Funny and perceptive column by Lucy Kellaway on Klout and its attempts to measure influence in social media. Quote:
It is also hard to respect a system in which Justin Bieber (whose moronic Twitter page says: “you are always there for me and I will always be there for you. MUCH LOVE”) is the only human to have briefly reached a perfect score of 100. It is only a minor consolation that, following some recent tweaking of the algorithm, he has dropped a few points in order to allow Barack Obama to squeeze in ahead of him.
But the main problem with Klout is that it is a nonsense to try to boil down something as qualitative as influence into a single number. It fails to distinguish between someone who is influential in the world of dog biscuits and someone who is influential in defence policy: both are ranked the same.
Even more objectionable is what obsessing over Klout scores does to people: it makes them twitchy and stupid. On Twitter, every few seconds someone tweets: “My Klout score has just gone up two points!!!!” And then sycophants retweet these dreary messages and the scores rise even further.
For disclosure, my Klout score, last time I checked, was 48 – and I have many few readers and followers than Kellaway.