Angering the influence gods

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What is Klout you ask? Good question:

From Wikipedia:

Klout is a San Francisco based company that provides social media analytics that measures a user’s influence across their social network. The analysis is done on data taken from sites such as Twitter and Facebook and measures the size of a person’s network, the content created, and how other people interact with that content.

The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.

True Reach is the size of one’s engaged audience and is based on those of their followers and friends who actively listen and react to messages. Amplification Score is the likelihood that one’s messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments) and is on a scale of 1 to 100. Network score indicates how influential one’s engaged audience is and is also on a scale from 1 to 100. The Klout score is highly correlated to clicks, comments and retweets.

The final Klout Score is a representation of how successful a person is at engaging their audience and how big of an impact their messages have on people. The accuracy of Klout Score has been questioned several times by different researchers however Klout Score is being used by most social media marketers as a barometer of influence.

Klout’s increasing popularity over the past several months and its own influence over high profile people in social media has garnered a typical response from me.

I make fun of it.

A lot:

And because, according to my high-falootin’ Klout score of 60 and my Klout title of Broadcaster (Broadcaster: You broadcast great content that spreads like wildfire. You are an essential information source in your industry. You have a large and diverse audience that values your content.), immediately following my mafia refrigerator tweets, many of my “broadcastees” headed over to Klout to boost influence in both categories:

My inclination to make fun of Klout as a measure of online influence certainly isn’t an original one. Alise Write wrote a great post about her Justin Bieber influence and Naomi De La Torre wrote another about her influence in the categories of Unibrows, Vomit, Tuna, Poop and Placenta. I’m sure many have put their two cents in on the subject.

I think our collective need to make fun of Klout’s measure of influence stems from a common realization:

Because how can anyone tell me with a straight face that they are influential about Christianity, Social Media, Writing, Publishing, whatever when the same brain trust which measured that influence also tells me I’m influential about Cats, Angel Investing, Mafia and Refrigerator?

All I’m saying is this: While I suppose Klout has its place in the narcissistic world of social media, how they measure your influence should have very little to do with how you measure your influence. Heck, maybe even the powers that be at Klout have recognized how inaccurate their influence measurements can be, because my high falootin’ score of 60 on Wednesday morning had taken a substantial nose dive when I checked it on Thursday:

Either that or I have angered the influence gods…

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13 Responses to “Angering the influence gods”

  1. Tony J. Alicea October 28, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Anything like this can be manipulated and skewed. I get the idea but ultimately you can’t “really” measure influence the way they do. Too many holes.

    I saw your mafia influence the other day. Funny stuff. I’ve never given anyone Klout. I’ve actually only logged in a handful of times.

  2. Wendy October 28, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Love this post. Feel the same and will be laughing and pissing off influence gods right along w/ you. 😉
    ~ Wendy

  3. Maureen October 28, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    Great post, Kathy. Some people are altogether too serious about this stuff.

    I have a vague idea of what a mafia refrigerator might look like, and I don’t think it’s pretty.

  4. Glynn October 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    I’ll give you a double K+ for Sky Mall.

  5. Cris Ferreira October 28, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    I loved it, Kat. I like your humor.
    I checked my klout page, and one of my influence topics is Hillary Clinton. That wouldn’t be so awkward if I weren’t brazilian… And the fact that, in all my online social life, I have written one single status update on Facebook mentioning her name (when he wrote a statement against Iran’s religious intolerance mentioning specifically a pastor that was facing the death sentence for not denying his christian faith).
    Oops, now I mentioned her again, so my influence about her will increase even more!

  6. Jeanne Damoff October 28, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    I am “familiar” with Klout, if familiarity can be defined as noticing the word on twitter and seeing people give other people +K (isn’t that a cereal?), but I’ve never been tempted to “check my score” assuming I have one somewhere out there in Kloutville (which I’m guessing is just down the road from “Farmville”). Until now, I’ve simply tuned it out as one more potential distraction from engaging with life. But you, my dear, have just earned a thousand +Ks in my heart for your adorable humor, not to mention your proficiency in mafia and refrigerator. So many talents! When you get around to hiring your staff, I hope I have enough Klout to qualify.

    Love you.

  7. Louise October 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    Oh no! NOt the angry refrigerator mafia~ oh dear. You know they’ve been known to put jello shoes on folks and make them dance the polka while eating an entire pizza — still frozen in the box. Oh dear. Watch out deary. If the @klout Refrigerator Mafia is angry with you you’re in need of a godcat to influence the angels to invest a little wing time on your behalf.

  8. Joseph Baran October 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    So if I write something here, your score will go up, again?

    I read your comments on Novel Doctor’s blog, which is one of my most favorite places to pause, and decided to drop by yours. I am new to publishing, Klout and other media metrics, although story telling was a very strong aspect of my childhood.

    I just began to query my first novel and I am in the process of setting up my blog but have already noticed that metrics, regardless whether correct or not in predicting one’s public influence of present thought or future actions, are playing a role in the review and acceptance of unpublished authors’ manuscripts. It’s a trend, I fear, that will only to continue to spread.

    • katdish October 29, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

      Hi Joseph. Glad you stopped by from Steve’s blog–one of my favorite places to pause as well. Klout measures influence on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, so leaving a comment here won’t change my “influence” one way or another. And yes, metrics play a big role in determining an author’s platform. It’s not enough to write well anymore, publishers want authors who already have a built in audience. It’s sort of a vicious cycle–you need time to devote to your craft, but many writers feel the pressure to establish an online presence, which takes away from writing time. Best of luck to you on your publishing journey, and feel free to drop me a line. I’m always happy to give advice (unsolicited or otherwise) to writers.

      • Joseph Baran October 29, 2011 at 8:24 pm #


  9. Helen October 30, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    I considered signing up for Klout, but I hate giving third party access to my twitter or facebook account. I’ve only regretted it a handful of times, my being unable to support you in mafia refrigerator props being one of them.

  10. bman (The Underfold) October 31, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    Yessss. They apparently changed their algorithm the other day and pushed a bunch of kids down in the dirt in the playground of social media.

    PS, I’m totally going to give you +K in refrigerators.

  11. Heather Sunseri November 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    Oh, this made me smile all over again.

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