still are not (that I know of) looking at the important/relevant stuff.
The number of followers/circlers doesn't actually mean that much.
The number of comments doesn't mean that much.
It's the number of comments that refer to other comments.
It's the number of times the poster comments in response to comments.
It's the life-span of the post.
It's the repeat of the above for shares/reshares etc.
Those are much more important data-points ... and no one that I see is looking at them.
They are simply scrapping the top and calling it cream.
They are ignoring the true goodness and healthily nutritious stuff that lays underneath.

Worse yet - the vast majority (who are generally lazy, ignorant and unwilling to think things through) take it at face value, take it as gold ... and believe what those scores are meant to represent.

It looks to me like we are rapidly heading towards a plebocracy. It's a case of the blind are scoring and telling the blind.
It's going to do way more harm than good.

And as I pointedo ut to Jeff previously - some of the important stuff ... cannot be reached.
So anyone that does attempt to do it properly, is going to run smack into various types of wall, and quite frequently.
I also have this horrid feeling that some (:cough: google and facebook :cough:) will start actively denying access to profile pages and relevant info (for their use only!).
So again - further skewing.

The only transparency I currently see showing up is due to thinness and lack of real substance.
[ Warning: Turned into ... well, yes, another somewhat lengthy rant ;) ]

Ah, then we have the "transparency" aspect that seems to intrigue +Jeff Jockisch so much :D

I have an issue with that (did you guess?).
I also have a concern with it's sibling ... "control".

So there are all these "people" (be they individuals, teams, companies etc.) ... trawling through "my" stuff ... using it to "build a picture" of me.
What if the image tehy create isn't true?
What damage could that do to me?
Who is accountable?
Who do I get to fix it?
How do I get it fixed fast?
How to I get reperation?
Where's my option to not be turned into some obscure, unrelated, likely incorrect and definitely unasked for statistic?

Am I going to be told how they worked out those scores?
Will I be permited to suggest waht tehy got wrong and get it corrected?
Will I be able to get bits removed?

I don't post online to let someone build a picture of me.
I don't post online to be "rated".
I don't want some muppet looking at "me" (my "score") and deciding whether they should hire me or the one that got 1.5 pnts higher.
(Esp. not if that 1.5 pnt difference is due to fluffy kitten pictures :D)

So - there are issues of breaching my space, my personality, my "stuff".
There are bigger issues of getting things corrected when they get it wrong - and they will!
+Lyndon NA Wow am I with you on this issue. I don't even give out grades (I'm a teacher) without a narrative explanation. But the big problem in all this is that the REASON for the algorithms are about advertising and making money (most often--but not always, sometimes (the algorithm) it's about being able to get ahead of bad guys before they do something we will suffer from). If one is reduced to a number for ANY reason (one reason I hate giving grades) then one is reduced, period. I'm all about expansion, hope, appreciating and encouraging great lives. As to scores in this Klout business? I have waded into this topic because it is of interest, but, wow, do I not think it is important long term. We will do in the future what we have done in the past, rely on our abilities to evaluate information from where'er we are at. More education? Better ability to evaluate information. Period.
+Allan Quartly And for years I did not go online in my real name for that very reason: speaking one's mind may be a right supported by our Constitution, but it does not at all mean one can say what one wants!
You will get more followers and a bigger reputation if you post a few fluffy kittens pics, +Lyndon NA. I have seen it happen. :)

I can't really help you on the fact that someone is going to view your profile and public posts and make inferences about you. That transparency we will likely have to live with if we use these tools.

But we can demand access to the data, fixes for wrong info, reparation for ill uses, understandings of metrics, etc. We can offer more/better data and use of tools to companies that offer more transparency.

Maybe there is even a way to opt out eventually. But even opting out might given you a non-score penalty, just like a lack of credit references...
+Meg Tufano
That's fine for people such as you or I.
But the masses are not like that.
They take what is shoved infront of their face, and believe it.

So if they see you with your score, and someone else with their score,
they will not make an educated decision on which to follow.
They will instead side with which ever is given the higher rating.

A fine example of this is Google and the SERPs.
Time and time again I find the information I am looking for on 2nd/3rd/10th page on some of my more esoteric searches.
The 1st page is popular dross ... lacking in real substance. It is there because there are a larger number of morons than there are intelligent people.
So the good stuff ... the detailed stuff ... that gets buried. The simple, the low intellect stuff, the good stuff ... not in easy reach.

+Allan Quartly
I can see what you are saying - and it is right.
But it really shouldn't be quite like that.
Responsibility and accountability ... fine!
But those off moments ... those times you thought you were behind closed doors ... not so good.

Worse - where and when does freedom of expression come in?
Why should people be forced to "hide" some things?

As that is what is going to happen.
The internet will become filled with "nice" people.
In reality - they will be pent up, carrying that vileness buried inside - because they are to fearful to express themselves in any way other than with fluff and sunshine online.
It's lame, it's pathetic, and it's nasty.

I've dealt with "nice".
Google believes in "nice".
I slapped some of their lame developers for doing inferior work, and some of their staff for failing to do their jobs.
The result ... barred from all of their forums (no kidding - all forums ... I've posted in like... 4?)
That's what "nice" gets you.

Yet people don't see it.
They don't realise how damaging this is going to be.
The wrong word, at the wrong time ... and you cannot undo it.

It's nto a case of people needing to be "nicer" or "more careful".
It will force people to act, to lie, to deceive, to pretend.
The internet, instead of being "free", will become "fake".
+Lyndon NA re: As far as I know - there is still nothing out there that can tell Quality content. They can identify low quality (nonsensical, nothing relating the the posts topic, nothing being referenced else where etc.) ... but they cannot look at your previous comment and score it as "insightful".

Actually I think the data might speak much more loudly than you think. There are ways to proxy like 'insight' and the 'contributiveness' of an interaction, for instance viewing how many people respond to posts and comments, what sentiments they note, what topics and people do they already rank for, what words you use, what sentiments you express.

I totally understand the concern about misuse, but I think you underestimate the poser of smart algorithms applies to big data.
+Jeff Jockisch The "transparency" you speak of is what is available to those who are well-read and can write well and who can "see" what the other is posting from an informed perspective.

What scares the I-don't-know-what out of me is that so much is happening online and there are people out there making trouble (for sure) without any perspective at all. They have their blinders on and love it that way.

I do not "get" that. It is a fault in my constitution. WHY would anyone want to NOT know (as far as it is possible to know) what is actually happening? Reality is, in a weird to express way, my best friend. And purposefully (in some cases) trying NOT to know what is happening is just outside my ken. Why would one not want to know? Makes zero sense to me.

Obviously, you are not one of those people, but they seem to be everywhere one looks. It makes me wish I could force world literacy or something similar. I know (from experience) that many people who WOULD want to understand things from what I guess I would call a "big" perspective, cannot because they do not have the resources. That's a different issue. But then there are those who could "get" it, who seem to "on purpose" as kids would say, avoid looking at what is going on. That scares me.

It's probably always been this way, but I guess it will always be exasperating to those who want insight, elevation, the big picture.
The problem with the current facilities is the "noise".
Again - look to +Matt Cutts posts for examples.
You'll see lpenty of activity ... but little of value.

Look at some forums ... again, you'll see a lot of posts, even quotes and citations from other posts ... how many are actually of significance/value?

Yes, we have sentiment extraction stuff ... still not accurate though (80% odd or so?).
Yes, we have entity and subject extraction ... again limited accuracy, when dealing with multi-faceted topics it gets ugly.
Yes, you can use indicators such as volume of resposnes and reshares ... the probellm there being that isn't an indicator of relevancy/accuracy/worthiness ... unless you think Fluffy Kittens are the future?

Social Signals have large issues because we have a highly complex communication model, with a vast array of topics.
We seldom stick to a singular topic and end up with multi-threaded discussions with various time-lapses, topic-jumps, cross-referals, insinuations/ambiguous referals etc.

There is nothing out there at present that can cope with it.
We're still struggling to get solid sentiments that are consistently correct.
Hell, as far as I know - we still cannot get reliable syntactic and semantic annotations due to the variance of langue.
How is an algorithm meant to ascertain whether a topic is of import, and whether the level of activity is due to the subject, or the poster?

Social Media is currently a game of "who you know", not "what you know".

Look at this current discussion.
We have several people holding a lengthy discourse about several key factors within a core topic.
Is it important?
Is it informative?
Is it "correct"?
Is it highly popular?
Is it influential?

See how the last two fail ... dismally.
Now imagine if +Matt Cutts waded in and reshared it?
What would that do to any "metrics".

Popularity is not a metric of worth, unless you want to 'sell' something through that person.
Popularity is only 1 of many potential social metrics ... and out of all of the ones I can think of - it is the least "relevant" to real people.

That said - the important stuff ... I'd love to see someone try to gauge.
How is an algorythm going to understand someones depth of knowledge, wealth of experience and willingness to share them?
Unless that person markets themselves - they will forever remain lowkey and uninfluential.

So again - it isn't "what", but "who" and "how".
It's marketing and manipulation.
Those scores don't reflect community value, nor do they show someone as being "worthy of attention" - they merely give an indication of good marketing, social manipulation, lemmingism etc.

Sidenote: Not to be taking as too disparaging - as I honestly think we have made some major breakthroughs in the last 5-10 years in NLP and SA works. There are some very clever algorithms, and things are looking better - but we are still years off from anything that would give a realistic representation.
+Meg Tufano I agree. It is far too easy for charlatans to trick the uneducated. If it were not the program length commercial would cease to exist. Then who would sponsor all the fragmented cable TV shows? ;-)

But on a serious note it is a problem when shouting or posting or just churning out inchoate noise raises your "credibility".
Apologies for the negativity rants - I guess I just have less faith in the companies and forces at play, and a dimmer view of the human condition than yourselves.

That said - I do hope I'm wrong.
I'd love to be seen as wrong on this.

Here's to hoping :D
+Lyndon NA Speaking your mind is what this whole G+ thing is about. No need for apologies. As to hope, there is nothing I have more of than hope! ;')
LOL - if I was speaking my mind, I'd be making shorter posts :D

Unfortunately, I have larger fears than hopes :(
But, as my nature decree's, it merely makes me push harder.
Even if I have to work with Jeff and build something to do the right job the right way ... then it will be done.
(I hope it doesn't come to that though ... I suck at programming :D)
+Lyndon NA I'm good at programming, but I hate it with a passion. What I love is creating online courses. I'm hoping that I will get a really good job doing that. I'm better at that than anything I've done so far, so? We'll see! In the meantime, "pushing harder" is a good thing. It means your pushing at the envelope, trying to get the most life has to offer. My strong opinion is: GO FOR IT!!!!!
You have a lot of great questions, +Lyndon NA There is no need to apologize for intelligent debate.

I think you are correct that real semantic understanding is still off in the future. But named entity recognition, word frequency, co-occurance words, sentiment analysis, and author rank based on topic are all pretty decent.

Couple that with the social graph analysis on a large scale - not a single conversation but a year of conversations -- and I bet I could predict with 95% accuracy who has an understanding of a topic and influences others on that topic.

Addendum: Of course this is limited to those that post online, which is not generally a great proxy for actual knowledge :)
Good discussions here. I think that eventually the algorithms will be able to detect the difference between cute pictures of kittens and 'quality content' - but you could still very influential for cat pictures. I think we all do this when we have a new follower it only takes a brief scroll down their posts to see what type of stuff they are posting - we make the judgement of quality or fluff.

While there are many competing influence scoring systems out there that we might like or dislike for various reasons, but I think we need to remember that it is highly likely that google+ (google - they are one in the same now - aren't they), facebook, twitter etc must be also calculating a social influence score for each of their users.
+Ward Plunet
As far as I know - G are the only ones who can provide a seriously "realistic" value ... as they have all those sites, the rel=author info etc. etc. etc.
Where as the otehrs need to look at specific locations - G can look just about everywhere (in some cases, they can even look at locked down content that comes under FCF stuff etc.).

The question is - will G permit us to control that information?
+Lyndon NA just curious of what you mean by will G permit us to control that information? What is there to control? Assuming your write/post something in a public internet space. Or do you mean to calculate an open and transparent 'social influence' score.
To be honest I do not know why anyone would want to know someone's influence. if someone is friendly and good company then I could not care less what their influence is. I am totally against putting people into brackets, we seem to be heading down a road where everyone is judging everyone else. there is an old saying which tells us not to judge a book by its cover!
just scanning through the home page and I found it interesting.
Hi Jeff Jockisch, it's very rare that I use anymore Google + even more rare that I use to comment on it! BUT about that Topic I have to talk about it, sorry!

===> NO ETHICAL's ANYMORE!!! <===

#IMHO there is NO WAY to give a global metric on How To people are social or NOT! NO ONE can measure this in reality and so it is ONLY a way to make BIG MONEY as a #startup, to catch people on it who would sell their souls (friends contacts) to get a higher score (like on KLOUT, shame on them; rubbish!!!)

Please check out my #curation  about such strange #metrics here:

I was 1 of first Beta users (invite requested) from Klout, but NOW: thumbs DOWN!!! Rubbish, sorry... Wrong direction, NOT ethical anymore!!! ONLY MONEY driven :((((

My Critical Thinking's, sorry!
I think Klout has some flaws, +Gust MEES, but its actually pretty useful and much less gamed than other metrics like counts of followers. Of course, it doesn't actually measure 'influence' and it certainly only measures certain signals well.
Hi +Jeff Jockisch Excuse-me Sir, I am not agreeing completely with that (don't take it wrong, please), my opinion:

To graduate people and to be negative with a score (less points...) only because they do not belong to a particular group (Facebook + others ..) is not acceptable to me, sorry!

So, it isn't a real measuring tool, NO VALUABLE METRICS! Half-Baked stuff isn't worth to follow anymore...
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