Stop the Social Puppetry for Klout and Other Influence Metrics!

If you have been online Twitter or Facebook this week it would be hard to miss the chatter on Klout and their new algorithm.  A new algorithm launched on October 26, 2011.

There were strong arguments for and against the change.  Although Klout stated “a majority of users will see their scores stay the same or go up”, there seems to be more that dropped than not. Many saw a drop of  15+ points. My personal score dropped 19 points. I am yet to receive an explanation or a response to my email from Klout as to the change and to several other very important questions I asked them.

As Danny Brown summarized in the article, “Is Klout Using Our Family to Violate our Privacy?”  there are concerns that Klout is creating and publicly publishing profiles of minors set to private on Facebook  for people who haven’t ever signed up for Klout.  This is true for both adult and minor accounts. For example, one of the people who Klout claims influences me has never signed up for Klout. I speak to this person infrequently on Facebook yet he shows as being an influencer to me.  Although I like this person dearly, there are definitely other people who influence me daily in comparison.

The above creation of profiles of minors is the most concerning fact I have read to date regarding Klout. There are several case studies being shared online where children (who are minors) now have a profile on Klout even though they are set to private on Facebook.  Obviously this is an issue and at the time of this post I have not seen, heard nor read a response from Klout acknowledging or explaining why this is happening.

There are too many details regarding the changed Klout algorithm for me to explain on this post.  Complaining and explaining the algorithm is also not the purpose of this post.  Instead I want to put these numbers into perspective for myself and you. I am going to provide a brief history and some opinion. I also welcome and encourage your opinion after you have read the entire post.

Before Klout – A Look Back… 

Let’s think back to a time when there was no influence measurement score.  Those of us who have been using social media platforms since the early days can remember being excited for free tools such as Tweet Reach, Tweet Cloud, Social Mention, Tweet Analyzer and more. The reason is we were so eager to get any measurement we could to justify our time spent on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, commenting on blogs and the list goes on and on.

Then along came Klout. They explained themselves as the standard in influence measurement. Since there was no real measurement at the time, some started to believe that Klout was the standard. Even though there were other measurement platforms coming about such as Peer Index, Klout out marketed them to some degree.

iStock 000015597052XSmall Stop the Social Puppetry for Klout and Other Influence Metrics! The Puppetry Begins

Like puppets we all started doing what Klout told us to do. We installed Chrome plug-ins that told us within the Twitter timeline the Klout scores of our online friends. We gave +Ks, we liked, we shared,we tweeted and retweeted, we talked to the right people, we talked more and we talked less.

This was a dream come true for Facebook as we were feeding the puppet eating data monsters with every click! 

HootSuite and other tools implemented ability to see Klout scores. Medium and enterprise social measurement platforms started putting almost all weight to Klout scores. The scores were then used by businesses of all sizes to prioritize who they respond to, support and engage with online. It impacted customer service, human resources, advertising agencies, social media agencies, new recruits and the list goes on! 

Puppet Trainers Emerged
There were numerous blog posts written about the importance of engaging with people with high influence (i.e., high Klout scores.)  There are people who boldly wrote blog posts and admitted they were prioritizing their online conversations with only people with high Klout scores.

The majority of the social ecosystem were unfortunately becoming puppets. Facebook told us to like, send, share, post more, ask for likes. Twitter told us to retweet, reply to tweets.  If you were a good puppet your score would go up. The more time you spent behaving as a good puppet, the better you hoped your score would be.

Just as I wrote in this post “Forget the Klout Score, What’s Your Social Zoom Factor” I challenge people to ask themselves WHY!  Why and what is it doing for you, your business, and your life to be a good social puppet?

This post could go on for days, which would not be good. So to summarize some of my thoughts and opinions I am going to outline them in bullets. Take them or leave them, they are simply my opinion. I encourage you to share your opinion too. There are no right or wrong answers. However, I ask you to refrain from cursing and bashing of anyone at the individual level who responds here. If you do, your comment will deleted.

My Thoughts on Social Puppetry

  • iStock 000016430507XSmall Stop the Social Puppetry for Klout and Other Influence Metrics! We are not puppets. We must refuse to behave like puppets for any score.
  • We are not defined as a human being by our Klout or any other score.
  • Say this loud to yourself daily,  “I am not my Klout score.  I will not measure my self worth by my Klout score.”
  • What you do in the lives of others offline is what matters. Social media is simply a medium for us to impact business and lives. It’s how we use it and what we use it for that will determine our influence. Our influence in reality is not measured by +Ks, topic lists or other.
  • Be careful what metrics you let influence your actions, your words, your retweets & your life!
  • Question: Why would you want to behave as a puppet for a score that is not standard and is nothing more than a score?
  • Question: Is it really worth a perk to be a puppet?
  • Based upon the recent potential privacy concerns of Klout creating profiles for individuals including children without permission from the profile owner from Facebook, I have disconnected every network except Twitter. I am connected to many children under 18 years of age in my community and refuse to be a medium for Klout to do such unethical practices and put our children at risk for a monetary gain.
  • I have never and will not ever let Klout or any other influence metric system determine who I should talk to.  Had I done this prior I would have missed out on some of the best personal relationships, client opportunities and partnerships.
  • Educators think twice before basing grades on Klout scores. A professor at New York University threatened to publicly humiliate those with the lowest Klout scores. Watch a summary video hereVideo: The Measured Life. What’s Your Klout?
  • Human resource managers are treading on thin ice if they are basing hiring decisions on Klout scores. I own a social brand, digital marketing and reputation management agency, ZoomFactor. We do NOT base hiring decisions on Klout. Why should you? I look for things like how are they building community, how are people reacting to their content, what is their content, how will our audience and communities react to them and many more.
  • I know there are some professions that are today dependent on the Klout score. Until this recent Klout debacle and the new algorithm I didn’t realize there were so many. I anticipate much change in this area over the coming months.
  • My belief is Klout is a score based on much opinion.  Who ever said the opinion was right? How can you justify behaving as a puppet for a score that is not transparent, algorithm is not documented and main focus appears to be on paid advertising and perks for good puppets?
  • Beware any influence measurement system or company that has a primary objective of generating revenue from advertisers from your data and your scores. The writing is on the wall folks. What you do with it is your decision.
  • Priorities for social engagement should be set based on goals, objectives and data which can validate how you are tracking to achieving set goals and objectives. Only if your business goal is to win perks should all of your effort be put into gaming the Klout system.
  • Pay more attention to metrics that tell you how your audience is responding to your content, engaging with your content, how much time they spend on your website, what content they read the most, are they opting in to your email for the planned call to action etc.? What is the social zoom factor that tells you how your efforts in social media are paying off?
  • Klout stated the new algorithm would be more transparent. Many of us are waiting on the transparency factor.  Sorry Klout, but your graph explaining the distribution of scores is far from transparent. In reality, most don’t believe it as truth considering it already seems to be proven inaccurate by the masses of people seeing major drops in scores.
  • There is much to be explained in the new algorithm. There are numerous case studies this past week where spam accounts with few followers jumped 10-15 points where those that have large, highly engaged communities dropped substantially.
  • Did you know Klout retrofitted & back dated the new algorithm to your past Klout scores?  Even if your score was a 60 last month, it now shows a lower or higher score based on the new algorithm. How is this truth? Your score was what your score said it was 30 days ago, not what Klout determines it is now based on new algorithm.
  • Random Fact: I was recently retweeted by Alyssa Milano (1.7 million followers!). Funny thing was my score dropped that week and from that point forward continue to drop. That particular day I got 950+ retweets within a couple of hours. Klout never had an explanation to the sudden drop.
  • Question: Would you let a score dictate who you talk to offline? In your neighborhood? At a wedding? At a block party? At a local networking group? At the gym? At your child’s school? At church? At the hospital? At the hair salon? At the neighborhood grille? Why should building relationships online be any different?
  • There are new people hopping on Twitter and Facebook every day. If you ignore these people because they have a low Klout score you could be missing out on your best customer or most genuine and fun friend of the year.
  • What is a +K really going to do for your bottom line in business and life?

Social measurement is in it’s infancy. We have a long way to go. I think the biggest mistake Klout and the entire social ecosystem made was believing that it was “standard.” I think there is a solid place as well as gap in proper social influence measurement. I am looking forward to seeing this arena evolve. I think we have only just begun, the best is obviously yet to come.

Influence will never be able to be put into a box or one single score.  Any social influence score  must be leveraged as “one” of the numbers in our bag of measurement tools and influence metrics. Klout is not and has never been the end all be all for measurement. The issue is that many let it be such.

What happens now is your decision and my decision.  We are human beings who run real businesses, have real friends and do things that have real life impact on other people’s lives that has nothing to with a social measurement score.

Just say no to influence puppetry!

Your Turn

What are your thoughts? How much weight have you put into Klout and the other scoring systems? How have you used Klout in a positive way? Have you seen people’s online actions be dictated by a score? Have you seen people behaving as puppets? Are you one of them? Do you have the guts to stop the puppet behavior? What metrics do you use? What other tools do you use to measure influence?

We will be covering these topics and more on the upcoming #GetRealChat on Tuesday nights at 9pm et.  If you would like to explore, discuss and share opinions on this topic I welcome you to join us. We keep things real, welcome opinion and learn from one another continually. 

Related Articles from Other Sources:

A More Accurate Transparent Klout Score - Klout

Is Klout Using Our Family to Violate our Privacy?  - Danny Brown

 Klout’s Scoring Changes Incite a Riot of Complaints - The Next Web

17 Alternatives to Klout - Read Write Web

Your Klout Score Probably Just Dropped, Do You Care? - Read Write Web

Is Klout on the Way Out?  - Jure Klepic

Video: The Measured Life. What’s Your Klout? - The Wall Street Journal

Forget the Klout, What’s Your Social Zoom Factor? – Pam Moore

 

About the Author

Pam Moore

*Forbes Top 10 Social Media Women, Forbes top 50 Social Media Power Influencer - CEO / founder of Marketing Nutz, full service social brand, digital marketing agency. Social media marketing speaker, author, strategist, consultant, coach, & trainer. I help businesses of all size integrate social media into the DNA of their business, connect with target audiences to nurture authentic customer relationships. 15+ years experience working with Fortune 500, Franchised corporations with 4000+ local franchises to entrepreneurs and startups!

  • AskKaren

    @pammktgnut Love this well thought out piece on #klout; hope you repost during the week too for those who take weekend off social media

  • Darlene Horsch Taylor

    “I”

  • PaulSpoerry

    Klout users read this QT @jasonyormark: Stop the Social Puppetry for Klout and Other Influence Metrics! http://t.co/K49TB7FV by @PamMktgNut

  • jureklepic

    Pam Hi,

    first did you went into application under your facebook settings and remove Klout out ? Is not enough to only unlinked facebook from your Klout profile, you need to revoke Klout application in Facebook settings. I only unlinked in Klout settings and Klout was still able to gather my data from Facebook, till i didn’t remove Klout app from Facebook settings.

    Now to your post. I agree with you we are not and should never be puppets to any Social Media, special not to one that clearly destroying our reputation like Klout does. When i first wrote my first post on Klout in which i was questioning very same question of Standard and Privacy Concerns, i was publicly called by many Troll, spoiled kid, unintelligent, and list can go on. But I never took it personally as I know what was coming soon or later. I was even thrown out of a triberr because of my post. Guess what I did not care. I was just trying to open eyes of many as you tried with your post Forget the Klout Score. Well now the very same person who was backlashing me for weeks across the SM came back and apologize. But this is not the point. Many did not saw despicable and offensive advertising that Klout had at that time, “Would you date a person with the lower Score” running on facebook. And in add was score of 54. My question is remains who is giving Klout the rights of changing social media landscape. And again we users have the power of stoping it in first place. But some are just to “dump” to believe that 1oz of free hair gel that you might get, maks you influential.

    I was always saying Klout was perfect for people who had nothing to show in their offline credentials. Is perfect tool for selling BS.

    As you mention Pam, they did retrofitted our score for simple reason that will not be to strange when they are presenting Perks Program to new business and they don’t get questioned why? As well is not just Klout score that drops, what absurd they did with Subscores. So wondering how much Klout old algorithm was really off…

    AS you said this could go on and on, i could write you 5 new posts in my comment. Fact stay the same, they are full of deception, they are unethical, and big question is if they are legitimate at all in their doings.

    Thanks god i never judged anyone by their Klout score, even after i was advised from Klout that my score drooped because i was engaging with less influential people. I remain the same, i respect and engage with the people based on human factors and not some virtual scores.

    Love your post Pam, and thank you for including my post in it.

  • Scapes

    @rkmacpherson @pammktgnut A question certainly worth asking. Sup with that, @Klout?

  • jen2cee

    @jkcallas @pammktgnut

  • M_M_

    https://twitter.com/#!/JoeFernandez/media/grid Look at the pictures on Joe Fernandez’s Twitter stream and see especially the one that says “kscore formula” ( https://twitter.com/#!/JoeFernandez/media/slideshow?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftwitpic.com%2F123ta7 ) Drinking and measuring us by how sexy they think we are seems to be the “standard” at Klout? I realize this kscore picture may be a joke but there has to be some ring of truth to how they feel about us as consumers int here. Enlarge it at Twitpic and see what it says. It’s insane. I wonder what the advertisers say and if they care that Klout looks like such a big mess? Their customer service and their PR stink. I was a KloutHead before. Definitely not anymore. The sad thing is most people won’t take the time to educate themselves about how all this works, we’re all being accused of yelling “sour grapes” (my score is in the high 50s so that’s not my issue), and they are continuing to suck people in with free hair gel and toys. This is why they don’t care. It’s like they think they are too big to fail so they forget about the people they are being disingenuous with. This is a great blog. Thank you for everything you said here.

    • M_M_

      Also if you look closely on the second picture by viewing it in its original size on twitpic you will see there is mention of “DMing new followers” Are they reading our DMS??????????????????????????????????

      • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

        @M_M_ that is quite scary if in fact they had plans to take in account DMs. However, I believe that the Twitter terms & conditions do not allow access to DMs. I remember reading this the last I authenticated an app last week.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @M_M_ Wow, interesting stuff. Great case study on the importance of reputation mgmt. What may seem like a fun party when launching a biz can really come back to backfire when things get a little crazy later on. I am quite shocked they have not came forward with any message or PR of any kind attempting to clean up reputation and doubt of many. Not sure if they are taking it serious and just figuring out what to say or if they truly don’t give a rip. Only time will tell.

      • M_M_

        It seems as though a lot of the things on that whiteboard are most likely a joke but when I saw that I just thought, hmmmmmmm… And I think it’s kind of tasteless to publicly post pictures of company beer pong games and drinking binges. I know it scares me to think these people are in charge of my data. Just my opinion. I read that facebook is investigating them to be sure they are in compliance with the Terms of Service. This is crazy stuff.@PamMktgNut

  • hartcap

    @jkcallas @PamMktgNut – Stop the Social Puppetry for Klout – enjoyed the read, fully agree. Could not be bothered by Klout, opted out!

  • http://www.janetcallaway.com/ janetcallaway

    Amen, Pam. Like you, I was stunned when I was that apparently Klout is accessing private info on fb–especially of minors. Thx too to Jure for the additional info he gives us on revoking Klout application.

    Though I have not looked at the picture M_M_ references, I had heard “rumors” that Klout was “reading” DMs.

    Quite honestly, Pam, I think this move by Klout freed many from the “Puppet Master.”

    Here is the post I did on Thursday re focusing on people not scores:

    http://www.janetcallaway.com/f-e-a-r-dont-believe-it/

    As always, Pam, thanks so much for yoru sage advice. Best wishes for a fantastic week ahead. Aloha. Janet

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @janetcallaway Hi Janet. I agree it is the privacy matters that concern me most. It’s the primary reason I disconnected my Facebook and other accounts. That is very sad if in fact they were reading DMs. How could they though? I didn’t think the Twitter API permitted such. Last I read on Twitter T’s & C’s it stated that it did not authorize access to DMs.

      Will check out your post too! You write some of the best stuff.

  • BasementReno

    @jkcallas @pammktgnut love this article! Finally.

  • http://live-your-love.com/ Brankica

    I am just wondering will anyone take action against Klout for using all that data and creating profiles for kids? I feel like they are untouchable….

    I personally don’t care about Klout. I did connect a few profiles some time ago but didn’t care much for it. I pretty much hate it now, when I see how they behave and like I said on Danny’s blog, I am worried that some companies are using Klout to determine if someone should be hired or not.

  • danielnewmanUV

    Enjoyed this! Thanks for the good read.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @danielnewmanUV Thanks Daniel. Glad you liked it. What are your thoughts.

  • tracetime

    this has been very helpful Pam. i spent so much of the past week on other things and avoided the klout conversation, just watched it go by. personally, i thought it was fun in that high school kind of way, to watch my score rise and then i grew tired of it. my influence is felt by those i impact and that does not need an algorithm to measure it. i see it every day in someone’s eyes, their response on sm and in my p/l statement.

    I also knoticed they don’t have an easy to leave klout so for now that untangling thing is great.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      Glad the post helped catch you up Trace. I watched it from a far this week, chimed in on a couple comment streams and as you stated it felt so “high school” ish. I then opted out of such convos. With things like this I usually take a few days to read, listen & absorb as I put my thoughts together. This post was simply the first that put my thoughts on paper. I think as I state we are truly at the early stages of social influence measurement. I am not liking what I am reading on the privacy issues related to Klout. However, it’s all of our faults. I fell for it just as the others did. Will be interesting at minimum to see what unfolds over the next few weeks.

  • seanbell

    @danielnewmanUV Or play the game and take their free stuff?

    • danielnewmanUV

      @seanbell the hours it takes to get a dollar worth of free stuff…

      • seanbell

        @danielnewmanUV Not for me – I’m just here doing my thing. But, it is an option. And I agree with you “Ponzi Schemes”.

  • PamMktgNut

    @danielnewmanUV thanks buddy!!

    • danielnewmanUV

      @PamMktgNut of course :)

  • markwschaefer

    “Like puppets we all started doing what Klout told us to do.”

    Really? I would say there is nobody I know well and respect who is gaming Klout or even pays close attention to it, let alone consider that they may have been manipulated by Klout.

    What exactly has Klout told us to do? I never received the instructions. : ) Klout does not really care about what your Klout score is or what you do about it because we are not their customers.

    Over the past few months, I have been introducing some ideas about online influence and power into my talks and classes. If I had to guess I would say I have presented in front of 4,000 over the past eight weeks. I always ask how many people have heard of Klout, and it is typically less than 5-10 percent and these are social media and professional business audiences.

    I think for those of us in the social media hot house, we need to be careful to not assume that whole world is like us. I would say a very small number of people in the world — even in the social media world — have felt like puppets of Klout like you have.

    As business professionals we need to observe it rationally as a potential market trend and like everything on the web, we need to keep things in perspective.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @markwschaefer Mark – I think there are more people than you may think who are knowingly gaming Klout. I have heard the convos, seen the posts.

      I am with you though as I have never put much weight in it. I have always educated my readers, clients, partners and colleagues that it is only one metric. There are many metrics that provide far better data on what really enables you to drive results.

      I also agree with you that few know what it is. I am talking specifically to those who live in the online world. Those that are even aware it exists or that an algorithm change was implemented.

      On the puppetry thing I challenge you to think outside of Klout. What about Facebook edgerank? Yes, get more likes, shares you have a better chance of getting your content seen in a news stream. Look at our blogs, we have buttons for like, shares, bookmarking. Yes, it’s business. Yes, it provides ability to share good content. Yes it is good content that is going to be shared anyway. However, to some degree it’s all a form of puppetry.

      I have clients freaking out about G+ for example because they have heard from their friends it’s the next best thing. Yet, they have no target audience yet on G+. They are worrying for nothing. They are wanting to do what others are doing, yet they don’t know why.

      My key message and challenge to all I train, clients, partners and friends is to be who you are, provide the most value and to not get caught up in the latest fads.

  • geekbabe

    Pam, I consider you to be a true marketing expert & follow your posts because they help me build my own knowledge. After a few days of reeling over the Klout changes, I was spurred by Jure’s postings to really look at Klout, what they are measuring & the impact that can have on my behaviors. All I can say is a metric system that rewards those who suck up to a few & punishes those who readily talk to everybody is a system I just can’t buy into, the “dance monkey, dance” act won’t fly with me anymore.

    Great post, you’ve nailed the key issues here, clearly, cleanly and with drop dead accuracy as usual!

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @geekbabe Thanks so much for the kind words! You are an inspiration to me too. I am happy to hear you find value in my content. Music to my ears and it’s why I do what I do. I am blessed to have met you and know you! Can’t wait until we can meet offline someday very soon hopefully!!

  • NinjaOnTheGrind

    @asorokovsky Nope, but it dropped almost 10pts since the update

    • asorokovsky

      @ninjaonthegrind Haha that sucks. Mine went up a few. #weird

      • NinjaOnTheGrind

        @asorokovsky Facebook? I rarely use FB, so maybe that had something to do with it. #meh

  • elfunkphenom

    @asorokovsky the algorithms don’t lie! be the best puppet you can be.

    • asorokovsky

      @elfunkphenom Math never lies, you’re right. Btw, I’m back in #yyj for convocation on the 10th. It’ll be busy, but we should try to connect.

  • Tinu

    Refreshing alternate view. Thanks @socialmouths RT @PamMktgNut -> Stop the Social Puppetry for Klout http://t.co/9MBbve5r

  • betsykent

    Thanks so much Pam for articulating exactly what I’ve been thinking. I watched in amazement how quickly Klout became a persistant factor in Social Media across so many platforms, while at the same time, their methodology was so murky. It illustrates how hungry we all are for reliable metrics to help us reach our goals for ourselves and our clients.

    Our industry is still in it’s infancy and there will be many of these scenerios before things settle down. But in the meantime, it’s a pretty interesting ride.

    Please rt this so that my Klout score will go up

    (kidding)

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @betsykent You hit the nail on the head and one of the points I was trying to make. We fed and are still feeding the data monsters. We must get a grip and question why we are doing it. Imagine if we had put the same effort into content, engagement, real metrics that help us better connect with our communities. Going to be an exciting time the next 12-18 months seeing how these technologies converge and grow. Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment!

      • betsykent

        @PamMktgNut you are quite welcome!

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @betsykent You hit the nail on the head and one of the points I was trying to make. We fed and are still feeding the data monsters. We must get a grip and question why we are doing it. Imagine if we had put the same effort into content, engagement, real metrics that help us better connect with our communities. Going to be an exciting time the next 12-18 months seeing how these technologies converge and grow. Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment!

  • bevisible

    @socialmouths ty for RT’ing @PamMktgNut ‘s post re Klout. common sense!

  • Glennengler

    Pam:

    Great post. Thank you. Always helpful to get an occasional reality check. I run a digital creative agency, and we have some clients yelling for “targeting klout scores”. But it all starts with the customer insight, and where the conversations are taking place — and how to join those conversations as a brand in a generous way, vs. pushing a message. We always try to guide our clients to think about key influencers and bloggers as a critical part of an activation strategy, but only where it makes sense for the business objective, and only as part of an integrated effort.

    And by the way — your highlighting of the Facebook privacy issue is quite concerning for all of us, especially those of us with kids! Thanks for covering a ton of great points in the post.

    @glennengler

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @Glennengler Thanks Glenn. You are right in that there was a lot to cover in this post. Geeze, it could have went on for pages and pages which is why I decided to write out some bullets. Each one of them could almost be a post by themselves. I see the same thing you are experiencing with clients. They often times know just enough about social media and Klout to be dangerous. I have to give Klout one thing, they have done a good job at making people think the scores actually mean something ;) We do the same thing in regard to the focus on objectives. Sometimes I feel like a broken record. I think clients sometimes think and wish “why won’t she just implement our facebook and twitter page.” They sometimes think we’re complicating matters until they actually follow our direction, take time to plan. Slow down to speed up is what I always tell them. Believe it with every bone in my body. There is no fast way to success in biz with social media. People and relationships are earned, not purchased regardless of what any score says.

      • Glennengler

        @PamMktgNut I LOVE the “Slow down to Speed Up” mantra. Brilliant. I will undoubtedly use it and will happily tout the source. Thanks for pushing this discussion forward.

  • http://DempseyMarketing.com/journal/ RobertDempsey

    Hi Pam – too many great points here to point out just one so I’ll give you a huge +1. Two things to add:

    First, be sure to go into each of your social networks that you disconnected from Klout and revoke their access to your account. Disconnecting won’t completely sever the tie.

    Second, Klout is going down the same dangerous road that GetSatisfaction did when they started creating unauthorized accounts for companies and people use those support sites thinking the companies were actually there. It was first a problem for the companies as they had many users and other community members talking about how they didn’t respond to requests, which was untrue. Then GetSatisfaction had a legal issue on their hands as they were using company logos without permission.

    We’ll see what happens with Klout as they continue to create Klout profiles for people without their permission…

    As for me, I’ve disconnected all but my Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn profiles but am considering simply removing all links and deactivating my account. My clients don’t know about Klout, they don’t care about Klout, and frankly neither do I. It’s a fun game for a bit but aside from that it’s being taken too seriously by too many people.

    Online influence is amorphous at best and cannot be measured by the amount of time someone spends using social media or who they’re connected to. I could know a lot of the big names and have 0 influence.

    It’s fundamentally flawed and should be taken as such. Ultimately I hope it will.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @RobertDempsey Hey Robert! Glad you liked it. I just saw your post too, good stuff! Thanks for the heads up on disconnecting the accounts native on the social networks. I had spaced it at first disconnect. GetSatisfaction is a great example. I was one of the peeps who submitted requests wondering why I never got service. Not good. I have deleted all profiles except Twitter and am considering disconnecting that as well. It’s funny even after disconnecting my score went up. It was quite obvious my network on all of the platforms was doing nothing for my score. It was easy to tell with a few comparisons to other people. I sure hope something is done to stop any company, Klout included from scraping data of minors and being able to blame it on the fact they didn’t know. There must be ownership taken from both the data providing social network (i.e., Facebook, Twitter) as well as the company pulling the data. Neither one of them should be pointing fingers. If a company violates terms they should lose all privileges for data and be fined at minimum IMHO.

      I agree also that influence is not easy to measure online or offline. Have you checked out @Kred? andrewgrill joined our #GetRealChat tonight. on behalf of @Kred and @peoplebrowsr I am quite impressed with what they have cooking. They actually give credit for helping those with lower scores. They also are going to accept some offline influence and integrate into score. They appear to be focused on helping real people in real ways. I am excited to see more of the product and the opportunities that exist to do it right. Like I said in this post we are still truly in the infancy of social influence measurement. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment! You rock! p.s. Thank you also for the link love on your post! Many thanks.

      • http://DempseyMarketing.com/journal/ RobertDempsey

        @PamMktgNutandrewgrill@peoplebrowsr I’ve already lined up a call with Andrew for next week to talk about it and make a video. I was on the chat and thanks to you all found out more about Kred. So we’ll see how it goes.

      • http://DempseyMarketing.com/journal/ RobertDempsey

        @PamMktgNut also I have now completely opted out of Klout and have directions for doing so on my blog along with an explanation of just how flawed Klout really is. They play a good game but it’s a dangerous one.

        I’m happy to no longer be a part of it and urge others to do the same.

  • J Squires

    Klout ceases to be an effective analytics tool the instant you start altering your behavior to raise your score. If Klout is going to be used as a legitimate social media metric, then we’re going to have to act naturally. If your score is low, maybe you should look into your social media network and figure out who it consists of to better reach them and have your message reach their followers. I don’t get why this is such a hard concept. I figured this out after my first 5 minutes on Klout.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @J Squires Amen! I think many figured it out as it is common sense to the folks who understand social media is about the people. To those who don’t, well they have a harder time catching on to why metrics such as Klout are simply metrics, not data they should be basing real decisions on for biz or life.

  • KlausBillinger

    @DerFalscheHase @_alexoswald Mein Klout score sinkt alle paar Stunden, so wie es aussieht zählt nicht mehr Qualität sondern Quantität..

    • _alexoswald

      @KlausBillinger @DerFalscheHase Klout hat sich mit den letzten Änderungen selbst degradiert. Interessiert mich nicht mehr

    • DerFalscheHase

      @KlausBillinger @_alexoswald schön, dass ihr das auch so seht. Ich kümmere mich nicht mehr darum.

      • _alexoswald

        @DerFalscheHase die Algorithmen sind nur eigenartig. Aktivität spiegelt sich tlw nicht in score wieder. wertlos @KlausBillinger

  • Kelly Westhoven Lieberman

    Thanks again for this ~ I had disconnected Facebook when I read Danny Brown’ s post ~ now I will remove the rest leaving only Twitter. Thanks again reminding us why we do what we do and what matters.

  • Kelly Westhoven Lieberman

    Thanks again for this ~ I had disconnected Facebook when I read Danny Brown’ s post ~ now I will remove the rest leaving only Twitter. Thanks again reminding us why we do what we do and what matters.

  • Kelly Westhoven Lieberman

    Thanks again for this ~ I had disconnected Facebook when I read Danny Brown’ s post ~ now I will remove the rest leaving only Twitter. Thanks again reminding us why we do what we do and what matters.

  • phdinparenting

    Great post, Pam.

    I don’t allow services like klout determine how I interact online. However, I was curious about the algorithm and I have a theory for why some people dropped so much. I dropped 14 points and I suspect your drop was for the same reason. We both got killed on amplification because we are not talking to all 60k+ people who follow us. I explain what I think the change was here: http://phdinparenting.posterous.com/klout-algorithm-what-changed

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @phdinparenting I agree with your theory. I was starting to get to the same conclusion and your post just solidified my thinking. The fact that it is now a percentage is a big change. My question is also why is my amplification the same regardless? Is it because of the size of my following that it has less probability and room to move? And how did it get pushed down to 8 to begin with when almost every tweet I tweet gets replied to or retweeted. Simply makes zero sense to me and I am honestly completely done trying to figure it out.

      • phdinparenting

        Pam: It gets pushed down to 8 because they are no longer measuring how often you get RTed or what percentage of your tweets get RTed. They are measuring what percentage of your audience is engaging with your tweets. So if you have a very high number of passive followers, then your score will always be low. Because you have such a high number of followers, it would take a significant change in behaviour of your followers (i.e. a large number of people who otherwise never engage with you suddenly replying/RTing) to make a change.

  • phdinparenting

    Great post, Pam.

    I don’t allow services like klout determine how I interact online. However, I was curious about the algorithm and I have a theory for why some people dropped so much. I dropped 14 points and I suspect your drop was for the same reason. We both got killed on amplification because we are not talking to all 60k+ people who follow us. I explain what I think the change was here: http://phdinparenting.posterous.com/klout-algorithm-what-changed

  • phdinparenting

    Great post, Pam.

    I don’t allow services like klout determine how I interact online. However, I was curious about the algorithm and I have a theory for why some people dropped so much. I dropped 14 points and I suspect your drop was for the same reason. We both got killed on amplification because we are not talking to all 60k+ people who follow us. I explain what I think the change was here: http://phdinparenting.posterous.com/klout-algorithm-what-changed

  • wordwhacker

    .@AskAaronLee @pammktgnut So today on my Hootsuite I noticed I was checking the klout scores of new followers. Bad Linda.

  • pieterbot

    @AskAaronLee It’s like more things that social media concerns: do not take it too seriously @pammktgnut

  • jacobvar

    @devina_mtl tx Devina. How’s your trick or treating going on?

  • SteveNicholas

    Great post, Pam! I have a Klout score, but I just see what it is when they send me updates. It’s interesting to see how the influence works out, but I just do what I do on social networks and let the scores take care of themselves. That being said, my score actually went up by nine points. I don’t know what the scores really mean, or what it means compared to others, but it’s more of an interesting thing to observe than a puppet master for me.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @SteveNicholas Your thinking is right Steve. It’s a good thing to observe but not hold as the influence bible as one doesn’t exist. I am the same way. I do what I do and my scores do what they do. If I had of modified behavior for a Klout score I would have missed out on meeting and connecting with some of the greatest people I have met in years thanks to social media!

  • sno_buny

    RT @AskAaronLee Stop the Social Puppetry for Klout and Other Influence Metrics! http://t.co/ykZoZgxC / via @pammktgnut

  • PamMktgNut

    @E_mhotep yes! You did it!!! Congratulations!

  • PamMktgNut

    @danperezfilms thanks Dan!!

  • @justbethg

    I only recently joined Klout. It didn’t make a heck of a lot of sense to me to do what they said to do so they could measure what I had done and raise my score. It needs to be more objective than that. I want something that will measure my influence and connections based on my current behavior. Then, if I make changes based on learning something new in an environment unconnected to the measurement tool, the tool may have some validity. Evaluation of this sort has to be separate, discrete, from instructions about how to behave, IMHO. @barrymerer @bethkanter

  • DelightCleaning

    @PamMktgNut Great content Pam.

  • saintinc

    Nicely written Pam! I dropped 21 points (73 to 52) but I guess the metrics changed while highly engaging your network is the focal change. Now all the other mediums are equally measured, others who don’t use twitter might suddenly get a higher klout score.

    I like how you use the word ‘social puppetry’. Twitter users like me might be ‘forced to’ try other mediums, or attempt to. But for me, it’s still going to be the same on twitter.

  • PamMktgNut

    @ToddJClausen thanks Todd!!

  • KROmphroy

    @ToddJClausen you know what I get from this, people who freak out or try to build up/tear down Klout might be missing the point of it all

    • ToddJClausen

      @KROmphroy We shouldn’t take it as gospel. It can be fun and engaging and all, but it’s not the end of the world if your scores go up/down

      • KROmphroy

        @ToddJClausen exactly!

        • ToddJClausen

          @KROmphroy Besides a game, it’s making someone $$$. Most don’t see it as a game. Wanna know your metrics, go to TwentyFeet

  • KROmphroy

    @ToddJClausen that includes social media, those freaking out are probably just looking for a reason to stop using social media all together

  • KROmphroy

    @ToddJClausen Klout is a game, that’s all it is, not law or a standard of measure to base your interactions on. Just a game.

  • angels510

    RT @LauriRottmayer @angels510 I read an article about not being their puppets by @PamMktgNut http://t.co/QXUtQXQg. Made me think!

  • angels510

    @LauriRottmayer Thanks for sharing this. I have fave’d for later reading.

    • LauriRottmayer

      @angels510 You’re welcome! :-)

  • VincentRocket

    @angels510 oh yes, thank you i will look at it when i gets a chance xxxooo

    • angels510

      @VincentRocket XoX have a great day.

      • VincentRocket

        @angels510
        thank you! you too! xxx

  • Pingback: Why I Deleted My Klout Profile | The Marketing Nut

  • happyoink

    Cheers for the article. Agreed there are major issues with privacy etc. So I’ve opted out off Klout for all of my accounts, plus I tweeted that I didn’t want to be a product for Klout to sell to brands for $$$. So that’s that then! Gives me one less thing to think about.

  • happyoink

    Forgot to add, I’m just wondering if there are similar privacy issues etc with other similar services like PeerIndex? Any thoughts?

  • fusedlogic

    @talldrinkh2o Same here.

  • Lara Haehle

    Pam, this is a great article about the issues surrounding Klout. Question – wouldn’t it be enough to either disconnect from the minors on your profile, or make your profile/s private? Just wondering if you tried that before canceling all accounts.

    At White Horse (the company I work for) we have a cultural anthropologist on staff who did a quick review of Klout and three other social influence metric scoring systems. You might be interested to check out his report: (linking to our press release, which provides more info) http://bit.ly/uHWCwu

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @Lara Haehle Hi Lara. Disconnecting from the minors on my profile would not be an option. I am connected very much with the youth in my church and other community groups I volunteer. I also have family out of state etc. If I have to choose between Klout and connecting with these audiences, I definitely am going to choose my family, church and volunteer associations.

      The other issue is that even if a profile is private Klout was still creating a public profile for some of them, without them knowing. This was happening for minors.

      I will check out the report. Thanks for the link.