Exclusive CEO First Look: Klout's +K influence vouching

Klout, today, introduced +K, which is way for you to verify your friends’ influence on social media services like Twitter.

For many companies Klout is the way they verify the influence of a user on social media systems. It isn’t perfect, but it’s the best one I’ve found out there so far, so I wanted to talk with Joe Fernandez, CEO/co-founder, about the service and how it works and the new +K system. Here’s the video.

He covers why important people in the real world, like Warren Buffett, don’t get high Klout scores and what they are doing to rectify that.

My Klout score? 80 (in the interview I cover why that’s douchbaggy to brag about). What’s yours? Do you think it’s accurate or do you think it’s all bulls**t?

Comments

  1. I don’t think it’s entirely BS but it’s also not necessarily accurate.  The place all of these algorithm-based systems fall down most is that they’re easy to cook, if I want to.  So it’s quite easy to understand what the main drivers for scores are – a combination of numbers in your network and interactive activities of one kind or another.  Now we know that you can increase both of those without actually being more influential.  What’s interesting is that the creation of these measures is becoming a game in itself – so Klout, PeerIndex, EmpireAvenue etc create something, users respond and try to play the system and then the providers come back with some improvement, like bringing in measures like this to try to improve it.  I’m hopeful that we’ll get somewhere this way.  

    But my experience of performance measurement in large organisations over the years tells me we’re fooling ourselves if we think we can reduce the huge complexities of human behaviour on the social web to just one or two key metrics. 

    Also, you’ve shifted the furniture around in your den! :)

    1. yeah, you like my studio’s arrangement? More improvements coming soon. I like it a lot more. 

      Unfortunately people love numbers and Klout has an interesting number. Plus it’s big and orange. :-) Game away! 

      1. It’s a great reminder that this is all just one big game – so easy to take it too seriously!  I do think there’s an interesting bit at the moment where you can just see the people like you and Chris Pirillo who love playing these sorts of games getting to be winners – it’s when the snake-oil salesmen come in telling me they know something because they’ve got a big orange number, that I start to yawn :)

        Another point – do you get notification when someone +K’s you (like who and what for?) – that’s an interesting social gesture in itself.  I didn’t find it at all difficult to get rid of my 5 +K’s today already.

  2. Great interview. I do think it’s accurate, and mine is 50. (still feel like a douchebag for saying that, even though it’s sort of low!)

  3. Here’s a nice challenge/comparison between Klout and the new TIE score tested at the Social-Loco Conference last month.

    Robert, you were the high score for both scoring systems; nothing douche baggy about that.

    “To test our new metric we conducted an analysis on influencers for the
    Social-Loco conference. After the conference, Beyond calculated TIE
    scores for Twitter handles that tweeted about social and mobile web
    convergence at the event. Five of the top ten most influential twitter
    users posting topic-related content (based on the TIE score) had a Klout
    score less than 50. The results were further evidence that a marginal
    Klout score does not preclude high levels of influence on a particular
    topic. Real insight into social influence demands analyzing it in
    context.”

    Great infographic here: http://www.bynd.com/2011/05/26/tie-score/

  4. The *absolute value* of Klout scores is not very useful, but difference and changes are valuable.

    What Klout currently measures as influence (getting people to click) is different from real-world influence (getting people to change their minds). So the the fact that e.g. Warren Buffet has different influence ratings in the two systems is not surprising.

    It will be interesting to see whether +K voting affects this. I’m not optimistic, because I expect marketers are already using small bribes to voters, as they do with e.g. Facebook likes.

  5. Hi Robert,

    I’m not a fan but…. it does give you an insight into how others may view you online.

    For example, people see me as someone who shares info, which is fine but… maybe I’d prefer to be a ‘thought leader’ (whatever that means :) ) so it’s a reminder to change the volume/types of data I share.

    Does that make sense?

    Ivan

  6. You know I love my Klout score but honestly am I that influential? Not so sure about that.Not on a global scale anyway. In my little area (computer science education) perhaps. Among people on Twitter maybe. I just don’t know how useful these services are. They are fun for sure. And if my score impresses my management I’ll all for it. But I worry when egos get wrapped up in how high their scores are to the point where they start gaming the system.

  7. You know I love my Klout score but honestly am I that influential? Not so sure about that.Not on a global scale anyway. In my little area (computer science education) perhaps. Among people on Twitter maybe. I just don’t know how useful these services are. They are fun for sure. And if my score impresses my management I’ll all for it. But I worry when egos get wrapped up in how high their scores are to the point where they start gaming the system.

  8. You know I love my Klout score but honestly am I that influential? Not so sure about that.Not on a global scale anyway. In my little area (computer science education) perhaps. Among people on Twitter maybe. I just don’t know how useful these services are. They are fun for sure. And if my score impresses my management I’ll all for it. But I worry when egos get wrapped up in how high their scores are to the point where they start gaming the system.

  9. Pretty interesting but very selfserving for Klout and it’s score. Check out http://propz.me instead, it’s the best way to give props to your friends and show respect to the people who matter. Spread the love, give propz!

  10. Very interesting.  I’ve been waiting for a way to rank myself against others.  There should always be a way to gather some sort of metric to pit yourself against the next, otherwise the competition is not there, which is what makes the web so great.