Time To Reconsider Klout

If you have a social media profile, then you have a Klout score.  What is a Klout score?  Well, according to the company, your Klout score "measures influence based on your ability to drive action on social networks".  Essentially, it is a rating between 1 and 100 (a perfect score) that ranks how your social networks interact with the content you post on your social profiles.  

I have long been a skeptic of this score as an accurate rating of anything, for the following reasons: 

  • If you go on vacation or inactive for a period of time, your score would go down;
  • Users could see a bump of 10-15 points just for people wishing that person a Happy Birthday on Facebook; and
  • Justin Bieber was ranked as more influential than President Barack Obama. 

It just seemed that the score was too easy to game, especially by doing things such as spamming Twitter or stalking online notables and celebrities.  

But Klout recently underwent a significant revamp to make it more accurate and (hopefully) valuable.  Klout has increased the number of datapoints it monitors from 100 signals to 400.  It now includes "real life" items such as Wikipedia entries and LinkedIn recommendations.  Here's a great list of the major data Klout monitors.    

Based on my review of peers and other folks I interact with online, the revised Klout scores seem to be more in line with the activity level and actual clout those individuals have.  While a Klout score is only one limited measurement of a person's online history, it does do a good job of measuring overall activity level and interaction. 

With their revised analytical techniques, Klout appears to now more accurately reflect the clout individuals have both online and away from the keyboard.  

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