(function() { var po = document.createElement("script"); po.type = "text/javascript"; po.async = true; po.src = "https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"; var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })(); As ususal there’s even more discussion of influence flying around the soAs ususal there’s even more discussion of influence flying around the social sphere these days, some of which started with David Pakman’s gushing endorsement of his newest investment. Pakman states “Klout’s algorithms score the actual influence of people as they [...]" />

KDPaine’s PR Measurement Blog: Klout’s future gives me the creeps.

 

As ususal there’s even more discussion of influence flying around the soAs ususal there’s even more discussion of influence flying around the social sphere these days, some of which started with David Pakman’s gushing endorsement of his newest investment.

Pakman states “Klout’s algorithms score the actual influence of people as they share on the social web. They attempt to measure your influence by observing interactions on the social web. As we all work to build and manage our online identity and profile, Klout helps measure our reach and topics of influence.”

The problem with his premise is that it mistakenly equates  social activity with influence.  Nathan Gilliat brilliantly dismisses that argument.

Pakman’s premise is that it assumes that people who are active on Twitter and Facebook somehow DESERVE to be treated better by restaurants airlines etc. I don’t disagree that social media helps give consumers more power and makes brands more accountable, but lets not forget that all Klout measures is activity, mostly on Twitter. So if I am on bereivement leave or vacation, and my Klout score drops because my I’m away from electronic devices, I no longer deserve good service or a good meal? That sounds like a new version of the caste system, but one based on one’s access to social media.
This isn’t measurement, it is discrimination.

The uncivil society that Pakman proposes is one in which someone with a smart robot can game their way to a high klout score and then leverage that score to muscle their way onto planes, doctor’s offices and restaurants. Can’t wait to see what the 99% does with that.

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2 Comments

  1. David Pakman says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for your comments on my post about Klout. I wanted to address a few of your statements. First, brands want to find influencers. They have attempted to do that through advertising for more than 50 years. They understand that a personal endorsement about their brand (a friend recommending a product to another friend) is much stronger than us viewing an advertisement. Klout, in its service of brands, aims to find influencers. Unlike many other scoring methods, they don’t believe there are influencers and non-influencers. They believe everyone is influential about something. And they aim to quantify that.

    Second, Klout doesn’t equate pure “activity” to influence. But it is true that they do not measure offline activity today. They only measure your participation and interactions across about nine or ten social services. They will expand that to hundreds. And from a brand’s perspective, small variations in score (because you were inactive on social media for a few weeks, as you propose in your bereavement example) are not meaningful. Your Klout score won’t change 10 points in these examples.

    If we begin with the notion that brands should offer special benefits to those of us who are influential about them (a notion I wholeheartedly endorse), then what we are really discussing is whether Klout is a reasonable approximation of our relative influence on various topics. Our investment thesis is that they are and they will only get better.

  2. Ron Ainsworth says:

    With like minded people self-selecting into online tribes, I wonder whether “influencers” are really influencing or are they just spreading ideas faster and farther among individuals who already see things the same way.

 
 

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