The 26th October 2011 will be a special day for some. For me it's five days after my birthday, pretty unremarkable. However, it may also be the day you lost Klout. Yes, Klout the online influencer tracker updated its algorithm and for most they saw their Klout score drop. Imagine the horror. Many people have worked nights to boost their Klout score and this may just push them over the edge. But should we be concerned? Probably not.
Klout is one of those social media tools that accurately captures the spirit of the web or at least the marketing industry: egotistical monkeys. I admit I'm guilty. But I'm not going to lose sleep over my 5 point drop. And I'll tell you why.
Klout strives to link all your social networking tools and deduce an overall figure or Klout score from your influence amongst these networks. Of course we don't know the exact algorithm but alas, if the 1567 people that are your 'friends' on Facebook actually are, and your Twitter followers are actually interested in your inane updates and not just giving away free iPads then you're likely to have a responsive audience, and indeed a respectable Klout score. Of course there's much more to it, but that rests largely with your friends extended network and how far the content you release spreads. Also, if you interact with people with a low Klout score, you will pay the price in your own score: it reflects badly. So they're saying don't do it. Whatever.
The problem for marketers is that this is by no means an exact science and relying on an arbitrary figure is not cool. Case in point: The Techcrunch product editor was not allowed to take part in the Windows Phone giveaway because her Klout score was [embarrassingly] low. Of course she is a well revered blogger and has irrefutable klout, but unfortunately for her she needs to spend a bit more time tweeting,
Ok, so this is one example but I do think we should treat these tools with caution, at least until my score reaches 70.