Monday, June 27, 2011

My Last Encounter With Klout and Al . . .

Reading today's New York Times article on Twitter and Klout, I wasn't sure whether to laugh, or cry . . . Unbeknownst to me, and millions of other users of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, we are being scored in increasingly sophisticated ways on our influencing power. What started as a fresh social movement is now at risk of being perverted by the lure of money and the trap of power hungry egos. 

As an experiment, I signed up for Klout and was told:

I have an overall score of 47 and I am effectively using social media to influence my network across a variety of topics. However, my Klout score has fallen in the past month and I will need to keep engaging others, and continue creating engaging content to see my Klout score rise again . . . 
I have a network influence of 54 and I am engaged by influencers.
I have an amplification probability of 23 and I am more likely to have my message amplified than the average person.
I have a true reach of 1K and I have worked very hard to successfully build a large, highly engaged network.
I am an 'explorer', meaning 'You actively engage in the social web, constantly trying out new ways to interact and network. You're exploring the ecosystem and making it work for you. Your level of activity and engagement shows that you "get it", we predict you' ll be moving up.'
I influence 1130 users across the social web. 
I am influential about meditation, buddhism, law of attraction (what the heck?), alzheimer's, spirituality, yoga, psychology, huffington post, journalism, blogging.

Just reading the stuff, I could feel greed and fear taking hold. Wanting a higher score. Worried that it might go down if I don't 'engage' more and in the 'right' way. More suffering . . . 

And I decided this would be my last encounter with Klout and al. More important than chasing after influence is the joy of engaging in authentic, meaningful, mindful, rich, kind exchanges with other like-minded people. 


  1. I have been "engaged" by Klout as well, and I understand your response. But the Buddha did teach that we can use the language and the ways of this world as long as we remain unattached to them. Such as speaking of "me" or "I" when there is no fixed me or I. So in my world, reach in social media is important, but has nothing to do with who "I" am. :)

  2. Very well said, Richard . . .

    Now you know (some of) my attachments!

  3. Excellent Marguerite. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with social media. On the one hand, it's great to meet like-minded people I otherwise wouldn't have met if it weren't for the internet and have the authentic and meaningful discussions you reference.

    On the other hand, there's a lot of 'you should be doing x,y,z' stuff out there. Not that it's necessarily bad, but I think that we need to be very careful not to get caught up in achievement, getting ahead and competition-minded thoughts that tend to lead to feelings of fear and greed, or even worse, be doing things just because someone else is telling us we should do them.

    As a caveat, you'll have to excuse the language here (I'll only use the full term once)....a month or so ago I wrote an article about this term being used in social media/internet marketing circles - 'epic shit.' The idea is that there is no possible way a person will be successful or prosper on the internet if he/she isn't consistently writing 'epic (expletive).' When I read this, fear, doubt, worry all came bubbling to the surface. You know, 'oh no, am I not writing epic (expletive)???' Then I immediately was mindful of that and I became quite interested and curious about the term. I actually kind of found it sad because while I suppose this term is used for purposes of being helpful, it probably isn't. It's setting the bar for some type of comparison of what's epic or other words, what's bad and what isn't. Basically my commentary was 'it's all subjective anyway and what might be epic to one person, might be (expletive) to another.' In that way, I think we can let some light-heartedness in and not take this internet stuff so seriously.

    I mean, while all of us want to find happiness and contentment, at the end of the day our 'network influence,' 'true reach' and 'amplification probability' scores probably don't mean too much :)

  4. whilst the internet is fab for connecting with people of a like mind it always amazes me when all these extra things like Klout pop up. They can be amusing to have a look in the moment but after that has passed so has my interest in it...

  5. Yes, Nate, I think the key word is authenticity. And as you say, in the end, we will have all forgotten about our Klout score, but our heart will remember the net sum of our heart to heart encounters :)

  6. 'Be', yes. I find most interesting to watch the 'I' impulses to be propped up, and the suffering not far below.

  7. This is the first I've heard of Klout--sounds scary, but then I also hate Facebook and Twitter. I'm too lazy at the moment to explain why plus who would really care, but it boils down to a gut feeling that these things reinforce greed and the desire for more money.