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All for the Sake of Klout!

One look at this title and you may be thinking, “Well, he’s definitely gone off the deep end this time!” To be honest, I said the same thing when I first heard the word ‘Klout’ being thrown around from my friends and colleagues. So now, really, what is Klout, and why should I care?  The simplest way of putting it, is that Klout is an online aggregation product that takes in data from just about all the social networks you are on and then sees exactly how engaging and active you really are. So, what about that whole “me actually caring” part? Well, you might want to take notice for a couple of key reasons.

KloutOne of the things about social networks is that they are very active and VERY public, meaning it’s very easy for someone to see something that was not intended for them to see.

Social can be a very good tool, however when not used carefully and monitored constantly it can do more harm than good. In some circumstances, individuals or even companies may need a tool to monitor their social activity and measure how effective their social presence is … this is where Klout comes in.

What’s all the ‘Klout’ About?

Where Klout really shines is that it actually takes in data from just about every social network you are on and it then analyzes the social signals (recently upped to around 400) and deciphers how much influence you have based on things like the amount of followers you have or the amount of interaction per post. It’s addicting, frankly because of ‘game like’ competition – beating your fellow companions in a match of social greatness! Now this is all fine and dandy, but what’s the real world value of all of this?

Well if you ask me this “competition” and how they’re using your score has me a little worried. I’ll give you an example. Recently, Cathay Pacific Airways teamed up with Klout, and one of the things that they did was open a private lounge area that was previously only available to business and first class passengers, to all those with a Klout score of 40 or higher. If you ask me, that’s starting to get a little insane. I mean, there are instances where companies use Klout scores not only to evaluate job eligibility, but also to evaluate priority of customer service. Have we taken social too far by allowing our social rank to gauge our real world worth?

The thing that really worries me through: Is the real world building a reliance upon it. That’s not to say that all is lost however, and ultimately the big winner from all this are businesses. Taking a look at peoples influence before interviews, or meetings. Whether it’s with a customer or an employee both current or potential, the information klout provides will prove to be essential about who you favor in the professional world, and the kind of service you give to a customer. A word of advice though, keep us lower class citizens in mind too. We are the followers of your high Klout customers, and we definitely don’t like to be lied to. Give it some time and the facade will come down.