I have a Klout account. If you don’t know about Klout, it’s basically a new, high-tech way of stroking your ego and keeping track of how important you are. And I am all about that.
Problem is, I can’t figure out how it works. Oh, I get the basic concept: the more people like and follow and share your stuff on major social networks, the better. Especially Facebook and Twitter. But it professes to also count WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, G+, Foursquare, Instagram, Tumblr, Blogger, Last.FM and Flickr. I don’t use all these services, but I have connected all the accounts that I do have.
My first issue arises with the fact that they’ll only let you link one account with each service. See, I run four Twitter accounts – one for Black Dog, one personal, one for a team politics/culture blog and another for 5280 Lens Mafia, the awesome new photoblog. I also have the bridge for my personal Facebook, the Black Dog page and a few others. And I host several blogs at WordPress, including this one.
Which means that you cannot conceivably measure my influence, minimal thought it may be, if you limit me to one account per network. You can’t get close. As I see it, this is a problem in the methodology. Not that I’m vain or anything. I just care about services getting it right.
Even if I accept the one account rule, though, the results I get still make no sense. You can change from one connected account to another and the results either don’t change or they change in the wrong direction. For instance, the Twitter feed for the aforementioned poli/culture site has more followers and gets more retweets than my personal account, so if I unhitch Klout from the docslammy account and hook it up to that one, my Klout score should go up, right? Nope.
An even more baffling example: up until a few days ago I had Klout linked to my Lullaby Pit WordPress site. But I figured that if I’m using Klout, I might as well maximize it, because my future hangs in the balance. So I switched the connection from the Pit to the politics/culture site, which does massively more traffic. Heck, I might get less than 100 looks a week at Lullaby Pit, but the other one has been blowing the lid off lately. One recent post drove significantly more traffic in a few days than the Pit did in the last year.
So this change should have caused my Klout score to go up, right? Like, by a lot. Nope. It actually went DOWN a point.
There are two messages in this for the folks at Klout. First, I’m whiny and I want everybody to pay attention to me.
Second, and more important, is that your service is of no value if people don’t know what the scores mean. You want recruiters and managers to employ your results in things like hiring decisions, but only a chimp is going to do that if the methodology is this unreliable. At an elementary level, if you’re measuring X, and X is good, when X goes up the score should go up.
Right now you have a useless metric that confuses and disappoints us hapless vanity seekers and provides no meaningful value whatsoever to that business community you really need to buy in.
Might want to look into it….