Does Klout Matter?

Klout?Have you heard of Klout.com?

Concept is simple – everybody get’s a Klout “score” that reflects how much clout (don’t get me started on the those wacky 2.0 names) someone has in the social space. Those numbers can be used to figure out which people you want to pay more attention to.

Klout is tied into all sorts of systems. Hootsuite has made it part of their interface. When seeing what’s being said about you, you can actually see the strength of the person saying it.

hootsuite has kloutHow does someone get a Klout score? Part of it is an automatic algorithm. Part of it is a simple system where people can assign Klout points to others (through the site as well). Wanna see this in action? Try this link … Heck, feel free to assign me some “Klout” along the way.

What can you do with Klout (other than impress your other social media friends)? There is a whole Klout “Perks” system where you can leverage your points to get some free samples and discounts. Past “Perks” have included samples of designer water and free cards from Moo.com.

So, the question is this. Does Klout “matter?” Forget the questions of whether or not their algoritm is any good – I wonder if you can actually give a numeric number to someone’s social influence. I appreciate what they’ve tried to do but I honestly just wonder if it is in fact working.

So I bring to you this question, … does Klout(.com) “matter?”

This could (should) get interesting …

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://www.weswyatt.com/blog weswyatt

    I think it (Klout) it does (matter). 

    Of course – I’m not sure how the score or the algorithm that calculates it should be weighed.  For instance – I have a Klout Score of 71 – and you have a Klout Score of 49.  Not to suck up – but I’d think your score would be higher than mine.  So…?

    I DO like the site though – and think it’s going to get better and better as time goes on.

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate the thoughts.  I haven’t done the social media thing the way most do (follow everybody who follows me back, let people I don’t know be my Facebok “friend”, etc.) for reasons I’ve outlined here in this blog and therefore I’m sure my numbers will remain down.

    But I gotta be me. 

  • http://www.blastmedia.com Julie Perry

    Someone asked a similar question on Formspring.me last week. My answer: They lost me when they added this +K deal, which comes across more like the old link exchanges if you ask me.

    It’s one thing to have an algorithm that attempts to measure online reach and influence based on one’s day-to-day activities on social platforms, but then for the site to take it a step further by allowing people to campaign for and simply circle jerk & reciprocate the inauthentic and disingenuous ass-kissing in order to raise their “score,” I think it takes it to a whole new level of B.S.

    Influence, in a functioning society, has to be based on what you’re actually doing…not on what you or other people are willing to say that you are doing. Unnatural or contrived systems for determining influence ultimately get gamed until their value as a marker reaches zero. I imagine that will be Klout’s fate as well. (So no, ultimately, it won’t matter.)

  • Amid

    Well Paul that’s interesting, I just added you in my KLOUT list of high ones… here is mine: http://klout.com/#/amidyousef   is 41 good?
    Can 41 plus a$1.95 buy you a cup of Starbucks Grande? You bet it can… HAHA

  • Anonymous

    There’s a lot of buzz about Kout these days. I feel that too many think of Klout in terms of statistical data rather than human interaction. Klout, IMHO, is based on our level of interactivity with our audience. Are they re-tweeting, clicking, mentioning. Are we engaging? 

    For me, Klout has given me a gauge for the subject matter that interests those I have connected and engaged with across the SM platforms. While I don’t take the exact number too seriously (ok I’m somewhat of a Klout addict), I do appreciate the fact that Klout has finally brought to the forefront the need for us to understand and embrace the fact that there are human beings behind the screens/keyboards and Social Media needs to focus on the SOCIAL aspect in addition to statistical.

  • http://twitter.com/socmediacurator Mtn Jim Fisher

    I think is does indicate a certain level of interaction within the social media environment Paul.  Whether it can be used for anything other than “preening” remains to be seen…or measured.
    Will give you some “plusK” just for the heck of it :-)
    Mtn Jim
    http://klout.com/#/socmediacurator

  • Brian Bennett

    I think the whole Klout idea is interesting and can provide some meaningful information. But, there are some weird things as well. For instance, my score jumped almost 1.5 points in a single day, and I have no idea why. No blog posts, no major Twitter activity, etc. So, there are some interesting things that happen, but the reasons behind are still a little too vague for me to really buy in.

    I think its a case of people making it mean what they WANT it to mean.

  • Anonymous

    this is the key – “based on what you’re actually doing…” an algorithm that ranks someone high because they have a bot that follows everything that moves is far less an indicator that someone getting a plus one here or there (even if they asked for it).

    the balance has to be found.

    i just wonder if there is, in fact, a formula.

  • Anonymous

    So, I’m on the list of “high” people. Great.

    41 is 11 more than 30, right?

    $1.95 for a grande, nice …

  • Anonymous

    nothing much to add there. couldn’t agree more.

  • Anonymous

    awesome – thanks – i’ve been plusked.

  • Anonymous

    A lot of social media is just that, Brian.

  • Mysurveyexpert

    Great post, Paul, and a great question about what you’re measuring. People (well, we geeks, actually) were measuring influence before Facebook existed, in people’s “offline” networks, and there were lots of different ways to think about and measure influence. It can be the #of people to whom you’re connected, whether you’re connected to “prominent”people in the network, whether you can get people in the network to do things(like rewet your stuff), and so forth. So there can be as many different algorithms as there are definitions.

  • Anonymous

    Can we move that “gut feeling” from our minds to a number?

  • http://www.deniseoberry.com deniseoberry

    It will only matter if the communities at large on the interwebs make it matter. I can appreciate what they are trying to do. As long as it is used as ONE considering factor to social influence, not THE considering factor, I think that’s OK. But I fear it will be the former, not the latter. 

    One thing that klout can’t measure (and where clout REALLY matters IMO) is how your email subscribers respond to you. Subscribers who buy your products and other products you recommend are the proof that, yes, you really do have clout.You can build a relationship and build trust with people who have never met you. And that’s what matters to me and my business, not an arbitrary score that measures how often I’m RT’d, liked or replied to.

  • http://IsaacAWardell.com Isaac A Wardell

    I am not an advocate of Klout, the main reason being that they don’t get my true Facebook score because they only factor what is shared on my profile. Until I can link my professional page where I actually do my sharing, and have my largest influence, it’s going to be a warped score. That’s my personal opinion. 

  • Anonymous

    i agree on the email part – but it’s not trying (best i can tell) to measure that.

  • Anonymous

    i linked to my pro page on klout – take another look.

  • http://twitter.com/JGOBunting James Bunting

    I think Klout matters when taken in the right context. It’s not just a case of algorithms.
    http://spearpr.blogspot.com/2011/09/up-klout.html

  • Anonymous

    Give us a little more before you try to get us to visit your site. It’s just more effective – trust me.

  • http://IsaacAWardell.com Isaac A Wardell

    Interesting. Do you know if they judge individuals and brands differently?

  • Anonymous

    i have to imagine they do

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    Yes, i agree with James that “I think Klout matters when taken in the right context.”..
    Thanks!

  • http://www.register-web-domain.in website registration india

    Yes, i agree with James that “I think Klout matters when taken in the right context.”..
    Thanks!

  • Amid Yousef

    Paul, some star struck consider Klout climb to be indicator of fame or popularity… I am interested in neither… I want a tool that measures effectiveness of message… Meaning if embarkingvid uploads a good training video and it gets lots of views and people see the entire video and share it … Is that measured better than Tweeting all day about the baloney sandwich …?

  • Amid Yousef

    Darn autocomplete: emarketingVid I meant..,,

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  • Anonymous

    This is frightening.  I thought facebook was intimidating enough until I realized many will friend any just to get the count up. Then there is the Warrior Forum where posting counts matter (you have reached a level that allows an image in your post-what is this Mario Bros.?)  High School is triple chocolate fudge cake compared to social media when it comes to popularity contests.

  • Anonymous

    I wish it would go in that direction.

  • Anonymous

    Figured that 😉

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know if frightening is the right word – I see it as more of a “sobering” issue. If this stuff gets where it should be, the good stuff will rise to the top.

    In theory at least 😉