I was recently introduced to the social media scoring scheme known as Klout. I had heard about it some time ago, but never really followed up, because–well, if you deal with the internet a lot, there is a hell of a lot of follow up on. Plus RL things!
So, for about a month I have been following ME, as a Klout object. Here is my screenshot:
I feel really, fully digitized; and like there’s no privacy left in the world. As of today, I am a “42”—I really don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. I am also a “networker”. I’d love to network my ass into a stateside job.
The number of people I influence is 197. I bet I’ve met most all of them face-to-face. Since I have about 200 Facebook friends. No bragging: I am older than my Klout score, so I have been around long enough to have travelled in a few circles, and young enough that social media means something to me.
You notice, though, that the range of influence and the number of Facebook friends is darn near the same! My tweeting–I am only recently “into” that–is not so great, so Klout can’t be pulling my clout off that. LinkedIn the same.
So blogging one post a day, that goes out to a readership that in no way is being pulled from Facebook and Twitter, is netting me a 42??
I am remarking on my score because it seems kinda high. But a number of people have been bent all out of shape in the last two weeks because Klout has adjusted whatever algorithm it (the people of Klout Co.) use to determine your capital “K” clout. A lot of people went way way down–and they are bent out of shape over it enough to Klout pout.
Let’s back away from this and look. What is social media influence? It’s your getting into the attention of someone else. This has been going on for centuries, but, back in the European day, high social media was reserved for the King, the enemy of the King, and Jesus. Plus their immediate families and the local thugs with titles. In the “mass media” era, movie and television stars can to be invited into homes. Now, in the internet era, everyone gets to communicate outside their own RL social circles without involving the editorial page of a newspaper. Via YouTube, you can mimic the television.
I think what this did is make any number of people think that because they could imitate the television and the newspaper, they were “big” like the people of the last century who did that. Or that they could be big, or “should” be big. But, in fact, so many other people–enough other people–were out there doing the exact same effen thing, that there was no way mathematically that they could ever achieve such social celebrity.
There are only so many hours in a day–24. If you go up in attention, someone else goes down. There were only three big television networks in the 1970’s. If people started watching ABC, it meant NBC and/or CBS had to go down. No VCRs, really. Zero sum, unless you could attract more people to the TV set. (The bulk of that work was done in the ’50s and ’60s.)
In the social media world of the 2010’s, you get your tiny slice–that’s it. You are competing with millions of other broadcasters. Fortunately, the old media is still out there with their oversized audiences—kind of the 1%, you know? This is why you see Justin Beibers or some other big name getting all the Net attention, too.
(It was funny. When I came back to America, I had to learn a lot of the big entertainment names, and I’m still flustered that I don’t know some of them.)
So I laugh that these Klout people who were 70’s, and now they’re just 60’s. Ones who got pushed back, and have a big issue with it. It’s like when the VCR came out, and the networks felt that the Nielsens were getting it all wrong. You know that Klout is simply taking mathematical formulas, based off activity that it can measure from you doing whatever you’re doing on the net, and then making a number. What are you doing on the internet? Good question. I have the same question for a lot of what streams by me in a sitting.
As a “42”, I might be throwing spitballs from the back of the class and [at] the class geeks. It’s a comeuppance for these people, though, and I’m saying that, agreeing that Klout should not have changed its algorithms without reporting “Old Klout” as well. That affected Klout’s clout, since they purport to be scientific, then they say, “no, you aren’t a 77 after all.” That’s more like art. That’s more like dating (social dating, not the calendar).
Down at the Seaside Heights boardwalk, people liked to try and get the highest Skee Ball scores. Then, came video games, and you fought to get listed in the top ten. People always go in for these rankings–I saw this in Japan. What gets them upset is when you pull the rug out from the scorer, or you make them feel they are playing a strategy game like chess, and then they find out it’s more like the slot machine.
[Update #1: The 197, I think, are mostly coming off WordPress. WordPress regulars.]
[Update #2: Wow! After posting this, my Klout score went to “10”—I kid you not! I won’t be looking at that number very much anymore. At least when the weather thermometer moves that much, it’s telling me to bundle up. Or that I flew to a country with Celsius.
Don’t believe me? Here is the screen shot:
[Update #3: If you are a legitimate company, you don’t screw around like that, right? No one will take you seriously.]
[Update #4: The good news is that my ProSkore account is now established, and there I am an “18”.]