Klout is under attack. Klout, if you didn't know, measures an individual's influence across the web, scoring each of us based on our social media activity from 1 to 100. Since its inception in 2008, Klout has steadily increased its own “klout” – with an audience now in the region of 100m scored users and funding to the tune of $10m .
Klout and the buzz surrounding this service, raises a number of questions. Questions which we need your help to answer…With so much positive attention, it may seem ironic that Klout is seldom without its detractors. Complaints have historically focused around the often bemusing set of users' influential topics – “what do I know about…”.
The volume of negative comments appeared to increase sharply following Klout's recent decision to amend its algorithm and reduce the Klout scores of many of its 'influential' users, overnight.
Why should we get so upset over a numeric score? In particular, why are we so prickly about Klout using data without our permission or being less than clear on how the numbers add up? We complain about ethics, transparency and accuracy but is it really a bit more personal than that? If I'm being scored, and it would appear I no longer have a choice in the matter, I want to know how and why the result was reached.
One of the very best articles which sum up succinctly the main arguments surrounding Klout can be found in Pam Moore's blog post Why I Deleted My Klout Profile. Some of the issues raised are undoubtedly specific to Klout and its modus operandi, others relate to the wider concept of public scoring of an individual (where control is lost).
As you might expect, other companies are vying to become the next Klout, companies such as:
The entry of other would-be Klouts and the range of issues surrounding Klout, raises a number of important questions. Questions, which with your help we will seek to answer:
Q1: Is Klout here to stay – what is great or terrible about Klout?
Q2: Are Influence scores useful, ethical, accurate?
Q3: What's better than Klout – is there anything immediately more useful and why?
Please provide your thoughts and comments in the usual way.
Alan, Jim and Vincentklout ceo joe fernandez you have to be able to take a punch