Have You Survived The Kloutpocalypse?!?!

If you’re receiving this blog post, that means you are one of the lastzombieklout remaining survivors.  You are the future now.  You are the last hope for humanity.  Only you can help rebuild our fallen world.  Round up as many Facebook friends and Twitter followers that you can!  Re-tweet dammitt!  For god’s sake Re-Tweet!!!!!! (and don’t forget to @mention yourself in the Re-Tweet).

You would literally think it was a zombie outbreak the way people are responding to the latest Klout score changes.  Hordes of people emotionally breaking down claiming all sorts of negative backlash that will fall upon their professional lives now that the majority of users scores have decreased.  Actually, it’s more likely that it’s even, we’re just not hearing as much from those whose scores were unaffected or went up.

Concerns such as “I’m going to lose clients!” to “I work in social media and this directly effects my career!!” have been common responses.  Sorry, but I don’t get it.  I work in social media, and my Klout score has absolutely ZERO influence on the clients I work with, obtain, or my career path quite frankly.  In fact 90% of those I work with don’t even know what a Klout score is.

If you are going to lose clients or not get that promotion because of your Klout score, you’ve got much bigger problems then your Klout score.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I do think there is some value in a company like Klout and what they are trying to do.  However it is by no means, the be all end all.  A Klout score in and of itself is not enough to truly measure ones social influence.  In fact, no mathematical algorithm can truly measure this by itself.

Most of us are all influencers in our lives one way or another.  Everybody shares unique talents, insights, expertise, and we share them with others in ways that work for each of us.  And Klout has a long way to go before their score can stand on its own to measure that (How’s about starting with self hosted blogs??).

When I logged in yesterday and saw that my score dropped from 71 to 54, my initial reaction was “What?! Really?”, but I knew the change was coming, and after seeing that quite a few other folks were impacted too, I knew that it was all relative at that point.  Sure my score went down, but it went down for quite a few folks.

After reading through the changes, and taking a closer look, my assessment of my score drop was due to Facebook more then anything.  My “influence” on Facebook is probably not that high at all as I only use my profile for friends and family for the most part.  Most of those folks don’t have much of an interest in social media marketing or blogging, so what I share on FB doesn’t resonate all that much as it does in other places.

Now my partner in crime at S360 Molly Killien is a FB monster, but not as much on Twitter (in comparison to me), and she is the brand new recipient of a higher score then me at 55 due to the changes (and quite happy about it!  Grrrrr!!).

Now does that mean Molly is more influential then me?  In some ways probably so.  And that’s where Klout scores get tricky.  While Molly may be more influential then me on certain channels, or in certain topics, I will be in other areas.  Bottom line…does it really matter?

Influence is about sharing great content, helping others, and being a leader.  Write a great blog, share things that impact you, respond to others and engage.  Don’t worry about the numbers so much.  If you know your stuff, and have a history of delivering results, your Klout score doesn’t matter.

Now step back off the ledge!

23 comments

  • Jason the drops were dramatic yesterday, but did nto take me long time to see what Klout is up to. What they did is simple trick, they took entier size of your network (followers, FB frineds, LinkedIn Connections and G+) and gave them the same weight. So the issue is now if you have large number of followers and some are not active and its affect your score. 
    But Klout should explain how scores are assigns in first place at is appears now less followers and friends you have higher is your score. 🙂 My 2 cents to Klout Gaming Project 🙂

    • I don’t have a problem with Klout trying to refine their scoring, hell, everyone has to expect that this will be an ongoing issue.  What they haven’t done so well is their ability to be transparent and responsive to the changes from what I can tell.

      • I agree with you TRANSPARENCY is needed. They promise but what we get is not a transparency. My concern is if, old algorithm was so off how do they expect we will believe them that new one is accurate, well they will need to adjust it again when more networks will be added and again we will be at square one, as we are today. They will never get it right:) 

  • I love this, Jason! I, too, experienced a drop in score. Thirteen points to be exact. However, if this change improved the algorithm, I’m all for it.

    As you say, Klout is but ONE tool to measure influence. It is currently unable to do a sufficient job of comprehensive scoring (at least in my opinion). Influence can frequently equate to actions taken due to one’s “influence” and engagement on blogs. This is not a part of the Klout score at this time.

    They’ve changed the scoring at least twice before and I’m sure it will happen again…and again. In the end, we all own our own value. Put out great content, build a community, and work hard. That’s more valuable than any score…

    • I would say figuring out a way to incorporate self hosted blogs would be a huge step in the right direction.  Even better would at the very least be more transparent around this issue and give people something to go on regarding whether they are even considering it.

  • For Klout, in my humble opinion to really be able to measure influence, it has to extend beyond “social media” channels and also be able to include Google Analytics to show blog influence, and/or something like tracking Disqus comment responses on blog posts. Klout is very limited in its scope of what their “standard of influence” truly measures.

  • Nice article Jason,

    I’m fairly new to Klout. I only signed up at the beginning of this week and my score has been steadily rising over the past month as I have become more engaged with people.

    I’m with you on the real relevance of the Klout score. I can’t imagine it’s a deal breaker for anyone. At best it’s a yard stick and a bit of fun. But I don’t think people should get hung up on it.

    What really counts is immeasurable by any mathematical algorithm because it is purely qualatitive and that is solid relationships. We use social media as a tool to help us build quality relationships with our peer community and new and existing clients & customers. How many little orange Ks one has is irrelevant in reality.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Alex

    • Looks like you just missed getting the hammer!  Careful, once you get the orange K’s in your system, you’re doomed.  Spreads hard and fast.

  • You hit it on the head – Does it really matter?  Nope.  Most of the people freaking out about it are using it to measure their self worth against others.  Kind of sad but people like to see how they rank.  Influence has become a funny concept.  What do you do with that?  Now, if you could predict how people would share information in social networks based on how they interact – that would be useful.

    • True.  Most people are pretty vain and do want to compare themselves vs. others.  That’s natural and ok as long as you don’t become so consumed with it.

  • All the hula-boo reminds me of the shock waves among marketers from google’s last algorithm updates. You can even find ebooks (!) about the “Panda” thing. You should not build a business or career on such finicky foundations.

  • Jason, great article and very true. Are we really going to build our reputations on a score? I certainly hope not!

    My score took a beating; made me take a deep breath in, however I then came to the same conclusion as you. If I know my stuff and have a history of delivering results for my clients, then that’s all that matters.

    Taking the step now…. 🙂

  • If there was a mathematical equation that can calculate income gained versus klout score increase then I would probably be a little bit more gazelle like in raising my score up. But until then it almost seems like playing a video game for fun and it’s just a race to get the high score.

  • I will never open up my Facebook to people I do not know personally. I welcome everyone to all my Social networks, but Facebook. I have images of my family and communicate to my Facebook friends in a much more relaxed and informal manner on FB.

    Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, Triberr you name it I welcome invites to become a follower, friend, contact et cetera. If my Klout score is impacted that I do not want strangers looking at my children’s birthday pictures then so be it. 🙂

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