Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why Klout is only Klout

There is a lot of discussions on Klout and Social Influence lately.

Some folks like Danny Brown are upset they can not leave Klout and that they measure him against his will. You should check the lively discussion because as a champion of Opt-in I agree with Danny.

A Letter to Joe Fernandez of Klout

This blog has brought up the silliness of measuring. As well as questioning the validity of it's data measuring. I will talk about influence in general in another post. I want to break down Klout and discuss should you use it? Is the information valid?

Klout measures your reach and if your web presence is such can you be influential with the spreading of links, tweets, data etc. 

The very smart Tom Moradpour who is the International Marketing Director for Pepsi says:

"Klout measures Klout"

Meaning you must decide if the definition of what Klout says it is measuring and what you feel it is, is of value. 

Currently some Brands and Businesses are reaching out to people with high scores and having them test products hoping for cheap exposure. But is this smart? Are these people really influential?

Guess what? No way to ever tell. I have in the past brought up the dark underbelly of the Twitter. There are hashtags that are sexual, offensive, etc. Go to the #TCOT hashtag and you will find people calling Obama bad names, that he is communist, that he is an N word (not all but they are there). Go to the Liberal equivalent #TCOL you will people who call Bush a Nazi.

Klout has no clue if the 'network' the person they are measuring is safe for your content. Would Gerber want to learn the folks high in Klout on Babies were networked with child abusers and have this come out? There is no way to determine who's network is safe, clean, acceptable for your brand.

Lastly Klout combs your Twitter feed and if you talk about a topic you are considered an expert. This has been really amusing. I am an expert on Rick Perry now. Why? Because I was on Twitter during the last debate and Bill Green and Ben Kunz were live tweeting and making fun of the lunacy. And many tweets had Rick Perry. And I responded and retweeted. Now I am an expert on him per Klout.

Many people have topics of expertise that are really funny. Danny Brown on Sheep for example. So we have no idea who is really influential, who is an expert, who has gamed the system or not. Because it can be gamed.

Klout is just a tool. You can take it seriously or not. I personally joke that I want my score falling because I am a rebel and seriously I don't care what my score is. But that doesn't mean you can't at least use the tool and decide what it means. You can check a person's credentials to see if they are what Klout says with a simple Google search. But then what value is a service you need to do so much extra work just to find if the data is real?


  1. My favorite quote: "Klout measures Klout" sums it up nicely. I think the collective we has gotten way off base from what really matters. Social Media is a tool; Klout is a tool; certain people are tools ;). Must we assign arbitrary measurements to them? Can't we do our own research and determine whether or not they are a fit for us or if they are worth hiring, worth our time, etc.?

    I'm with you, Howie. I'm going for a lower score now. :)

  2. This pretty much sums it up; Klout measures Klout......

    I still don't understand why this particular measurement tool creates more controversy than others. What does it really measure, who does that matter to, and how valid is what it tells you?