Some while back I rage quit +Klout (automated software to measure a user's influence across his or her social network and issue 'perks' based on the score and a paid involvement by advertisers) because I didn't agree with the algorithm of heavily relying on Twitter activity of any kind to assign influence.

Several things set me off when it came time to quit Klout:

– I had (potential) clients come to me and say my Klout score dipped by 5 points in a week so they weren't sure I was really a social media 'expert' (I was not Tweeting as much because I was speaking at an industry conference – as an industry expert).

– Klout didn't consider activity on any of the digital properties that I am most active in (Google+) towards your level of influence.

– Taking the time to give another person a "+K" (human-issued clout) didn't seem to affect their score

I don't trust any decision made only by software algorithms especially when it blatantly ignores human knowledge. Yes, I realize that Klout is supposed to be a starting point in helping to determine other people or accounts that have influence in areas you are interested in reaching. It is not. Klout is, at its core and purpose, a vehicle for the company that created Klout to make money from large companies to dole out chotchkies and free movie tickets to suckers who work their fingers to the bone Tweeting for a perk. Businesses also get lazy and decide to pick people or accounts with Klout scores in the 'range' of influencer and be done with it. Not Klout's fault, but part of how they market the platform in my opinion.

Like most social networking sites or analytics, I joined Klout in the very early pre-public stages. It read my Twitter stream and assigned me as influential in mullets. I have no idea why. I could not correct the listing for a very long time. I had people contact me poking fun at the fact that I must be some sort of redneck to be influential on a haircut. (I hesitate repeating the word here too much in fear of ranking in search for the term.) My only reason for considering joining again is to see if there have been any improvements and if the mechanics of the platform have evolved. Klout would be added as one of many tools I use for my clients and the results are weighted accordingly – and with a solid dose of human common sense.

Over the past few months I have talked to many professionals that have relationships or clients that use Klout. As much as I'd like to stick to my decision of quitting Klout to make a point, I realize my lack of involvement is neither helping me or hurting Klout. If the platform is better and considers more than just Twitter as a viable social media publishing platform in which to earn influence, then I'd consider it.

Is Klout different now? Is it better? Does it consider multiple social publishing platforms or is it still in bed with Twitter?


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