Invisible Influence and the fallacy of Klout
For a long time I have been discontented with +Klout
as a system for measuring influence in #socialmedia
. Besides the obvious methodological issues with trusting a third-party influence score that constantly changes its algorithm and its well known tendency to favor Facebook and Twitter influence over influence here on Google Plus there is a deeper conceptual problem with Klout that I hope the graphic below illustrates all to plainly. The most profound types of influence can't be measured automatically at all.
Klout measures influence through direct
social media interactions, as you can see below my Klout score on the left side of the image, Klout works by counting up social media interactions like +1s, retweets, Facebook likes and comments, etc. This is easy to automate and produces a reliable scoring system, but it totally misses a much more profound sort of influence shown on the right.The story of a real influence chain
OK, so the gallery at top-right is a post I made on #GooglePlus
on January 5th of the new sledding hill and snowmobile track in Lake Tahoe that I took because I happened to be walking past on the street and had nothing better to post that day. (you can find the original post at: https://plus.google.com/photos/+JackDurst/albums/5966234503254255233
) This was a pure lucky shot on my part, taken on a whim because nobody else was covering it and I thought it was cool.
Within 5 days both +Breaking Lake Tahoe News
and South Tahoe Now had both gone down to the sledding hill to take their own pictures and write their own articles of this unique local attraction.
January 09: New South Lake Tahoe Outdoor Sports Area Creates Snow When Mother Nature Fails http://southtahoenow.com/story/01/09/2014/new-south-lake-tahoe-outdoor-sports-area-creates-snow-when-mother-nature-fails
January 10: No snow: Man-made snow creates winter fun http://www.laketahoenews.net/2014/01/snow-man-made-snow-creates-winter-fun/
In my mind, this is actually a much more profound sort of influence than anything a Klout score can capture: these two media organizations woke up to the fact that this was a "hot topic" because I covered it and then invested their own resources into sending their own reporter / photographer to cover the issue in more depth for their own audiences. Unfortunately, this sort of influence, though far more valuable in the real world than what a Klout of Kred score measures is totally beyond the realm of automated measurement.
Maybe instead of asking your applicant for a (probably meaningless) Klout score, you should ask them if they can trace any examples of real world influence of their social media behaviors. It would be much more telling about their actual skills at public relations and PR.