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What are your real, honest thoughts about Klout? Does your score really have clout? I keep a semi-eye on what's happening on Klout and a few other systems like it, but I'm just not convinced of the accuracy nor real use. (No offense to the good peeps behind Klout). I just noticed I had a few social profiles that had become disconnected from my Klout account (possibly from a change in passwords) - so I reconnected them and my score instantly dropped from 81 to 75? Huh? Weird. Whatever.

I've heard several influencers say that Klout scores and the likes can easily be gamed. So, IMHO, that renders the system dubious, right?!

Yes, I have directly benefited from one of the Klout Perks this year - I enjoyed the four free bottles of great wine from Lot18 for just a few dollars shipping. So that's dandy. But, do check out my comment on +Brian Solis' interesting post about the "EGOsystem" (link below) where he asks his readers if they would choose to opt out of these scoring systems and leaderboards.


Excerpt of my comment:

I'm not a big fan of being obsessed with all these scores, points, leaderboards, popularity contests, etc. I think the danger comes when individuals get their self-worth from such systems. As several commenters have indicated here, there are other more tangible, real-life ways to measure success... and worth.

Would I opt out? No, not too likely because all my peers are being scored too and there's no real reason to choose to be absent from these systems. Sure, I keep a semi-eye on my various scores, but I would never define myself by them nor garner my worth in any form from them. Let's say something happened that suddenly caused all my scores to plummet to zero. For instance, say it was mandatory to tweet certain content (against my personal values) in order to get scored and I don't play the game. Would zero scores affect my business? Not one bit.

For the everyday business person online, I say just get out there and do good. Focus on heart-centered engaging in social networks, and the scores - if they even matter - take care of themselves.
Welcome to the EGOsystem: How Much Are You Worth? Tweet. March 10, 2011; View Comments. What's your Klout score? How many people follow you on Twitter? What's your authority on Peerindex? How ...
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71 comments
 
I like Klout, but not so much that it upsets me when people don't. I find it interesting that the people who seem to be most against it have very strong scores. You, Gini Dietrich, and others, come to mind. I guess if the people who have all the high Klout don't like it, it must not be of much value.

I do find it valuable in one respect. If I see someone with 50,000 followers and their score is 20 points below mine with 1700, I am pretty sure they are people who are gaming Twitter.
 
+Robert Scoble verrrrry interesting perspective. Hm, makes sense about filtering out the lower quality. It's the 'gaming' of the system that has me concerned. Nonetheless, whenever I look at high scoring peeps, they do seem to have real clout outside of their score. So it probably all evens out.
 
Klout is a better assessment of value than you get from counting friends or followers.

The problem with Klout in my assessment is two fold: 1) a singular value for authority is still pretty crude and unwieldy, and 2) all of the signalling is still based on transaction counts that do not necessarily indicate true authority.

Social proof is tough nut to crack, but Klout is moving in the right direction.
 
Mari, your Klout score may have been off, but the tools and information you share rank far higher in my book!!!! Thank You..
 
I think its an interesting concept and I check it out on occasion to see what they're changing. But it's clearly making some really wrong assumptions in terms of who is influencing who ... personally I haven't found a use for it yet.
 
Hey +Mari Smith I went ahead and switched my Klout to my Social Media Examiner page (which has huge followers and high engagement). And my Klout went from 73 to like 46. That part is kinda a joke and does allow people to "game" the system by attaching and removing various networks to gain an optimal score
 
Let's face it. An app that does the scoring for you, regarding some numbers and pretense influences hardly qualifies as a real and flawless system. Even because, the way we influence can't be the same for all people.
 
How does Klout measure my ownership in a niche forum site with 100K subscribers? How about my various email mailing lists with over 1M subscribers? I don't think it's as accurate as they'd like it to be, but hey... as Microsoft proved time and again, all one has to do to create a standard is to declare yourself the standard and then convince enough people that you're the standard. That being said, I have a pretty decent Klout score that hovers in the 60s.
 
+Tom Anderson - ditto! ;) I noticed I could play around with settings and determine who influences me. I just added your Twitter ID to my influencers on Klout... but can I tell Klout you influence me on Google+?! Lol.
Thank you +Sara Forkel - you rock!!
+Jeff Jockisch - ya, good points. It's early days yet.
 
Wow +Michael Stelzner - so I'm not the only one who spotted the instant fluctuation. That's so odd. I can't seem to get my YouTube account connected for some reason... buggy! YT now connected.

WOA! Guess what? So, I just disconnected my Facebook Page on Klout and reconnected my Facebook personal profile... and my score shot back up to over 81. WTH? So does that tell us Klout thinks having more friends (4,700) vs. having more fans (48,000) is more influential? Maybe it's a ratio algorithm of how many of those friends/fans are actively engaged. Hmph. But then, Fangager.com tell me my fan page engagement rate is on par with several big brands that are highly engaged. Oh well!!
 
+Michael Hiles SO true!! You could be a mega influencer in a whole other arena that Klout is not (yet) able to measure. I doubt they'd ever add email lists and forums to the mix. I see several other platforms coming though, including Quora, Yelp, Posterous and of course Google+.
 
Hmmm - perhaps between the Facebook personal profile vs. fan page, it's data point #3 in the Klout algorithm that changes scoring? (See below). Maybe I have far more influencers as personal Facebook friends than are connected to my fan page. Verrrry interesting. As +Jeff Jockisch points out above, Klout is a start and is moving in the right direction... time will tell if all this has any real, practical use.

From Klout:

The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action. Every time you create content or engage you influence others. The Klout Score uses data from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare in order to measure:

How many people you influence (True Reach)
How much you influence them (Amplification)
How influential they are (Network Score)
 
+Mari Smith Noticed that WordPress is coming soon. I wonder if that would mean huge blogs that run on WordPress could be tied to an influence score. That might be a cool edition for those of us with very large blogs. I also just experimented with unlinking my LinkedIn and Facebook accounts and indeed my score went down. I also like the recent Twitter lists feature they added. Thus you can add a list to monitor all the folks in your twitter list (at least their score). I think the value of this down the road will be identifying people who could be future partners or firestarters (assuming the system is accurate).

HOWEVER, because of the gaming elements it WILL be very successful. It won't be any different that a blog's Technorati score. I predict a lot of folks will rely on the system.
 
+Michael Stelzner thanks, Mike. Great thoughts. Ya would love to see how plugging in SocialMediaExaminer impacts your Klout score! (Does it go higher than 100?! ;)) I like the Twitter List feature too - hadn't noticed up until recently. I pulled in my Facebook/SocialMedia list; kinda cool to see the list members sorted by score which seems somewhat accurate in my experience of them.
 
I do what I do for reasons other than a Klout score. As long as I achieve or surpass my goals, Klout score be damned.

If someone has to game the system because they want a higher Klout score, I think they need to step back and reassess their priorities.

But what do I know - my Klout score is 45 so I'm a Specialist, not a Networker or Thought Leader... ;)
 
+Mari Smith here's the silly part. I'm friends with Larry Winget. His Klout score is... 6. A guy with several NYT bestsellers, keynotes to sell-out crowds, regular appearances on broadcast media almost weekly. What part of reality is missing here?
 
I have a love/hate relationship with Klout. I think I know where they are going, but it ticks me off that automated accounts have high scores while people who actually engage with their people have lower scores. Plus, they have said you raise your score by people with high scores talking to you. If that is not a popularity contest I don't know what it is. There have already been people not hired for jobs based on their Klout score, which is a bit much for an unproven system.
 
+Michael Hiles - Well, if your friend wrote YA kindle downloads about vampires and flogged them on Twitter, he'd probably have a Klout score of 70...
 
I played with Klout, posting a lot and running my score up, then backing off. the klout score is more of an activity measurement. the reach and amplification stay stable. I started on Klout as a contest with a CEO I know, so i consider it more of a game than a quantitative measurement of actual social relevance, which i believe strongly in.
 
I went on vacation for a week...deliberately stayed off the grid as much as possible, and my score plummeted. You should be able to put your Klout score on vacation, too.
 
One thing that drives me crazy about Klout is that you get this alarming message from them if your score drops by one point! I went on vacation, and I wasn't twittering much, and my score dropped a bit, and Klout was all "YIKES!!"
I don't really think Klout is all that... Let's just say I don't stay awake at night wondering how to get my Klout score higher. :-)
I just do what I do... and if I'm getting the results I need, why worry?
Having said all of that, my score is relatively high, in the mid-60's, so maybe that also has something to do with it.
 
As far as the Klout scores go, it's far too weighted towards Twitter right now, imo. I track my score through a Chrome extension and I've noticed it falling steadily over the summer, as my Twitter activity has gone down, but my Facebook activity and engagement is at a higher level than it's ever been. Also, like +Michael Hiles said things like your personal blog, email lists, forums, etc. matter more in the real world when it comes to your personal influence.

I also pay attention to Klout because I think it's interesting what they're trying to do. Their system is far from perfect, but I think they're making the right changes as they evolve towards their ultimate goal. Will it ever be perfect? Probably not, but it interests me, so I pay attention.
 
Klout is an interesting experiment. I do think their algorithm produces more accurate results than Peerindex, but they've got a long way to go. One day I'm influential about writing and the next day I'm influential about bacon. I'm completely puzzled by the list of people I'm supposedly an "influencer" of. I don't know any of these people...
 
More proof that it's weighted far too much towards Twitter is the Klout scores of Beliebers. Are they all as "influential" on FB or other places as they are when it comes to RT'ing each others tweets and posting about J. Biebs all day long? If you look at any Bieber related trending topic, the stream is full of Beliebers with Klout scores in the 70s and 80s. lol
 
I think the algorithm needs tweaking but I really like the use case for Klout for social media and community development. While we'd like to give everybody equal attention in our online communities, many times that simply isnt possible - not enough time in the day. Knowing someone's klout score makes the decision easier.
 
Dr. Robert Cialdini... the guy who literally wrote the book about influence... Klout score of 7. Irony at its finest.
 
I had a 72 on kout for months, then it dropped to a 26 overnight with no explanation. All the while, interaction on my facebook and twitter is increasing (Even their charts show an upward trend). I stopped following it regularly after that. I'm at a 35 now.
 
+Michael Hiles woa!! Oh, actually +Larry Winget's Klout score is 56. (Funny he follows no one on Twitter, lol!) I do dig Larry's in-yer-face style - neat guy. As you point out, there are just so many other factors that ought to be considered for an "influence score."
 
I look at it like I look at website statistics... for trend data, not hard numbers. If I'm trending up or holding on where I am, it means I'm (probably) doing the right things in social media. If there is a significant change in one direction or another, it makes me pause and examine my efforts (in the case of the G+ release, most of us saw a drop b/c G+ isn't measured). Like anything else, take it with a grain of salt. It shouldn't drive your actions, but it can help you study them.

As a good friend (with a Klout score of 67) said to me the other day, Klout is a score. It's not business.
 
Oh my, +Del Williams - I was wondering about the hiring implications. I do know more businesses are turning to tools like Klout, which is one of the reasons I keep an eye on it... but what I find sad and concerning is when everyday people base any kind of self worth on these scoring systems.
+Yamile Yemoonyah verrry interesting!! Thanks a mil for the Chrome extension. Kinda like the PostRank tool for Google reader. Hmm. I added the Klout extension for Twitter and will give it a whirl.
 
It think your real clout is how well you are liked and admired by others. My friend recommending me, my book selling and others giving me compliments "besides my mom" is enough for me. I'm not going to let a number or how many follow me, define me. I'm headed out to go bowling with some friends. Everyone have a great Saturday night!
 
Very interesting discussion. My Klout just dropped 18 points in one day for no apperant reason. The scores do seem to jump a lot more than the old twitter grader for example. I still keep an eye on my own as well as clients' scores for good measure. I've also just started to import my twitter lists (maybe that's why my score dropped??). Oh, and I too have benefitted from some cool perks :)
 
I check my Klout score periodically, and I believe it can be gamed to some extent. The fluctuation in scores can be quite dramatic. With all metrics there is more emphasis on volume (# of followers, etc.) than in quality of content. But maybe quality isn't important. If Klout is about how many people listen to you (as opposed to interacting), we are all trumped by the celebrities out there who can merely open a Twitter account and immediately have high Klout scores whether they post or not.
 
LOL +John Sealander - ok I know where to come for my bacon tips! hehee
Amen to that, +Betsy Kent - I'm all for taking periodic digital fasts!!!
Oh +Michael Hiles - looks like Robert Cialdini's (Twitter account) Klout score is 47? But still, I hear what you're saying! Rather ironic. :)
 
+Mari Smith My Klout score is 86. Is that good? I have no idea. By definition, anyone that tries to game Klout doesn't have clout.
 
Klout can be gamed in many ways. As an experiment, I spent a few days "promoting" on Twitter, and gained over 1,000 followers. That caused my klout score to go from nothing to nearly 70. I wasn't really influencing these people on Twitter, but Klout believed I was. I've been slowly paring away the majority of those "promo" folks who really weren't interested in what I have to say anyway. That is just one way someone can game Klout.
 
+Guy Kawasaki ha great point re gaming = not clout. Agreed on Cialdini. Re your score, I had heard the Klout scoring system used to max out at 80, and so they had to raise the roof for you?!! heheee j/k
 
Klout is far better gauge now than it was a year ago, but it is just a measure based on a mathematical equation. Human being are a little bit more complicated than numbers. I work with small businesses to get started using social media and I encourage them to use Klout as a guideline. Very few small businesses use any form of metric to measure their progress and Klout builds interaction and sharing into the equation, so is more useful as a basic measure than looking at number of followers or connections.
What worries me though is how much prestige Klout is being given. People are making decisions about whether to follow or respond to someone based on their score. I am lucky because I had a fabulous teacher to start me off (You, +Mari Smith in case you haven't guessed) so I have a decent Klout score now by consistently following the values you teach. But, who says I am any more less important than anyone else?
 
Klout, and others like it, have the potential of turning social media into an online high school where aligning oneself with those with influence becomes more important than simply engaging.
 
Shakespeare would have absolutely loved KLOUT, he'd've found out who the woman of the house was and had an affair with her! ;-) Ol Willy knew the heart of rock and roll and KLOUT would've measured that...if the Hurricane didn't blow it away...so to say...;-)
 
I dont get the point of klout and I bet the majority of people out there have never heard of it. Waste of time to me. 
 
To me Klout is like the Better Business Bureau. You can just buy your rating and work the system. Useless in reality. 
 
+Michael Hiles, nice comparison with Cialdini. I drew the same conclusions in a blog post back in Nov. Cialdini's basic concepts on influence (reciprocity, social proof, likability, commitment/consistency) all have interesting parallels with today's conversations around social media and seem to be some of the basis for the Klout model.
 
+Mari Smith +Guy Kawasaki Okay, see now I am confused. I'm friends with Dr. Cialdini and Larry Winget on Facebook. When I look at "Friends" Klout score it shows them both as having very low, single digit numbers. I uploaded a screen shot so you don't think I'm pulling it out of my arse. Here's Larry...

https://plus.google.com/?hl=en&tab=wX#photos/106094933863365925193/albums/5645677045231303025/5645677047939185314

So now I'm confused as to the inconsistency because when I look at Larry through Hootsuite, it's the higher number. Vewwy strange indeedy doodly.
 
+Michael Hiles Wowza, that is crazy. Seems that our scores are dynamic depending on the viewer, then??!! Or possibly depending on which social account you used to log in to Klout? Or is it like that great scientific study where the scientist can affect the subject in a petri dish just by the way he looks at it?! LOL! Actually, what to do to check: log out of Klout completely then just go to Larry & Robert's Klout pages - see what you get then?
 
Wondering the changes to Klout after Twitter not so long ago started wrapping its urls in t.co 's; ... i'd like to know more about the changes Klout is undergoing as a result of Twitter now using wrappers for their urls:

Klout_Gauging_Community_Personal_Klout( hootsuite, Tweetdeck, NotReallyTwitterAy_BigJumpInTwitterTraffic_AfterDoingSo_IE:t.co 's, ..., Facebook, LinkedIn, );

Traffic origins were scattered before; now with t.co wrappers, the origins became an origin; the traffic is now all from Twitter; Klout re adjusted how...if at all?; Personally, i'll have to research for instances of where they've discussed t.co wrappers; i.e, Klout and how Twitter's move affected them and us. One would think that such wouldn't matter so much; it's traffic; traffic is traffic, right...; meh. I'd listen to them lie to me and still continue to ask questions about their innards;

They should share with us users (those in the community they're gauging) in what ever way they can; insight into their means and ways; ...etc. Perhaps catch on to and practice some of the business practices, ... that Google is here with us in G+. So should the Klouts be doing too. Build with community involvement (front & back side of hand) trumps Build without community involvement (back hand only; that out of sight under-toe getting to know me way; only). Maybe some things..., not ruling every instance out where it'd be essential to involve community; certainly its very important to governing people; looking for transparent to the core there; But, Klout? My vote is, it would be better with community involvement as much and as often as possible. Precedence. Is Klout trying to set such a precedence?

It will come a time when one can predict a company's success just based on whether or not business involved it's customers from the start or not, and in what ways... Klout is about an individual and community gauging; striving to be i suppose (a picture; a representation), but it is not involving community in ways it should; i.e., less of the "out of sight, out of mind; but then show up with insights about me...etc." That seems the worst place to be when trying to take on the huge initiative they're Klout has taken on. Real, honest thoughts? They're not open, showing us their ways and means, to try and pull off the service they're trying to pull off. Klout, stop. Are you here or are you waiting on brand pages in order to interact with us? I don't understand how such a company can grow; from the beginning, without some really good people that sure enough know about community building and then think about telling that community that you're also going to gauge them. In ways it's disturbing to see some technical fellows fellas trying to do things like this...without the best people people with them guiding. I'd feel better about the whole Klout thing if the least tech savvy among us were able to answer our questions or give me warm fuzzies with his her clear description for times when i am uncertain about some of their measuring for example.
 
I'd agree that it's more of a barometer than a hard statistic to live by. I recently made a conscious effort to be actively engaged in social media because I launched a blog. I'm also using the blog as a way to explore social media. While Klout accurately displayed when I began my pilgrimage it was way off IMO with who my influences were and who I was influencing. I've harped on my girlfriend to help in being active with my accounts which she has responded to graciously. However, she's not near the top of my influences.

It would be nice and interesting to know who these people are so that if there was someone I was unaware of how often they were interacting I might want to explore a better relationship with them if I didn't know them already. When these metrics aren't accurate it's hard to use them in a functional way.

Also, circling back go the idea of my blog, Klout only lets you connect to Blogger (at least it appears this way) and I currently use Wordpress. That doesn't seem like a characteristic of an unbiased metric to me.
 
TY Mari...in all that's been going on lately, I've lost you in the shuffle. :( I have noticed lately that I tend to go to groups more instead of Fan Pages, only because of FB's changes make it so easy. Looks like you've also embraced Google+ full Throttle. Nice! Is there a way a person can forward shares to Google+ like we do with twitter, linkedin, and other social nets. Just wondered. Have a blessed week.
 
Hiya +Bill Cearbaugh!! By forward shares, do you mean within Google+? If so, that's super easy with the Share button on any post (though any posts made to "Limited" can't then be shared publicly).

If you mean forward something inside Google+ to your other social networks, then try this Chrome extension - it adds an option to share on Twitter or Facebook! https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/fgmhgfecnmeljhchgcjlfldjiepcfpea

If you mean forward content from your other social profiles to Google+, that's not quite in place yet... except the new +1 button just got a new share option added this week! :)
 
hate the metrics, love the idea

being able to measure across many platforms is great- but they have to get the measurements right before I'm "all in"
 
I totally ignore Klout. It's a good idea, but I don't think it can be carried out.
 
Honestly I feel like the numbers/metrics do not make sense. No one really cares about a 'klout' score. It doesn't help or hurt you. Its just there.
 
I recently interviewed Megan Berry, Director of Klout. It was quite insightful and interesting. With +Mari Smith's permission, I will post the link here for you to watch the interview.

Klout measures your influence based upon interaction not on the number of followers. For example, you might see someone on Twitter with 10K followers and a low Klout score, but another with 1K followers might have a higher Klout score. According to Megan, this is because the 1K person is getting more interaction. If I am not mistaken, I believe Klout also measures by the influence of those we follow who may in turn interact with us.

I dislike the fact that say, if I decide to take vacation and don't Tweet, then my Klout score goes down. I guess that is the penalty for going on vacation. :). I am concerned that Klout's algorithm may weigh heavier on Twitter versus other connected social channels. If this is truly the case, I am hopeful Klout will make the needed changes.

Now, I have too like +Mari Smith and +Michael Stelzner among others, experimented with disconnecting social channels like LinkedIn and Facebook to see how that would impact the score. The result was a decline in my score. I don't feel it was accurate. However, when I connected those channels initially, I don't recall seeing a real increase in my Klout score.

I am still experimenting because Klout interests me, plus I want to know is it really accurate? It certainly, as others in this post have mentioned, cannot take into account the influence of your mailing lists among other variables.
 
Totally not an accurate representation. Klout is simply a matter of the more you post & the more interaction you have the higher your score is, doesn't take into account quality of content or interaction.
 
I'll pass on it, same with branch out and other similar sites, if they're considering it as being social media, I really wouldn't think it qualifies as such.
 
Klout is a system so it can be gamed. That's just the nature of "systems." Google can be gamed. App store rankings can be gamed. Amazon Kindle rankings can be gamed :) Klout is a flawed system but does provide some useful info. Every time I think of Klout I somehow end up thinking about PageRank. I don't know why :)
 
I too keep a semi-eye on it, just like I keep an eye on my blog stats or twitter followers. But it does help guage the level engagement of my people around. Def. a person with score of 80 is more engaging then <20.
Though you can still play around with the score, but its fairly accurate.
 
I'm still not sold on Klout, but it seems accurate!
 
Hmm...just learning about Klout, but from the comments above, I think I will hold off on exploring it at this time and save my ego bubble from getting busted. I'll just keep interacting and not worry whether I am making the 'grade'. ;)
 
I don't like it because it only factors in my profile, not my professional page where I actually do most of my sharing. If it factored my page in, I would have much higher klout.
 
It has a useless metric for me. (Just signed in.)

It is only pulling in data for twitter which I consider social and not at all effective for me professionally. I'm effective on a professional yahoo group that's very large (Montessori- so it's select.)

I'm effective on G+ and buzz before that. I don't have Facebook and I don't want to.
 
+Danny Baker Why are you copying me on that article? Interesting in and of itself, but it's irrelevant to my feelings about Klout and it's usefulness to me personally.
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