Klout. My friend my enemy and subject of some of my earliest posts. In October last year I wrote a blog called Treating the Klout. In it I discussed the big change they had just made to their algorithm that had given rise to many complaints from the community. Some had dropped massively in score, others jumped up. Well, they’ve done it again.
Yesterday saw then roll out their latest calculation. Now they include many more data points to decide if you are influential or not. In my case they have now decided that I’m not really all that influential compared to my peers after all. In other cases they have given people very large upwards jumps indeed. Hell they even downgraded Justin Beiber.
Now, to me this seems a bit troublesome. As Klout is used more and more to measure and define influence (even making it on to people’s CV’s), surely it needs to be a predictable score. If over night your perceived influence can dramatically change (twice in 12 months), Klout is proving it isn’t.
This may sound like sour grapes, it isn’t. I am sure I will catch up, for me I enjoy the challenge. But, it is me trying to express how dangerous Klout is becoming. Here is an imaginary story, one I doubt is all that for from the truth or the future.
Joe has a klout of 40. His company has started to include klout in certain decisions about who they will use to represent them in the social media world. He gets turned down for the promotion because Jim has a score of 50. Klout makes a change. Suddenly, Joe has a Klout of 56 and Jim has a score of only 53. Over night the landscape of digital influence has shifted with no explanation of how the scores have been altered. Should Jim now lose his promotion because some techy at Klout has decided he is no longer as influential as his peers?
For this kind of measure to be of any use it has to be stable. Klout seems to be going out of its way to prove it isn’t. At least now they tell you what they are measuring. Bring on the gamers!!