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Identity and Reputation Circle

I'm interested in reading this when it comes out:

Return On Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing

+Mark Schaefer (The Tao of Twitter)
Gregory Esau's profile photoLyndon NA's profile photoMark Schaefer's profile photoJeff Jockisch's profile photo
Yes, I noticed this book a couple days ago. I can't remember how I came across it. But it is a bit of a sign that social influence might cross over to the main stream awareness. I know I have been trying to educate me science friends. I tell them their social influence might end up playing a role in their career.
Lots of implications to what Klout is doing, +Gabriella Sannino

I know some of the social media community have hammered Klout, and for some good reasons, but there will be no stopping initiatives like Klout from trying to measure 'return on influence.' Social signals are too important.

And a very happy new year to you!
Social Engineering, Social Engagement, Social Interaction for Marketing, Social Interaction Metrics ... all of these things are going to become large money pots.

Unfortunately - they will be filled by the same people claiming to be SEOs from last year :(
+Ward Plunet Yes, I agree. Ultimately, there really should not be much an author needs to 'do' in order to be ranked effectively. But until the systems are built out, there will be lots of opportunity to help the signal aggregators evaluate you best - and game the system to your advantage.

Biggest thing to do right now is build your network in the right places (G+, Twitter, LinkedIn) and use Rel=Author in publications.
+Jeff Jockisch I agree there shouldn't be anything you need to do - but if we are talking about an online social engagement then I think my fellow scientist - who are all very social - need to be social online to help spread the news of their science, and the science in their field in general. Now I am talking about one group here, but I think that your general advise needs to be taken- get on g+, twitter, etc and be active (and yes use Rel=Author -- which I only started doing a couple weeks ago).
Still not convinced anyone can truly measure influence...considering all the various signals and search patents out there. It's too large a task for the likes of Klout. But that's my personal opinion. ;) Although I will give them all including peerindex,, truereach, etc. kuddos for trying.
+Gabriella Sannino You are correct - it's very crude so far. All any of them can really do is extrapolate from hints at this point.

In many ways it's not all that much better than counting followers. But it will improve. Topic-based scores are better and the contributiveness signals Google appears intent on analyzing could get us a lot closer.
I would actually be intersted in knowing if +Ward Plunet is working on something? ;) - As an amateur philosopher, writer, neuroscientist...I'm sure he must have something up his sleeve for 2012.
My thoughts here is eventually things like influence and reputation will be measured by output. That is, the ability to attract. Attract people to your ideas, your project, your products (sales), people to other people (connector), or people to your knowledge (maven).
Influence and reputation operate within social systems. If the individuals 'reputation' doesn't eventually benefit the social network within which the reputation resides, then the individual is eventually seen as self-serving and their reputation goes down.

In short, if the group (however large or small) doesn't benefit (measure of output), then the influence and reputation are ill-gained. That has been true throughout history.
+Gabriella Sannino well anybody can call themselves whatever they want on the net :) . And while my neuroscience speciality doesn't cover the topic of human socialness, I do have a deep interest in the evolution of such things as altruism, leadership, power, etc. And of course with the net we can now take a stab at formally measuring social influence, and the whole rippled effect - and do we really influence our friends - or did we pick friends that are similar to ourselves (but I still thing there is plenty of influence going on between friends). The list can go on and on - peer groups, online peer group formation. We live in interesting times.
I forgot to add credit to Malcom Gladwell's "The Tipping Point" in the making of that comment/post.
+Gregory Esau but don't we have that already. The net marketers are always talking about the size of their email list, how big their following, or I guess how much money they make off their followers. Most bloggers have the numbers of how many rss subscribers, and a large percentage put in a place where you can sign up for their email 'newsletter'. So maybe we don't need a klout score, or the rest of the social influence scores - you could use email list followers. But still many people don't blog at that level but still have social influence. I think the game is still evolving.
You hit a lot of key notes, +Ward Plunet !

This is slightly...but only slightly! topic, but we may have seen the end of the era of individualism. Which, as I look at the words on the screen, may be a bit of a hornet's nest.
But if we look at the results of what was an era of rampant individualism, we see the carnage of a society where the few benefited greatly at the expense of the whole.
In an era heading towards 9 billion people, with dwindling natural resources and massive shifts in demographics, that kind of individualism has to come to an end.
Altruism, and non-zero sum relationships will take precidence (sp??) over greed and individualism.
+Gabriella Sannino , you are singing one of my favourite tunes!
I'll be using your blog post in an upcoming post on my stream. Very relevant to themes I have on the go this week.
+Gregory Esau I would like to see a movement from individualism to a non-zero sum type game - but that will not be an easy transition - and I would think might be largely dependent on a very good economic conditions - which might require another technological leap.
Would be interested +Gregory Esau , but is this different than the identity and reputation circle?
It is different, +Ward Plunet . But there's a lot of overlap.
We just got the ball rolling yesterday, so it's still very much in the early stages. We'll be putting together a formal circle later in the week.

(apologies for the drift here...)
Just to bring this back on topic, I would highly recommend the book "Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks" for furthering the understanding of reputation and influence.
{Note: I've been trying to post this for over an Hour - but sontant phone interruptions...}

"... Still not convinced anyone can truly measure influence ..."

Funny - as I've been discussing a little of late this with a few people.
It's not just a matter of who, when and where.
It's to do with "interaction" as well as "volume of action".

The best example I can present is some of the people here.
Look at the "top G+ list" or what ever they called it.
Most of those listed are Not movers adn shakers.
They are Popular due to being famous already, or due to them resharing.
Few are actually Active and Original at the same time.
There are also only a handful that actually Respons/React.

The later is the real key to Social Scoring.
It's not the number that follow you - it's the number that you interact with.

The simplest analogy is the economy.
There has to be transactions; give and take.
If it's uni-directional, (in all, or in the majority), then it is likely to fail.
Hoarding (attempting to gain followers without yourself following - not contributing your own, and simply repushing existing stuff etc.) is not the way to succeed.

So we have things like the number of followers/circlers, we have the number of people you follow/circle, we have the quantity/volume over time of posts, the quantity/volume over time of comments, the quantity/volume over time of comments to your posts etc.
You then have things like subscribers, citations, links to your information, the number of places you post/comment/contribute to.

All of that, and more, combined, can be used to generate a schematic of your interaction level, reach, scope and type etc.
It is doable.
The big problem is - well, there are 3 biggies.
The first is - how much goes on behind the scenes in closed sections, forums, channels etc.?
The second is - how to quantify some of the qualitative information in an automated fashion?
The 3rd is rejoining fractures - some people post under different names, and appear as separate entities. In some cases, these can/should be merged ... in others, they should stay separate.
(Entity extraction is one thing, thematic identification another.)
Thanks for the additional link, +Gabriella Sannino ! And I will be sure to do so.

That's a great post, +Lyndon NA .
Does this come down to what is subjective and what is objective?
If we look at Klout (to tighten the focus back to the posted topic), Klout measures something. And, from what I understand, companies are using it for hiring. Is that right?

What is one trying to gain with a high Klout score? What is it that other's value in another's Klout score?
Ohhh - so much to go over :D

The problem with what we are seeing for usage at the moment (companies looking at posts/profiles/metrics) is;
1) What is being viewed is incomplete, inconcsistent and often out of context/time/phase.
2) Is being viewed - in the main - by those who don't truly understand what it is they are looking at.

So we have people forming opinions and making decisions who shouldn't be doing such, and basing it upon weak data.
Not a good mix at all.

"... A little knowledge in the hands of the stupid is like lead painted toys and 3 year olds ..."

As for subjective/objective - the only way I know of something being done truly objectively is if it is somethign that is done by smoeone utterly uninvolved, who doesn't want to do it, but is told to do it by someone who wants it done

(:mounts hobby horse: - I'm sick of seeing weak questionnaires with opt-out and easy-option responses, loaded questions and focusing on what is wanted to be proven :sigh: )

The hard part is understanding what data can be used to indicate different things.
Over time, the indivdual data points will firm up, and the correlations will morph and expand as well.
We will see more social (and specialised) platforms launching - this time by some smarter people, focusing on specific niches, service types etc.
+Lyndon NA What if we just become more wise from learning from others? This is unquantifiable but qualitatively valuable: makes for a better life. I think we are so used to being thought of as "consumers," we're forgetting that that's not really what we are (it's what we have to do to stay alive, maybe). Aristotle did say we were social animals, but he also said that our purpose, our "proper functioning" was to reason, and the best life would be achieved by those who reason well. (Nichomachean Ethics, 9:4)
_So we have people forming opinions and making decisions who shouldn't be doing such, and basing it upon weak data.
Not a good mix at all_.

That reasonably sums it up for me, +Lyndon NA .
+Meg Tufano
"... What if we just become more wise from learning from others? ..."
It's a lovely concept - and is happening (the internet rapidly increased the rate and reach) ... but it's still a minority thing.
The main problem is - in many cases, peopel are lazy.
The concepts of self improvement, assisting others etc. - they were damaged as the real-world community devolved.
It is (slowly) coming back ... but in a different form.

+Gregory Esau
Unfortunately - it is the truth of the matter.
What makes it worse is - these are the personality types that refuse to acknowledge their own short sightedness :(
In studying for my self directed path towards being a consultant, I come across this a lot, +Lyndon NA . "Personality types that refuse to acknowledge their own short sightedness". It's a big problem in the health of organizations.
To tie this into my interests, I'd like a reputation management system that weeds out these types, and selects for higher levels of personal and group awareness.
+Gregory Esau There is no way (yet) to test for psychopathy. Dr. Hare ("Without a Conscience") is working on it (and has been for years). I have a theory as to why he has not succeeded: because there really may be a scientific basis for morality, i.e., that it's not just about the guy in the sky. So, liars (which is essentially what all bad actors are) exist because we live in a moral universe. Working on a paper on it. (Which, BTW, is why G+ has been so much fun. Wow do you start feeling distressed when you realize how little we can really do about it.) My Dad (a lawyer) used to say there is no defense against a good liar. As to eliminating them from your project, unfortunately, I think the only way is by intuition. Take three of the smartest and most virtuous people you know and call the person on Skype and talk for a few hours and make a "guess." MY guess is that all these metrics are going to work perfectly for psychopaths: Wall Street is full of them.
+Lyndon NA Yes, I think you're right about it coming back in a different form. As I work with younger people, I see a better ability to share ideas and not be so insistent on one's own idea getting the "credit." It is extremely powerful to work in groups like this (ask Google, the most profitable company in the history of history), but it is also––for people like me––a little disorienting. Also, young people are incredibly rude to one another and are so used to it that they do not "get" why looking down at their SMS messages while I'm taking them out to dinner is rude. We will see. ;')
Some interesting topics there +Meg Tufano . Good lying have evolved as it is advantageous - if you can pull it off. But we as a population become better at detecting the liars, but there will still be the 10 or 20% that are more easily fooled (and an aging brain that is in decline are more susceptible). The only problem with the skype interview is the person could go back into 'normal' mode. But over time things come out.
The problem with the term "psychopath" is that it is overly generic, and based upon a singular perception.
There are multiple types and degrees.
In some cases, the presence of such in a person is a virtue. In others, in certain expressions, it is detrimental/criminal/immoral/unethical.

(Note: the latter three are all social falicies - nature has none of them. They are our own constructs)

So it's correctly categorising what is acceptable/not, when/where/how/who.
Then applying it to the situation.

......... but all of that is a little off-topic for the current track :D

attempting to bring myself back to the proper tangent ...
... the ability to source, collect and convert so much qualitative data is going to be a nightmare.
Instead it will fall to a matter of degrees, which is easier/harder etc.
This will result in blatant bias in many cases - so you'll see peopel attemptign to patch their algorythms, introduce false metrics (such as the +1) to match their desired path etc.
It will be highly subjective. yet so long as that is acknowledged and accoutned for - it should actually work.

The scary thing is - do we really want it?
On the one hand we are moving towards a point in time when we could actually improve ourselves with each other as people - and grow as individuals, as communities etc.
On the other, we are working harder/faster to turn ourselves into little mroe than reference digits and plots on a graph.
Interesting indeed, +Lyndon NA the human element, including psychosis, grade, ego is going to have various degrees (numerical) of influence. All of it can be gamed, no question. But isn 't that part of our " ...our own constructs" too? Don't we as a group look for, acceptable, standards by which to grade, rate, judge, equate, comprehend, etc.? I like your thinking, it's evolutionary with it's pros & cons...things that make you go hummm ;)
"... things that make you go hummm ;) ..."

How funny.
When I was younger and made people go "hmmmm" - it was usually a bad thing. Now as an "adult" ... it's good?
What a great thread of commentary!

+Meg Tufano , I just want to tease out one point you made. You talk about no real to "test" for psychopathy (or sociopaths, I'll also add), and on that I'll agree.
But as human groups, tight knit community groups, there is. In tight knit groups, sociopaths and psychopaths have a much harder time 'operating'. This is why for me, high functioning online communities are an essential component of a modern organization, as these undesirable types have a much more difficult time climbing the organizational ladder when they also have to build and extend their reputation and identity within a tight tribe of people.

My own experience reflected this. I have belonged to a terrific online community called Brainstorms for close to 12 years. Reputation and identity were everything to this community. What was amazing to me, was just how fast this community could spot and weed out sock puppets, trolls, and others of ill-repute with the workings of the community.
In tight knit groups, reputation is everything, and without the cloak of corporate culture walls, psychopaths and sociopaths can't survive.

Of course, what is important, is the group culture has to want to select out these types.
What is damaging now, ie Wall Street, is these types are selected for because they get the job down, a job done at the expense of the greater whole.
+Gregory Esau Excellent points. And check out Dr. Hare's site:

My graduate degree is in Depth Psychology so of course I had to study a lot about this (really awful) subject. You are certainly right about online groups: I, too, have belonged to a very tight knit and successful education community that went from blip to the third largest internet college in the world in ten years. It is astonishing how much we came to respect and help one another having never met in person. And you are right too about being able to see the ego coming in like a big black splat into the discussion. I agree, I think it possible that psychopaths (there is a very definite (long) definition for this word--sociopath is no longer used in academic psychology) might have a harder time in online relationships. Be a great Ph.D. thesis subject!!!!

I should add that, being a teacher, I understand that egotistical sophomoric stuff because, well, I have dealt with a lot of sophomores! You have to tease out whether it's inexperience and bravado (with an actual great person in there waiting to be set free); or a bad actor whose main goal is destructive (broadly conceived).

And boy did we have a lot of culling to do with online teachers (as does much of academia). And you're right too about it being easier (if a little legally tricky) (privacy?) for culling bad online teachers. Every single thing an online teacher "says" and does is literally in a printed brief for anyone's observation, word for word. One teacher we discovered just erased all the content (i.e., student work) and told the students to check in with him once a week with an email! (He did not get found out for a long time because he just gave all the students A's! Aaach!) My specialty, besides designing exploratory online courses (courses where you are looking for answers together and learning how to think (like philosophy)) is preventing plagiarism. You just cannot believe what it was like at the beginning, ten years ago. I went from 40% plagiarists to zero (well, .01%) just by the sequence of the work (long story but short story is you have to have the students do little bits of the project in a sequence).

I could not agree more about the last point you make: attitude is everything in work, in life!

You might be interested in knowing that I have had someone working for me for over seven years whom I have never met in person. He's fabulous, never missed a deadline and just finished his Master's in Online Teaching. I "met" him as a student, a sophomore! He was one of my best. I really feel as though I am living in the future, especially as I have been doing all this new work while traveling all around the world. Teaching students who live in Appalachia, TN, from Paris, Moscow, Vienna, etc. It felt (feels) like I'm IN the future!

I like the future!
It may be that it is easier to spot such peoples online than offline for for multiple reasons - but one of the primary ones I would think is that of, well, we pay more attention?

How often do we, as people, really pay attention and actively listen to those around us?
Yet, online, whilst reading - you have little choice. More - you have the ability to recap/review - which you don't really get in the real world (unless you use cameras and dictorphones alot :D).

Maybe, such people/personalities occur and remain undetected for so long due to our current society/interaction patterns? If we had tighter communities, with regular events, get togethers, socialisation (the things we now seem to use the internet for?), we would spot them more readily?
You point to a tremendous challenge, +Lyndon NA .
What I love about it, is where there is challenge, there is also tremendous opportunity.
I walk a way for a couple hours and a brilliant convo erupts :)
Getting people to pay attention, in weeding out those that are undesirable in positions of power and influence.
+Jeff Jockisch I have not yet started making my black-eyed pea soup! This is too interesting! I like the idea of getting people to pay attention; but I think I like +Gregory Esau 's idea more of LOOKING for people who pay attention! +Lyndon NA 's point about being able to re-read and so revise one's opinion of people online is a very important one. In person, one can use persuasion from one's enthusiasm or physical beauty (if one is beautiful), or even one's way of speaking. But online? It's all ideas all the time. Thank you gentlemen. And now to the soup. I will post a picture because it really is a "kitchen sink" soup! ;')
I think analysis of our online behavior is going to reveal more amount us that we might think. It will be able to tell Paris Hilton from Stephen Hawking pretty easily.

While outwardly Klout is just a single aggregate number on display, there is deeper analysis going on. And not just the +K topic system. One basic expansion is work that Klout is doing with posting style. See my new post here for the visual:

They are actually analyzing message content as well as the ways and amounts and collaborators with which you participate.

Google is likely doing this analysis too, via their ideas on contributiveness that +Bill Slawski has discussed previously.
Kitchen sink soup?
That's a mighty big saucepan/pot to cook it in :D

Okays - here's the really awkward/nasty part.
How do people decide what is "good" and "bad"?
How do we decide who the undesirables are, and why they are undesirable?

Now, I'm not just talking about the meglomaniacs, the narcissist, the snarky unhelpfuls that solely exist to upset others, nor the literal psycho/socio-paths.
I'm talking about the other character types, personality traits etc.
What "you" may define as an undesirable quality/trait/behaviour - I may like/view as a virtue (infact, in some cases, I can gaurantee it :D). What I may view us unpleasant, you may deem as borderline or acceptable.

Remember - part of the problems we currently face in the real world our of our own creation (or our predecessors).
Certain expectations, predilections, encouragemetns, values etc. - were built up ... and either they failed, or were subverted.
So what can "we" do to avoid such things.

Something that is dear to my heart - and very important to me ... is how to avoid becoming hypocrites.
How not to make the mistakes ourselves that we dislike in others/that currently exist?
How to categorise/quantify the undesirable - without being prejudice?
+Meg Tufano +Gregory Esau +Lyndon NA great questions, points and examples about why and how online interactions are different and maybe better.

I do think mental pathology will be more apparent in online interactions; there are simply fewer things to hide behind.
+Ward Plunet and others re: liars and evolution. What is your thoughts on the evolution of confirmation bias and the augmentative theory, if you have one?

I'm intrigued by Hugo Mercier's thought that this evolved not as valuable to individual success, but as a way to effectively debate and persuade in groups.
Okay - I think this just shot way above my reading level :D
I foresee I have some reading to catchup on.
+Lyndon NA I doubt that, but I did throw in a couple of new disciplines. Not my area of expertise either :)
LOL - well, no harm in expanding my knowledge pool.
Who knows - I may even like some of it :D
Wow. What a discussion. Where were all of you when I was writing the book? : )

I've spent the last year studying Klout an social influence and all of your questions will be answered by the book, and more. The book is about much more than Klout. It's about online power and influence and how we got to this place. I think you'll enjoy it!
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