The web has taken over how we communicate in so many ways.
You no longer have to remember a birthday as Facebook warns you whenever a loved-one’s birthday is near. Twitter tells you when someone decides to think out loud and post (read tweet) something on their page. LinkedIn keeps you in tandem with your professional crowd and FourSquare lets you know where your friends are via check-in when they share their location.
We are in the 21st Century of the Generation X, humans seem to be moving more and more towards online meet-ups and away from actual physical ones.
Influence is everything. At least to those people who know what it is worth, it is everything.
What you eat, drink, watch, listen to, talk about, wear and even drive is constantly being observed by people and more importantly those who you influence. Facebook calls them friends; Twitter calls them followers while Helloo calls them Listeners (puke!).
Bottom line, those who find you influential (read cool) will always try and ape you and what you do. That is what influence does. And anyone trying to change it would be going against common genetic coding. We are all born with instinct to look out for the best and want to engage with it, leading to acquisition where applicable.
Enter KLOUT. This is a web service that claims to effectively calculate just how influential you are according to your social circle, how you interact with them and what choices you influence in your friends.
Ruben Quinones of istrategy calls it “an influence metric online” whose algorithms calculate how popular and influential you are from the number of people you interact with over the web.”
“Klout measures influence by using data points from Twitter, such as: following count, follower count, retweets, list memberships, how many spam/dead accounts are following you, how influential the people that retweet you are, and unique mentions. This information is blended with Facebook data such as comment, likes, and the number of friends in your network to come up with a “Klout Score” that measures a user’s online influence.” Source Wikipedia.
Then come the big guns:
1. Just how accurate is a Klout score?
2. What methodology do they use?
3. How do they work?
4. Can they be mapped out to achieve best route or even critical path as with most mathematical inductions?
5. Can they be drawn from a certain pattern?
This brings into play the big question of ‘Social Media Experts”. Now this one I like. Science subjects us to the same number of opportunities for interaction in our lifetime as long as the conditions are ideal. This means that whoever you are, whatever you do, you have equal opportunity to interact, make friends and in turn also influence friends’ decisions.
Many are amazed to find that so trusted is this service that some employers will hire you to consult in a social media expert capacity by considering your Klout score. Everyone has it too; whether you like it or not.
To check out yours, go to www.klout.com/yourusername (replace yourusername with your twitter handle).
At the end of the day, no-one can say they are 100% sure that their Klout score is what it really is.
All I know is that the one at the top of the list had sure as hell be making money from their ‘Popularity’.