By Paul Pannone
The internet and understanding how it works continues to mystify most people who say they can barely figure out how to make a call on their smart phone. But with the changes brought about and growing importance of the internet, keeping up with a working knowledge of what’s popular is as important as paying your mortgage.
With Facebook set to IPO this month commanding an estimated valuation of nearly $10 billion dollars and Twitter coyly staying out of the fray, it’s anyone’s guess how high the ceiling will rise, as the Internet’s impact on civilization continues to overtake everything in its path. Old-timers, newcomers and everyone in between have more questions than there are answers at the moment. Anyone that tells you they have the answers are mistaken, especially if they’re trying to charge for the information. The Internet was conceived as a free source of information. But you have to be smart on who you trust and why.
If you want clout on the internet, it may be time to check your Klout.
In the past six months we’ve kept up with Klout; a resource that takes an index of your Facebook and Twitter information and through the miracle of their purported hocus-pocus assigns a status to your profile and claims to know your reach in cyber space. Wonderful. So now you’re a Broadcaster– so what?
According to Klout these are the possible choices you can fall under:
You can’t get any more influential than this. People hang on your every word, and share your content like no other. You’re probably famous in real life and your fans simply can’t get enough.
Taste Maker (ex: @missrogue)
You know what you like and your audience likes it too. You know what’s trending, but you do more than just follow the crowd. You have your own opinion that earns respect from your followers.
Pundit (ex: @scobleizer)
You don’t just share news, you create the news. As a pundit, your opinions are wide-spread and highly trusted. You’re regularly recognized as a leader in your industry. When you speak, people listen.
Thought Leader (ex: @chrissaad)
You are a thought leader in your industry. Your followers rely on you, not only to share the relevant news, but to give your opinion on the issues. People look to you to help them understand the day’s developments. You understand what’s important and what your audience values that.
Broadcaster (ex: @huffingtonpost)
You broadcast great content that spreads like wildfire. You are an essential information source in your industry. You have a large and diverse audience that values your content.
Curator (ex: @chrisbrogan)
You highlight the most interesting people and find the best content on the web and share it to a wide audience. You are a critical information source to your network. You have an amazing ability to filter massive amounts of content to surface the nuggets that your audience truly care about. Your hard work is very much appreciated.
Feeder (ex: @loldrivers)
Your audience relies on you for a steady flow of information about your industry or topic. Your audience is hooked on your updates and secretly can’t live without them.
Syndicator (ex: @DrShock)
You keep tabs on what’s trending and who’s important to watch. You share the best of this with your followers and save them from having to find what’s hot on their own. You probably focus on a specific topic or cater to a defined audience.
Networker (ex: @lewishowes)
You know how to connect to the right people and share what’s important to your audience. You generously share your network to help your followers. You have a high level of engagement and an influential audience
Socializer (ex: @bobbrisco)
You are the hub of social scenes and people count on you to find out what’s happening. You are quick to connect people and readily share your social savvy. Your followers appreciate your network and generosity.
Specialist (ex: @joefernandez)
You may not be a celebrity, but within your area of expertise your opinion is second to none. Your content is likely focused around a specific topic or industry with a focused, highly-engaged audience.
Activist (ex: @alexlines)
You’ve got an idea or cause you want to share with the world and you’ve found the perfect medium for it. Your audience counts on you to champion your cause.
Coversationalist (ex: @kuratowa)
You love to connect and always have the inside scoop. Good conversation is not just a skill, it’s an art. You might not know it, but when you are witty, your followers hang on every word.
Dabbler (ex: @ask500people)
You might just be starting out with the social web or maybe you’re not that into it. If you want to grow your influence, try engaging with your audience and sharing more content.
Explorer (ex: @nitinchitkara)
You actively engage in the social web, constantly trying out new ways to interact and network. You’re exploring the ecosystem and making it work for you. Your level of activity and engagement shows that you “get it,” we predict you’ll be moving up.
Observer (ex: @adrockus)
You don’t share very much, but you follow the social web more than you let on. You may just enjoy observing more than sharing or you’re checking this stuff out before jumping in full-force.
With any rating system, beauty contest, best baby award, etc., criticism often follows the venue and Klout is no different. According to Wikipedia;
“Several objections to Klout’s methodology have been raised regarding both the process by which scores are generated, and the overall societal effect. Critics have pointed out that Klout scores are not representative of the influence a person really has, highlighted by the fact that President Obama has a lower influence score than a number of bloggers. Additionally, some social critics argue that the Klout score devalues authentic online communication and promotes social ranking and stratification by trying to quantify human interaction. The site has also been criticized for violating the privacy of minors, and for exploiting users for its own profit.
John Scalzi has described the principle behind Klout’s operation as “socially evil” in its exploitation of its users’ status anxiety.Charles Stross has described the service as “the internet equivalent of herpes“, saying that his analysis of Klout’s terms and conditions reveals that the company’s business model is “flat-out illegal” in the United Kingdom, where it conflicts with the Data Protection Act 1998. Stross “strongly advise(s)” his readers to delete their Klout accounts and opt out of Klout services.“
Do you know your Klout score? Does it matter? Let us know by voting.
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