There’s a lot of buzz lately about Klout – the website that measures your level of influence on the web using a number of factors taken from your social media activities. Increasingly, people are realizing that engagement and influence are more important that fan/follower counts, and Klout offers a standard of measurement for people to demonstrate their own level of influence (or check on someone else’s influence). Today, Klout announced in a blog post that scores will be automatically refreshed and updated daily (previously, scores could only be calculated weekly and had to be initiated by the user).
Here’s how it works. You start by signing up for Klout using your Twitter login and password, which automatically connects your Twitter account. You can also add your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to give a little more depth to your score (great for people who are more active on those networks and use Twitter primarily as a listening tool).
Klout has developed their own influence matrix that includes 16 categories like “syndicator” or “networker.” Each category comes with a small description of positive traits. I’m listed as a “conversationalist”, so mine reads, “You love to connect and always have the inside scoop. Good conversation is not just a skill, it’s an art. You might not know it, but when you are witty, your followers hang on every word.” Ok, sure.
Klout scores are based not only on the number of followers/friends/fans you have, but also on their influence and reach. When I got a personal reply from Guy Kawasaki (Klout score = 85), I’m guessing that influenced my Klout score a lot more than a reply from others with less influence. Klout also takes into account the likelihood that your content will generate some sort of a response (clicks, retweet, reply, mention, etc). I didn’t find much on how Facebook and LinkedIn can influence your Klout score, but my guess is that it’s similar.
A couple more cool things about Klout: 1. you can enter someone else’s username in the search tool to quickly find out their true influence (at least in Klout terms), and 2. Klout gives you suggestions on influential people who follow you so you may return the favor and follow them back.
Klout also allows users to create a badge for their own website (which I haven’t been able to embed here, so I’ll use a screen shot instead), a hover card (java based), and they have a plug-in for WordPress.org users.
Some of this Klout talk reminds me of Cialdini and his book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” There are interesting parallels between Dr. Cialdini’s time-tested theories and online influence.
While it’s interesting at the moment, I’m not sure people will be putting Klout scores on their resume anytime soon. What do you think? Do you have Klout?