I don't give a sh*t what your Klout Score is. There, I said it.
"Influence" is an interesting phenomenon, especially when it's mentioned in the same breath as social networking. Back in the day, peers and networks were built upon mutual affiliations or connections, trust, or affinity for the same ideas, material goods or other shared-likeness. I'd like to think a lot of that still holds true, even with the introduction of "influencer analytics measurement" programs such as Klout.
Never heard of Klout before? Lucky.
Klout has labeled itself as the "standard for influence" for online activity. On the surface, it's a glorified popularity fluffer. It's the hot cheerleader that gives the starting quarterback extra sides of lovin' after a big Friday night win. Klout has an algorithm in place that "calculates" your level of influence based upon your activity levels across a multitude of social platforms, and analyzes your personal networks, information shared, etc. to come up with a score ranging from 1 to 100. That's all fine and dandy, but I call bullsh*t.
What Klout is doing is using an assigned number to try and tell me who I'm influenced by, and more ridiculously, why I'm influenced. Last time I checked, I base my influencers off of the conversations, intellect and common bonds with people, rather than a mathematical equation.
Case in point: recently I attended a pretty rad PR/social media event at Marquette, covering a healthy span of topics related to PR/SM. One of the sessions was on influence, so I was curious. Sitting through the session, it became very clear to me (and most of the attendees in the room) that the presenter of the session – ironically with the word "influencer" in his title – was doing little more than stroking his own ego and sharing stories that most would not gain insight from.
You sir, were no influencer. Your drunken angry birds costume story didn't influence me; it just wasted my valuable time. In fact, the student and professional attendees at the event influenced me more so than this presenter.
What am I influenced by? Integrity. Honesty. Your opinions that lead to intellectual or spirited conversations, or your acts that inspires me to follow in your footsteps. The personal experiences you share that help convince me to take action, purchase a good or make a reservation. Above all, make me think, make me feel. A number can't measure that accurately.
If your introduction goes something like this: "Hi I'm <insert name here> and my Klout score is <insert number here>," I'll be polite and say hello, then quickly purge your name from my mental Rolodex.
What are you thoughts on Klout scores and more importantly, what influences you?
Some may call her a digital wizardess. Others may call her a bolt of snark ready to strike. But we like to call her Katie. All ninjas must have a day job, and hers is with advertising agency Boelter + Lincoln in the Third Ward. As "BootyP," her wit, criticism and comedic banter have lit up the Twitter world in Milwaukee - and now she's attacking the blogosphere. Her faithful followers know her no-BS approach to most any topic.
Her snarky-yet professional personality makes her a must-read, must-know person in this city. You can find her 14,500 feet in the air, or walking down the street in a pair of stilettos with a yoga mat strapped to her back.
Want to bribe Katie? Best to deliver massive quantities of Diet Coke, candy (gummy candy more specifically), tea and music her way.