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Will your Klout score influence your real life?
just a silly social game or will you be checked at a job interview and receive better customer service if your Klout is high enough?

Last spring Sam Fiorella was recruited for a VP position at a large Toronto marketing agency. He was caught off guard when the interviewer told him it was 34. “He cut the interview short pretty soon after that,” Fiorella says. Later he learned that he’d been eliminated as a candidate specifically because his Klout score was too low. “They hired a guy whose score was 67.”

Klout is starting to infiltrate more and more of our everyday transactions. In February, the enterprise-software giant introduced a service that lets companies monitor the Klout scores of customers who tweet compliments and complaints; those with the highest scores will presumably get swifter, friendlier attention from customer service reps. In March, luxury shopping site Gilt Groupe began offering discounts proportional to a customer’s Klout score.

Matt Thomson, Klout’s VP of platform, says that a number of major companies—airlines, big-box retailers, hospitality brands—are discussing how best to use Klout scores. Soon, he predicts, people with formidable Klout will board planes earlier, get free access to VIP airport lounges, stay in better hotel rooms, and receive deep discounts from retail stores and flash-sale outlets “We say to brands that these are the people they should pay attention to most,” Thomson says. “How they want to do it is up to them.”

abridged excerpts from

*Where are you on the picture? Beat the Aflack Duck? And if you do better than Ron Conway, do you really expect to get his VIP treatment in the future? What does your Gilt shirt cost you?
Johan Bové's profile photoMark Holmes's profile photoCalvin Arterberry's profile photoCharles Profitt's profile photo
I checked and Sarah Palin is catching me so I´m losing from an ignorant Alaska housewife ;) However I don´t believe I get the same press attention nor will I ever get the GOP credit card I guess.
I should talk to that marketing agency in Toronto... :)
You know my take, +Max Huijgen: Social Scoring is impacting your life whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not, whether you think it measures anything of value or not.
I just tweeted a complaint to VZW today, and they responded quickly, and scheduled a follow up call with me this afternoon. Wonder if my 65 Klout had anything to do with that?
Just what the world did not need... more celebriots.
I know +Jeff Jockisch and I agree. Whether you hate or love it, it will be the Nielsen of personal branding.
So gaming your Klout score is the punters route to becoming a VIP?
+Jeff Jockisch could not be described more succinctly. +Chris Jenkins no it didn't, companies are finally starting to realize being immediately responsive to customers via social channels is an absolute must in the 21st century and new era of 'social enterprise'

everyone else: klout really does represent something tangible. whether or not it is 'important' entirely depends upon the frame of reference.

what i find most interesting about it is that my 90 day klout score increased from 20ish to 60ish with only 600 additional followers. that also corresponds with how long i have had a laptop at my disposal and been writing/engaging on g+.

people with hundreds of thousands with a lower score. why? because they do not engage/influence people THROUGH SOCIAL NETWORKS not that they are not influential or important.
+Zo Fryer yes it´s a game, but so is being a celeb in real life. I don´t know the rules, but +Lady Gaga knew how to convert a shy, unknown high school girl into a personal brand in real life. So even if it´s a game of which I don´t know the rule it´s not different from real life.
Now that you mention it +Chris Jenkins I had some problems with my phone and it was escalated to second level and indeed I got emails and even follow up emails reminding me of the emails. Maybe Microsoft checks?
Talk about random metrics. I like having a decent Klout score, but it's hardly what you could call an SAT score of true relevance across the board.
+Amanda Blain with your Klout you could start a shop in man´s clothes if you buy Gilt ;)
I prefer Klouchebag scores.

That Toronto marketing agency -- good thing they remained unnamed. I am tempted to to do nasty things to them.
+Max Huijgen the rule is to engage with people who are influential via social networks. the more the algorithm sees you interacting with people who have 'more impact' than you, the more impact it knows you have. look at my score with 200 twitter followers and 2500 g+ ones. doesn't make sense that people with 250,000 twitter followers have less... until you realize their followers even if they have a large amount of influence are not engaging directly with them.

in a way, my klout score is proof that it isn't gaming the system, they just view influence a lot differently than folks think.
+Max Huijgen It bothers me though that we have given the world a new measure of popularity... we already have too much of that taking place.
Not surprised. Facebook and linkedin have been used as deciding factors for job candidates for awhile now.

If this guy is in marketing and only has a 34 then he's really not connected to modern media. Mine's at 38 and I'm not really that notable (mostly I just re-share articles I find interesting, add my thoughts and send. I'm not actively trying to create a community, I just like to share thoughts and opinions on certain topics). I comment a lot on OTHER people's posts, but I don't think Klout counts that.

I also only use g+. Someone in marketing should be maximizing their twitter and facebook useage, and should receive much higher scores than I have.

EDIT to add: Don't think social media is not 'real life' the blurr between internet and 'IRL' is growing. Especially businesses. Companies that treat their online presence as an 'add on' rather than a core feature are selling themselves short. Retail spends billions of dollars learning product placement techniques, but won't put any effort at all into their online cataloge options are really out of touch.
The biggest issue with Klout is the "time" factor. As soon as you're no longer actively posting on the social media your score will go down. Does it mean that you are less of an interesting person just because you're not posting? It's a game and to base real-life decisions as important as hiring somebody based upon the Klout score is fundamentally wrong. Posting a lot of links to interesting articles does not make you the author of them.
+Johan Bové completely miss my comment? klout represents influence on social media != influence on the world as a whole
A comment about Klout made the buzz some month ago on G+. A media anchor went on vacation for 1 week, and after he few days he noticed that his klout score had dramatically decreased. Does that mean that he wasn't influential anymore?

That means that you should keep tweeting before applying to an interview.
People love numbers to base their decisions off rather than relying on capability or reason. Who cares if they are arbitrary or meaningless? Lazy filtering models for lazy people with little understanding will always be popular as so many people lack capability. Will it affect me being selected for certain amazing life events? Perhaps, as I opted out long ago. Will I feel any sense of loss not working with companies that are so myopic? Not likely.
+Phill Hocking I guess I just wanted to add my say to the discussion. You're probably right. I was merely reflecting to the danger of Klout being influential in IRL and not on social media alone.
+Venkatesh Rao My Klouchebag score is much lower than my Klout score. That means I'm a fine, upstanding internet e-citizen, I trust.

+Phill Hocking I agree. I've got next to no one following me on Twitter, but some of those people who follow me and I interact with regularly are influential, and so I find that my reach on Twitter is far greater than the number of followers alone would imply. Come to think of it, has anyone gamed Klout yet?
The real question is how much did everyone's #Klout score go up by talking about it in this thread of comments.
Had a look at Klout, and then I remembered it's a business with a financial purpose and what do they make their money out of?... my information, activities and social network. Unregistered. Sure they do the rewards and it's a big ego trip for those who can be bothered to put in the effort, but the point of it is the majority just register, forget about it and are feeding them valuable and resalable information. I'm already doing that for Google, and get far more reward for doing so (i.e. access to Google services, relevant content aimed at me, etc). Klout aren't giving me anything unless I'm really prepared to put in the effort. Much like Foursquare.
I can understand how companies would pay more attention to complaints from people with high Klout scores. If Bieber started tweeting about how a company had completely screwed him it would hurt that company slightly more than if I did.

But a deciding factor in getting a job? Unless it's in marketing or PR, I really don't see how it can matter.
That said, in software I've seen a few job ads which make a big deal of your professional social activities, e.g. wanting to see how big you are on GitHub or StackOverflow, what open source contributions you've made, etc. Some add the dreaded "rockstar developer" into it!
please don't notify about these kind of posts tx
I'm a rockstar developer. Whenever I finish writing an app, I smash my keyboard through my monitor, and piss all over my desk.
Matt Thomson, Klout’s VP of platform, says that a number of major companies—airlines, big-box retailers, hospitality brands—are discussing how best to use Klout scores.

There is something very circular about making up a scoring algorithm (with zero transparency) and basically declaring it to be "the standard," when there is no objective comparison vs. any other measure.

Perhaps the result of these discussions will be that the best way to "use" the Klout score is to ignore it.
+Alfonso Surroca and +Phill Hocking - that must be it. I haven't looked at my Klout for quite awhile, and some of my new contacts have really high scores. For example, I talk a lot with +Liz ℚuilty because we share a lot of common interests and she has a 74, and we post mutually on each other's stuff. So even though I'm a 'nobody' I still have a higher score than the marketer who didn't get the job in the OP.

Klout measures 3 main things, and network influence (how high your network's score) is one of them. (Apparently my 'True Reach' influences 124 people compared to 50odd a month ago - how did that happen?)
Humans are always searching for ways to simplify their reality to make the right choices. That's only natural and necessary. But, among the many simplifications, using the monodimensional Klout score as the judge of personal influence... that's just lazy, and stupid. I would only understand it if you were looking for a social media manager, but nothing more.

By the way, here comes a new opportunity: KEO, Klout Engine Optimization :D
scrambles to register
+Mark Holmes It's a general trend in the society. To count, measure, and reduce everything to numbers. It stems from two different things. The first one is the capitalistic socio-economical model. What can't be measured can't fully enter the system. The second one the science goodwill. People believe that putting a number on everything will improve society.

But it can as well have devastating effects, like what we see happening on education, which is a less tangible issue that some still want to reduce to numbers.

It's not the fault of anyone in particular, its more like the fact of a whole system that we're living in, a motley collection of speeches, reports, doctrines that leads us in the same direction.

French thinker Foucault used to talk of "pouvoir-savoir", which is the name of a concept of gaining power from knowledge. Measuring is knowledge. Knowledge is power. So every entity tries to get its share. Even if that may be through absurd ways.
How accurate is klout anway? I wish they are more transparent in the ranking.
+Lincoln Lim, not at all. I've seen my score drop after slamming days on social media where I had racked up hundreds of +'s and likes.
+Alfonso Surroca i think if anyone can claim they 'gamed' klout it would be i, doubt anyone else went from 20ish to 60ish in 90 days. but the way i 'gamed' it was simply by engaging with people who interested me that were authoritative in their area of expertise.

i didn't set out to get a high klout score, i simply only bother with people that interest me enough that they are thought leaders in their particular space.
+Cédric Lombion As far as 'society by the numbers' goes - you credit score is used in a lot the same way. It's starting to influence morgage and insurance rates, and weather or not you get a job.
+Phill Hocking, I went from 10 to 66, and have only been on just over a month. However, I also have a remarkably diverse and intelligent social media circle, and trim out the spammers and the noise.
Not that I'm marketing myself as a personal brand, but just out of curiosity, having read this post, I just tried Klout out. I'd interpret the data as very Twitter based, and that anything here on Google + doesn't seem to matter. Of course, it's not like I was trying to be the next Lady GaGa or anything. But maybe I should try having her in my circles instead of many of you above?
How did one of my topics of influence turn out to be horror?
+Phill Hocking I basically did the same thing. I registered for the heck of it and had a baseline score. A few months later I checked and had something in the 60s. G+ only.
+Gaythia Weis I rarely use initial Klout network analysis showed 85% Facebook, 15% G+.
The emperor's new clothes. And a marketing agency that uses Justin Bieber as a reference????? Who wants to work for braindead people like that?
+Gaythia Weis I almost never use Twitter, all g+. I got 'deals' as one of my 'automatic' topics. No idea how (I might have made ONE post about the Scanning Code of Practice, because I was getting free stuff twice a week from wal-mart because their ability to update their shelf labels after sales was horrible), the rest, which I talk about a lot, I had to add myself.
+Jason Hurtado Daniels i feel exactly the same way. i'm actually afraid of getting a bunch of followers because as you said it will dilute the concentration of the stream
As an aside I have made maybe two hundred tweets in my life and I only post on G+. For the last two weeks I´m on a G+ minus diet, meaning I rarely post.
However my Klout score has moved a bit but it´s all irrelevant as all the graph shows are variations from 72 to 74 so I don´t understand why people are afraid to go on holiday. Mine seems hardly related to what I do.
+Jason Hurtado Daniels but that last reply was not to the comment about scoble. hell, my klout score might just be so high due to my interactions with him for all i know. he is incredibly relevant to what i do being not only a rackspace partner but cloud computing expert.
Thanks for the explanation +Phill Hocking. Had the same as +Chris Jenkins and +Brian Titus Registered to know what it was, got a steady 10 until they picked up G+ and shot into the sixties. Shortly afterwards I was in the seventies without doing anything about it.
+Max Huijgen I know - yet I still refuse to conform - people that take this bubble serious, I don't take serious - makes my life much simpler, as they disqualify themselves on the spot (I'm sure they think the same about me, but I have a point - they just follow the herd, not even understanding it is some castle in the air).
Hi, +Max Huijgen. You are right. It is a part of life now. But individual people still need to decide for themselves what is authentic to them and what isn't, what they are going to participate in and what they refuse to participate in. Starting from a very young age, you can angle to get into Harvard/Yale/Princeton because they are the schools to go to (just an example), or you can machete your own path through life. Ahem....Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard, I do believe.

And let's not even bother to make a list of the exceptions to these How to Succeed rules. Ahem...Fred Astaire was told he couldn't dance. So...while it may be a part of life, it isn't all of life and people can choose to participate or not. Not every actor/actress who makes it in Hollywood went to a League School. Not everyone who does is the Cream of the Crop.

Nothing that is true today will be true six months from now. Cormac McCarthy doesn't give interviews. Hasn't stopped him from being a brilliantly successful writer. There will be a new measuring stick right around the corner. Just you wait Henry Higgins just you wait...

More often than not I tend to get really great customer service. I think it's because I'm nice to people. I don't know what my Klout score is...and I don't want to know...
My 2 minute analysis is that their data is really really old. One of my other topics of supposed interest, was ptsd. This is, I know, related to twitter exchanges with journalist David Dobbs based on his blog posts. But according to Goggle search the last post that links Dobbs Gaythia and pstd is November. So, +Max Huijgen maybe your G - diet won't show up for a few months or maybe it will get time averaged out.

Does everybody else realize how social media has made it suddenly valuable to have a unique name? Most of my life I thought it was a giant pain to have to spell it out and explain it all the time. Now, people will probably be trying to reserve the domain name before they get pregnant. Of course, it also makes it very hard to be anonymous in an online search. I do wish Google would stop conflating my name with "Gay Thai" however.
Klout's topic-based system isn't particularly intelligent yet in suggesting tags, and appears to only be based on Tweets across time from my experience, +Gaythia Weis.

But topic based scores will much more valuable as they get smarter.
If I was in an interview, and the interviewee put Klout on the table, I'd wrap up and leave. Any company that puts that kind of scoring into the equation, would disqualify themselves from places I'd want to work. I mean, seriously! These kinds of statistics are worthless. What kind of Klout does Stephen Hawking have? And Perez Hilton? Which of these two matters?
Much of what we're talking about here is Klout as a means to economic signaling.

Economic signaling saves money, by outsourcing the filtering and ranking of people to a third party. For companies looking to hire, the primary economic signal in the past was educational degrees and our pedigree of the places we've worked. When we've attended the "right" universities and worked in the "right" companies, that becomes valuable information for screen resumes. Now, Klout is adding another dimension to the mix. It is filling a perceived hole around the whole question of influence - who's got it, and who doesn't.

My issue with Klout is that I do not believe there is one, standard way of thinking about, let alone measuring, influence. It completely depends on context.
But it does seem to matter for PR people. I have tons of invites for people wanting to be interviewed, do demos, etc., and I know that Klout has played a role in that.
+Gideon Rosenblatt - Considering the fact that the truly influential discussions do NOT take place in social media - Klout is the emperor's new statistics.
My Fair Lady, that would be +Giselle Minoli, has this absolutely spot on. There is no replacement for politeness, understanding, and charm in human interactions. Many of those commenting here know my views as do you +Max Huijgen. Klout is an insidious beast that has recently decided to float a trial balloon on what must be one of the most sickening potential business models that I have seen in my eighteen years in this sector.

Maybe it would be better if the algorithm (such as it is) had ever made close contact with a mathematician and a team of social scientists.
Additionally - anyone with enough spare time can game these statistics.
Agreed, +Lars Fosdal. Economic signaling doesn't have to be perfect; just good enough. Lots of folks who make it into Ivy League schools don't necessarily make the greatest leaders or even the best employees. But school degrees (and even GPAs) are a convenient, scaleable metric, that does a decent job as a filter. Any company that relies on that exclusively will go out of business pretty quickly, so it usually works as just the initial screen because it's cheap and scaleable.
Actually, when hiring - a high Klout would be a warning sign. An indication that these people spend more time online, than getting work done.
That's a good point, +Jason Hurtado Daniels. To be clear, I'm not say that I would use Klout in this way if I were starting up a firm right now, because of many of the reasons you've outlined (and possibly +Lars Fosdal's point about how they're using their time).

But to play devils advocate, people that have large followings and influence on Twitter and Facebook do have some potential to drive traffic and influence opinions. That's what companies that are using Klout in this signaling function are betting on. It's not imaginary.

Not everyone who has influence is necessarily creative or entrepreneurial, so you'd have to use some other screens to try to get at those attributes.
Thanks for the mention +Justin White (i think its lower now). Klout is just a game IMHO, its easy to fudge and make it higher.
I know one guy locally who has an auto tweeter set up for "meaningful" quotes, from that alone he has a klout score as high as mine, which is sily because hes rarely even using twitter.
The funny reason he auto tweets is actually because of some other game he plays (something empires?) which you get status and money from more tweets per hour, not because of klout. It also ties into his other social media stuff. But effectively he has a high score because he's rich, retired, and is playing a game all day :)
+Gideon Rosenblatt +Jason Hurtado Daniels which leads us back to the example highlighted in this post: for choosing which customer to favor Klout is useful and somewhat reliable, but to hire someone it's an irrelevant tool, unless this new employee will be the face of the brand, like Scoble is to Rackspace.
I do think there is a difference in culture that makes Klout a joke over here. We don't look to celebrities for guidance, we don't place much trust in persons of authority, but are reliant on good, detailed and trustworthy information to make our own decisions.
+Lars Fosdal has raised an interesting cultural difference. Don’t you think the obsession with celebrity status/numbers/followers/ (and by default Klout score) is generally more a US than a European trend?
I believe that what +Cédric Lombion says is true because Klout isn't really measuring influence in any intellectual sense, it is measuring something more like desire for approval, for being part of what we used to call the "in crowd". That kind of hunger does make for a perfect consumer for product marketing purposes.
+Cédric Lombion I expect that more and more of our life and interactions will be online and indexed. That makes these numbers, theses scores, viable for screening. Certainly not perfect, but as topic-based numbers get better, I expect they will be used a lot.

I do not think that this is only useful for hiring a +Robert Scoble.

Say you wanted to hire a hadoop expert. Would you rather hire someone that appears to be following the topic, interacting with other users and experts, or the guy that has not?

The guy that has not been interacting might be a hidden gem, a true code ninja, but the deck is stacked against him.

This is not to say that you hire someone just based upon the score, but if you have 30 applicants and can only interview 8, you can bet social scores will be a factor, along the resume and work sample and HR phone interviews, etc.
Back to the point of OP, I just got a call from the Verizon "Social Media Response Team" promising to correct the billing error on my account. All over a nearly nonsensical and completely crabby tweet. Do I have #klout ?
I'm still trying to capitalize on this megaphone by getting +Samsung USA to send me a #Series9 for free. Hasn't worked out yet, though. ;)
+Jeff Jockisch - that's an interesting point with the hadoop example because I think it illustrates where Klout is trying to go with topic-level influence. Someone who is very influential in a niche topic might not have a very high overall Klout score though, and so using Klout as a crude overall filter of generic influence doesn't achieve what you're talking about there - and I agree, it's super interesting, actually. Much more interesting than the crude measure.

So two things: one, as we've talked about before, I think Klout would be much better as a "tunable" service that we could use to calibrate exactly what we mean when it comes to influence. I wrote a piece on that idea a while back if folks are interested. And two, I think it's going to be very difficult for Klout to get down to the "hadoop" level of granularity when it comes to tracking influence. But you know who could? That's right: Google. Watch for Ripples to grow in that direction. All signs are that Google is very interested in building an "influence graph" in addition to an "interest graph."
Gosh +Jeff Jockisch, how times have changed as the Industrial Revolution morphed into the Technology Revolution, then the Information Age and now the Social Revolution. The basic precepts never change. The old aphorisms still work. The noisy gear still gets the oil.
+Jeff Jockisch Interesting point. Brings up a question: Are trolls influent from Klout perspective ? Because they're specialised in interacting with people ;)

To answer you correctly, I'd say that you seem to be advocating laziness in recruiting. Someone may be interacting less in term of abundance of posts, but having better insights in the topic of matter. So you may be recruiting a chatter, instead of a really brilliant guy.

Let's assume now that it's ok to use Klout for recruiting. What's the difference between a 55 and a 56? Or even a 60 and a 65? As it's been said above, someone who has been an early adopter of any social network is likely to have a high Klout score, but the guy who's been posting amazing stuff in his side of the network has just an average score.

Google+ is the only social network that gives the ability to discover genuinely interesting people within the network. On Twitter you have to follow the links to read the blog posts, and Facebook is not for discovery. And even on Google+, some amazing posters are certainly yet to be discovered. Just because they don't practice personal marketing.

I studied HR, and to me it seems that it's way too early to use a tool like Klout to recruit, and to date as pointless as asking in an interview to name three qualities and defects.
Because +Lars Fosdal asked;
Stephen Hawking ~52
Paris Hilton ~84
(might be off by 1-2 points)

Case in point.
EDIT: Redacted statement... which of these influences the masses more. I know people who have only barely heard of Stephen Hawking, and only because he appeared recently on The Big Bang Theory * roll eyes *

.. wait +Liz ℚuilty is more influential than Stephen Hawking? :D
Perfect +Cédric Lombion. You've hit the nail on the head. For Trolls Klout scores provide their entire raison d'être—in a completely self-deceptive model, certainly. What better justification can there be for a troll, or a salve to treat their wounds, when they're finally called out and flamed or blocked?
+Justin White Given that Klout measures influence, and that inarguably, Paris Hilton influences more people than Stephen Hawking, how is this an indicator that there's something off? That's actually evidence the Klout algorithm is working.
Whoops +Zo Fryer, you are quite correct. I'm easily confused. It's a combination of age and the fact that I keep both groups in the same secret, secure, and rarely observed, place. It's relativistic. Come back Heisenberg, all is forgiven.
I think it's absurd that an employer would decide whether or not to hire you based on your Klout score, unless that is the purpose of your job.
Aren't these the same employers complaining about employee productivity because of time spent on facebook, twitter, google plus etc? Where do they think the Klout scoring gets derived from?
Your productivity at work is inversely related to social media activity.
Klout score is a bit of a blunt instrument to use the make that kind of hiring assessment, don't you think?
Years ago, when I was fresh out of college, I had the great privilege of being hired by a respected and powerful music label. I was a renegade marketer (according to Esquire magazine) and, as such, cut my own path through the world of merchandising to great success. Along comes a young man no one wanted to hire because he hadn't gone to college and didn't wear the right clothes and wasn't the "package" this label had come to be associated with. But he was brilliant and I knew it and I hired him. Two years later, after this man, who became a friend, had impressed all of the right people, everyone wanted to hire him away from me. They eventually succeeded. He is now a very successful man in the music business.

Had there been Klout Scores back then, and had I been forced to use them to assess talent, he would have continued to work in a record shop in Massachusetts and not gone on to become who he was meant to be. Resumes, Klout Scores, graphs and charts and the like are for people who cannot see and often don't want to. Call it laziness or lack of vision, I have seen it for decades, reading people and discovering talent is an art. It does not come in a can and you cannot buy it.
+Gideon Rosenblatt is right, it is Google that could dominate at this, they have the data on us. Reading the comment of +Chris Jenkins I immediately went to Google to figure out what is really going on. So here on Google +, Paris Hilton has a post of herself in a bikini top holding a puppy up to her, um, chest. The coments from the women are all "Ooo how cute (meaning the dog). The men's comments are all, well, you know. Influence? I don't see anyone asking her for advice.
+Jeff Jockisch given how ridiculous Klout's starting point has been in terms of "intelligence", I don't think them "getting smarter" will mean quite so much...

(See here -> )

I've made my position on this abundantly clear over the last year, and nothing anyone says will persuade me otherwise, unless I can see a ranking where they measure something that actually makes some sense. The nail in the entire relevance coffin is ironically enshrined in the post pic with the Ron Conway example:

He is maybe THE angel investing connector in Silicon Valley, nearly anyone who matters there will listen to what he says. So is someone seriously going to stand up and say: I have a 50% higher Klown score than Conway?! Of course you won't, because deep down you know it's all BS. Nice to think about and feel (trick) flattered for a nano-second, sure, but then you go right back to turning your brain back on and go about your business...

You could argue that Conway doesn't even need to be on Social Media at all because the other people will spread his offline messages for him on his behalf. THAT'S real clout, not this Klown stuff.

The first thing out of that interviewEE's mouth after hearing the Klout "34" thing should have been: I am sorry but I am going to have to cut this interview short... I don't work for the nit-witted.
+Gaythia Weis, I think you misunderstand what is meant by influence. Paris Hilton has been the spokesperson for several products because when she flaunts her sexuality in connection with a product, it sells (Carl Jr's ring a bell?). What's more, not only does the product sell, the advertisement itself becomes a conversation piece, something that marketers consider the Holy Grail.
+Max Huijgen P.S. Posts about Klout make for nice "linkbait" on here though, don't they... ;)
+Chris Jenkins What you are talking about is not exactly the same as what I was saying about Klout being more about measuring a desire for approval, but it is certainly not something that would make it much of a hiring tool as envisioned by +Jeff Jockisch . At the very least, they would need a scoring system that would sort out the fact that Paris Hilton's "influence" aura is totally wasted on me.
Which again, is why Google would be much better at this.
+Alex Schleber Do you think that Credit Scores measure credit worthiness? Or that Page Rank measures the value of a website?

The ability to enumerate failures of the model does not invalidate the base premise. Of course it has a lot of problems. :)

Klout is a crude filter. But we live in a noisy world, where even crude can be helpful.
+Jeff Jockisch I'd say that either of those are a lot more serious efforts than Klout thus far...

There is a difference between crude, and just patently/absurdly wrong. I would love to see their algorithm (with full NDA in place or whatever), just so I could see why their system is so far off up to now.
Actually +Cédric Lombion I think you need to look further down the road, where early adopters have no huge advantage, where more of our conversations are indexed, where topic-based scores are stronger.

I agree there is a lot of fail in using Klout score as a hiring metric, but as you will note, I never suggested that. What I suggested was that it be used are part of the process, perhaps as a filter, especially where there is no other data to differentiate.

What would be a lazy hiring practice? Ignoring available data.
+Alex Schleber Ron Conway's a 'specialist', so tends to have less of a broad appeal. They are influential, but only in their circles. For example - I've never heard of this person until I read your post and did some digging. So a 50sish score is about right. Compare that to media celebrities who are known throughout the western world, it's interesting.
It's only real flaw is that it does not take into account any kind of print or televised influence, only social media. And even then, unless you explicitly connect them, it only looks at twitter, even if you are influential in other medium (+David Seaman has this problem, since he posts a lot on Google+ but hasn't linked it to Klout, so his Klout score only reflects his Twitter useage.)

Since marketing is starting to slant extremely online (even more so with each passing year), it makes sense for marketers, as described in the OP, to need a high Klout score. If they can't market themselves online, how would you expect them to market your products?
Agreed, +Alex Schleber, that Klout is entirely crude right now. And that I would like to see the algo :)
+Giselle Minoli I agree with you that talent is hidden in strange places, which is why all kinds of data points are valuable.

I hired a guy painting pools to code for me once. Best coder I ever hired.

Had I hired based on his resume, I would have dumped him.

Imagine a guy coding for himself in his basement, no job experience, but he has been teaching himself, talking to people, asking questions, following experts....

Now a social score, a social profile, especially a topic-based one, might actually allow me to find this hidden gem...
+Jeff Jockisch I'm a perfect example, self-taught coder, been using a computer since I was 8 years old, no formal training. That's why I'm going self-employed - no one will hire me based on my resume alone.
+Jeff Jockisch That's why I said that it's too early, we agree here. Maybe some better measurement system will come up as we have more of our conversations indexed, but as you say it, Klout is a hint to what's going to come, not the solution.

On a side note, if one day there is a system able to measure accurately who we are online, that will have far more consequences than giving better tools to recruiters. It means unification of the data, what Google tried to do with its real name policy (how many super developers are still interacting under a nickname? A real lot). Moreover, with connected objects, the line between or real life and online life will be blurred. What else a recruiter will be able to know, with a super Klout tool?

I'm leaving the core of the subject, but at the same time it's linked, as suggested by the title of this post : Will Klout score influence your real life? Some questions are missing though: To what extent? With what consequencies?

I'll stay tuned to see what's next, anyway.
+Justin White nope, even comparing apples-to-apples, Conway's score is completely pointless vis-a-vis some of the people even on this thread who said their score had gone to 60ish. It would be one thing for Klout to not score certain types of accounts and say that they don't have enough or pertinent data. or if they placed all sorts of cautions about how Klout scores should and shouldn't be used.

But that's not what they're doing, is it? They claim to be the authority on this stuff, which itself is part of a marketing/PR ploy. None of this stuff holds up even from a statistician's point of view.

If I were you, I wouldn't want my name associated with this junk "science". Because real world people may draw some real inferences based on that...
I agree that the pr/marketing is over-hyped for the non-statistical mathematically approach they are taking.
As an experiment, I set it up just now, starting at 10, for the record. Let's see what happens over the next days.
+Justin White Agreed, there are definitely strong limitations in place right now. For example, you can't plugin Reddit. If we're going to circle jerk about social media influence, I DEFINITELY should be able to use my Reddit Karma as part of that score.
Exactly my point, +Justin White :)

Of course, Klout sucks right now, as I would assert did credit scores and page rank in their infancy. Didn't stop Citibank or Google from using them :)

Every data point is of interest, as long as we understand what it measures, understand its shortcomings.

Give it some time and its going to be big. Maybe Klout will not make it, I think they need to be moving faster. But Google is already doing it, they just are not exposing the scores...
+Alex Schleber I agree that the way Klout is marketing themselves is problematic at this point, given the crudeness, the disconnect from actual influence, the disconnect from the real world social proof +Cédric Lombion points out above.
Hey now, are you trying to say my 66 Klout isn't legit?

Don't let +Samsung USA hear you say that, or I'll NEVER get that free Series 9.
Just piling on the points of +Justin White and +Jeff Jockisch. This is very early days and Klout is (smartly) going for broad market generalizations about "influence" - and though they are making progress on topical niches, those measures will take time. If left time to develop fully into each of these niche areas, they would most like be able to tune to pick up the Ron Conways of the world in each of their respective niches.

They suffer our ridicule and scorn now as they focus on the course end of the market, but I'm with Jeff on this - if left time to mature they will eventually get the tuning right. I just happen to believe Google will soon be better positioned to understand influence graphs right now at this niche level...even missing the FB and Twitter signals.
+Justin White BTW, according to the Klout "logic" of "specialist", "pundit", asf. it would appear that the hot air content is steadily increasing on the way up, until we have completely content free "influence" in the person of Justin Bieber, with a "perfect 100".

What is he influential about? Tween issues?!

"I rest my case your honor..."
Hey +Gideon Rosenblatt , do you think that some maturation would prime them for acquisition by Google? (Given that they've got all the missing data G+ doesn't have...).
I guess so, +Chris Jenkins, but then, that might just cut off access to those signals. Tough call...I dunno...what do you think?
silly companies using silly tools to evaluate potential recruits. it's silly.
And +Justin White is exactly the kind of person I am talking about that would fall through the cracks unless he was sitting with someone who can see. In the same way that calculators lead to people who can no long commute simple Math, and idiotic spellcheck programs have all but obliterated people's ability to know the difference between "there" and "their," so too a significant number of people who are in positions to hire are no longer able to "sense" anything intelligent about the person sitting in front of them. This, perhaps, is how a C student from Yale became a President of the United States? Possibly. Just quite possibly. I went to what is now a fairly exclusive girls' school, which was started by a the visionary wife of a wealthy man. She was miffed that the city I grew up in did not have a decent school for girls, although it had a well endowed one for boys. Decades later it is now fiercely competitive and I daresay I would never get in...because I don't fit the profile. I am deeply mistrustful of this stuff.

Can you imagine Picasso painting by the numbers? Or Bach looking at a formula for what type of music most people listen to and stringing the notes together in a comely manner?
Blush thanks, I feel like you've just payed me the greatest complement in the world, indirectly comparing me to Picasso

EDIT: I get it thought, after reflecting. I got accepted into the Self Employment class I'm in via interviews (55 applicants, 12 got in) and I was all 'wow what did they see in me' because online flash video games isn't really your 'standard' business model.

But after what you just wrote, I think I get it now, the person who did the interviews could 'see' the potential you describe. He talked about how he could read people's 'passion' or something and I just didn't get it.

Now I feel like I want to live up to that vision. Thanks for sharing ^-^.
+Gideon Rosenblatt Why do you think it would cut off access to those signals? Users give the Klout app access to the other social networks by adding those channels. If Google bought them, they could simply coalesce the external data with their own, and process it all through enhanced analytics.
+Zo Fryer For me it would depend. Don't really need a high social score for a fry cook job, but might indicate some customer relations skills for an employee interacting with customers...

I hire a lot of analysts and writers. If they can get a high social score, that MIGHT indicate talent writing and thinking critically. Or not. But it is a data point.

What I would do is look deeper at the online corpus generating the score to see if it had value to me and the position.
+Colin Lucas-Mudd agree, the squeaky wheel still rules in many senses. Somewhat sad.

I DO see the downside of rating people in somewhat crude and arbitrary ways as Klout does right now.

I just think it would be better to ride and direct the wave rather than fight a losing battle. This is going to happen, via Klout or another player.
+Chris Jenkins - my guess is that it's pretty similar to access to social signals for improving search results. Twitter was providing it to Google for a while, but then pulled it. Facebook never provided that access. Klout is neutral and "enhances" the desirability of being active on FB and Twitter, but were it to fall into Google's hands, my guess is that that data would follow the same path as the social signals for search...gone.
Oh yes +Jeff Jockisch, there you have the measure. 'Riding and directing the wave' is a perfect objective. The riding is simple, the re-direction a trifle more complex. Canute had this problem with the tide. I fear ours is a little more complex.

Mind you, it did not stop Canute. It must not stop those of us who are negative. We're not all Cassandra's acolytes. Some of us see the positives too.
+Zo Fryer I can't buy a narcissistic labeling scheme like that. Way too much stereotyping going on there.

But I would venture to say that for some job, some businesses, some professions, a higher crude social score might be a warning sign.

That's why its only a data point and not a decision maker for me.

As topic-based influence / social proof / contributiveness gets better, I think you will be worse off for ignoring those scores and resumes.
+Alex Schleber Laugh. Out. Loud. at the Justin Beiber comment. Missed that on first pass. A brilliant marketer of an empty package. +Zo Fryer I second your comment about nixing someone who publishes their Klout score on their resume.
+Gideon Rosenblatt Laugh. Out. Loud. Again. But...I'm not so sure that in the dating arena, wanting to know someone's Klout score isn't akin to a woman wanting to know how much money a man makes, or a man wanting to know a woman's age to know if her ovaries are still functional...
Please forgive me for making three comments in a row, but I'm fixing dinner while I'm doing this!. +Justin White I do believe it was Picasso who said that the better you get at something the smaller your audience. I also remember Bob Dylan, who was voted the most important poet of the century by Oxford and who I believe is being awarded the Presidential medal, saying way back when that he was something of a loser because he wasn't selling the number of records that Cindi Lauper (Girls Just Want to Have Fun, doncha know?) was selling. Food, or art, or poetry, or music...for thought...
+Zo Fryer that's the thing, I agree popularity contests are not all that valuable. But subject matter knowledge and influence and authority is -- that's where it gets valuable.

If Klout really measured narcissism effectively, they would have a much higher valuation :)
"The truly popular never cared how popular they were."

I more or less agree with you, but wow, you're making some really, really vast generalizations there.
Actually, +Zo Fryer, the more I read your post, the more I see wrong with it. While you're completely correct about popularity not being an important measure for the "richest people in the world", it's an EXTREMELY important measure for anyone whose livelihood depends on an audience, and many of the "Big Dogs" on G+ have linked their Klout profiles showing that they are paying attention to how their influence is measured.

Additionally, you paint services like this and HotorNot as catering to insecurity, without realizing that the number one driving force is simple narcissism. We discussed on here the other day about how the internet has brought out everyone's "Inner Artist", which has led to the discovery that most of our inner artists suck, which is why they weren't outer artists to begin with.

Give anyone a microphone, and they'll use it. Tell them there's audience feedback, and they'll want to see it. While for some, that may be related to insecurity, for many, it's a measure of financial success, and for the vast majority, it's at least in some small part due to the need to be the center of attention.
I'm afraid I have to disagree again. You make very cogent arguments, but certain key points stick out each time.

Narcissistic traits may manifest from insecurity, but as a whole, that's not in any way what psychologists believe is the root cause:

Reading this study, and examining a social ecosystem, it's easy to spot the traits and behaviors noted in the study. What's more, the word "insecurity", or any variant there of, does not appear at all. Note that this is not a study on NPD, but on narcissistic traits in general.
On some other post recently I warned everyone about +Max Huijgen. Said he takes no prisoners. I rest my case. Hi, Max....
My, oh my +Brian Titus +Jeff Jockisch +Giselle Minoli I completely missed this discussion as I was off G+ for most of the time. Remember I´m on an official G+ leave, I just made a short post without any planning or second thought :)
I will now start reading the comments.
+Max Huijgen I was just thinking that. Wow.. this person started a firestorm, but he hasn't posted any replies!
+Max Huijgen FYI...there is no such thing as G+ leave, official or unofficial. AWOLs are punished here, with more commentary than they can handle...
I notice that some comments assume Klout necessitates non stop activity. Although I hear the stories i doubt it. The small fluctuations are not interesting anyway.
I can see the difference between 40 and 80, but I can´t be bothered with a point or two. Like some of you I give out some K sometimes as I receive them. So I return the favor but I don´t expect that to influence my or other people´s klout. I just got the confirmation from +Euro Maestro that this is correct.
+Alizée Rait and +Zo Fryer see the Klout score as a negative indicator. ´Real men have no Klout´ could be the new mantra and as the illustration shows Ron Conway who is highly influential in the start-up world does indeed have a low score.
However to assume that people with a high score are social media junkies is too simple. I will check how many posts I have made and the effect on my Klout, but I already know the relation is weak.
+Giselle Minoli I have read all comments and it´s impossible to react on a discussion afterwards, but your post about the young, unknown, in the record industry stood out.

You say, in a world with Klout as a benchmark he would never have been hired. Proponents of Klout say it´s the reverse. It´s the democratization of celeb or expert status.

Without living in Hollywood you stood no chance in some industries, outside of Silicon Valley you would never gain attention of the right people and in general outside of a capital a young man or women with interesting ideas would never be heard.

Social media in general and G+ in particular are good in crossing boundaries and serving as a platform for those who don´t live in the right real life circles. With Klout giving so much weight to G+ (correct +Jeff Jockisch +Gideon Rosenblatt +Alex Schleber) it´s a game changer.

I don´t believe that getting retweets from interesting people is any indication of people´s capabilities, but if someone would have a Klout of 50+ on a specialist topic like cloud computing I would be interested to know that. If it were based on G+ posts I would consider this an extra recommendation as apparently he or she passed some peer review. +Chris Jenkins +Justin White +Cédric Lombion and old grumpy +Colin Lucas-Mudd :)
Is SEO a breakable system or a self created myth by SEO´s +Zo Fryer? Google will keep changing the game and if you don´t do anything but write decent content you will rank high anyway.
Maybe the same is true for KEO. I have never done anything to get a high Klout ranking and I´m still beating Sarah Palin :)
Wow! What a turnout. Klout is King. I better check mine.
It should drop enormously +Alizée Rait as G+ seems to be very important for Klout scores. Let us know what happens.
But I care +Alizée Rait because I now want to know who your true reach is :)
Tnx for sharing. It confirms that G+ is crucial for Klout and that seems to contradict +Zo Fryer´s statement that it´s easy to cheat. From what I understood it was easy to engage with high klout people on twitter and go up in the rankings yourself. It will be harder to do the same on G+
My Klout score is 54 if you are logged in Klout. Actual on Google+ and Twitter it shows 0:)
I asked Klout support twice about this bug and they have no skills to answer this simple question. Klout seems very "beta" software...
+Brian Titus and +Giselle Minoli because I suddenly remember your remarks about my own Klout going up as a result of this topic I will duly report.
It went from something like 72,x to 73,x so a full point which is statistically irrelevant, although the Klout site was celebrating apparently and wanted me to tell the world about this achievement :)
+Max Huijgen that's very funny. But here's the truth. From my perspective you would have had Klout with me whether I know your Klout score or not. I remember the first post I discovered you on. It had nothing at all to do with SULs or Shared Circles or anyone tell me anything about you. To use an animalistic analogy...I sniff and feel and sense my way through life. I trust that. If I believed Klout, I'd be listening to Justin Bieber...and trust me that isn't going to happen. +Alizée Rait I. Don't. Care. Have a nice weekend Max. One with clout!
+Max Huijgen I concur with Giselle; I certainly have not/do not use Klout to find interesting people. I do however count myself lucky to have found the crowd that includes you and +Giselle Minoli.

That said, congrats on your 1-point gain! ;-) Good night and pleasant dreams!
+Max Huijgen I'm not a Tweeter (used to be, and never say never) and haven't for well over a year. And don't have a Klout handle. So desperately trying to finish a book that I've zeroed in on G+ and my own website out of a severe lack of time! Nice try, Max!
Actually it was just a misunderstanding +Giselle Minoli based on your ´I have´
Tweeting is not exactly my favorite hobby. TS:DW
+Max Huijgen I think I tweeted for about a month before boredom set it. @giselleminoli. I've half a mind (not my whole mind, mind you) to ask everyone in my Circle what their Twitter handles are and then drum up a little experiment...
No... +Max Huijgen actually something more honest. I would actually be curious to know if I would feel different about Twitter were I Tweeting among the large group of people I've gotten to know in the last 9 months on G+. You probably know me well enough by now to know that I move through the world rather intuitively and viscerally. In certain ways I'm competitive, but Twitter, in my view, is a flat out full body contact sport.

Has Twitter changed for you? For anyone else on this thread?
I use Twitter as a reader to follow events which unfold but I have a limited lists of people I follow. There is for instance the high profile Oracle-Google court case which I follow and there is a guy Caleb Garling from Wired who is really fun to follow.
He is so witty while covering a boring event that most tweets are a chuckle +Giselle Minoli
Caleb Garling from Wired sounds interesting +Max Huijgen but every time I even think about Twitter, I get a headache. ;)
I've used Twitter daily for over two years now. It's my go-to social media channel.
Perhaps I'm a "full contact" kinda guy but
It feels the most intuitive and genuine to me.
Probably because I have established myself there, Twitter is also the biggest source of traffic to my own personal web space. 
Twitter is also my main source for, and venue to announce, breaking news. 
We have reached the age where our friends and family will become corperate propaganda marketing tools.
One ring to rule them all. It is quite scary how easy it is to make supposedly intelligent human beings tap dance to the tune of a metric, no matter how flawed or meaningless that metric is. Our history is a litany of poor decisions made on the basis of attachment to lazy, often bogus, filtering mechanisms. Give people a number and they will start to use is as a peg for their expectations, like some kind of fluffy children's comfort blanket.
Just notice your last reactions +Calvin Arterberry +Mark Holmes 
Luckily my friends and family stay away from the internetz as much as they can so it will be my task to the marketing for them.
Numbers carry weight because of modern management style where everything needs to be quantifiable. A win of American management practices over the old boys European style, Matt. 
I have no issue with meaningful, actionable metrics appropriately weighted to context, with full understanding of their strengths and limitations. Vanity metrics that create false stratifications, less so.
It´s very similar to SEO and PageRank +Mark Holmes No full understanding but a workable concept which can be understood. My Klout score is extremely steady.
I think it is important for companies to see how influential you can be on social media. You may know how to do many things but if you don't know about how social media works for sales, you could actually decrease company revenue. Social Media should be part of your resume. It is much more important than you can imagine. The future is here.
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