Friday, October 28, 2011

Don't Pout at Klout (Not Too Much, Anyway)

I'm still investigating ways to reach readers, and I have full plans to post more on that when I can. In the meantime, let's tackle a small explosion that burst into Twitter this week: the revisions to your Klout score.

What is Klout? It's a software program/website that analyzes your Twitter and other social media accounts to tell you how much clout you supposedly have. Do people listen to you? Do you have influence? Not sure? Let the computer tell you, with a number on a scale of one to 100 so that you can feel wildly better than your peers (like GetGlue, which I've never heard of but which has a K+ score of 92). Or so you can feel completely inadequate with your lowly 42 or 52. You mediocre person, you.

This week, Klout changed how they calculate the score, which they said will mostly move people up in the rankings, although everyone I know has reported their K+ score has gone down. Many sad writers out there today. But I'd like to remind everyone to keep things in perspective.

First of all, Klout suggests ways that you can improve your K+ score, and frankly, it's like having your mom standing behind you and telling you to get to work. Mom... I mean, right. I don't get online often enough some days. I don't make conversations as much as I could. But Twitter, et al, are "social" media. I hear Klout saying, "You're not being social enough!" Guilty as charged. Working on it.

Second of all, Klout is useful in its own way, but it's not almighty. When I look at my personal score results, it turns out that Klout thinks I'm influential over 11 topics. Some make sense, like writing and spirituality, because I talk about both. Others make no sense. Klout says I'm influential on the subject of Prince. Prince? When is the last time I've tweeted about Prince? I think I might have tweeted about him once. Once! That tweet didn't go global. Weird. Even weirder is that Klout thinks I'm influential about skiing, and I don't even ski, so if I tweeted about it, it must really have been in passing as some kind of a joke or metaphor or something.

As far as I can tell, there is no way to tell Klout, "Whachoo talking about, Willis?" A phrase which seems highly appropriate here. I don't know what Klout is talking about. But if it can't figure out that I am not influential about Phoenix because I never talk about it and I don't live there, then maybe its score isn't exactly that accurate either.

Bottom line, don't stress too much about this. Yes, Klout is important. But real clout is more important. And you have more control over that than a computer can tell you. Keep doing what you're already doing....connecting, chatting, making new contacts, providing useful information, being funny or charming or whatever it is that makes you you. Klout will catch up to you, if you just stick with your commitment to keep reaching out to the world on social media.

If you're interested, here's a link to Media Bistro's coverage of the Klout changes. Or read about it from the horse's mouth: Klout's blog.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.


  1. Ah-hah! Thanks for the post. I saw my score dip 7 points, so I was certainly wondering what happened. I have only been increasing my activity online, of late, as I have come off a hiatus with the birth of my second child. I had hypothesized that Klout had altered their calculations, but I certainly didn't think it was true. Rather, it was my own vain attempt to justify the change.

  2. Glad to hear this post helped you out. And congrats on your new baby! Very cool. :)


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