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Delete Your Klout Profile Now!


Klout’s CEO Joe Fernandez
gave an interview this summer—before the new Klout algorithm rolled out—in which he said, ““When you think about it, the idea of measuring influence is kind of crazy. Influence has always been something that we each see through our own lens.”


Klout’s CEO Joe Fernandez 
gave an interview this summer—before the new Klout algorithm rolled out—in which he said, ““When you think about it, the idea of measuring influence is kind of crazy. Influence has always been something that we each see through our own lens.”

 Don't get me going, pal.

Enough people have flamed Klout for their scoring mechanics over the past three weeks that I don’t need to add my rant to that pile.  But I need to write this post to explain the ethical problem Klout poses for those of us who use social networks for a significant amount of connection, communication and information.  And to ask you to do something about it.

Please, when you get done reading this, go to www.klout.com and delete your profile from Klout forever.

Completely.  And don’t look back.  I did it this week, and so far my social cred has not come crashing down around my head.

The fundamental evil of Klout is that it’s a venture capital-backed company looking to leverage into a big IPO payday  and the only value proposition they offer is their ability to identify, train and exploit people they can sell to advertisers as “key influencers,” in a taxonomy of business interests.

What do these “key influencers” get for their efforts?  Pennies.  Swag. Chocolate bars. Little discounts.  These people are the entire sum of the Klout value proposition.  Klout exists for the benefit of advertisers, not for the people Klout measures and then chooses to engage.

That’s the big inequity.   Other Klout-like start-ups like PROSkore exist for the benefit of the people being measured.  PROSkore is trying to match social scoring with LinkedIn-type connections, peer to peer.  But the more Klout gains, well, clout in the marketplace, the more they will become the gold standard for identifying people who are great connectors on social media.

Beyond this fundamental sleaziness, there is a bigger issue that makes Klout wrong, and frankly all social scoring wrong.  Social communications should be for the benefit of the people doing the communicating.  Influence cannot be measured, just as beauty and cool cannot be measured.  Measuring “social influence” tries to sell the lie that such things as “social influence” and “connected-ness” can be measured quantitatively, then acquired, packaged and sold to the highest bidder.

I’ll completely ignore the problems others are having with the way the Klout score is calculated.  I object to the entire idea of a Klout score regardless of its accuracy.

What happens a year from now when you try to get a job in marketing and you’re rejected because your Klout score is only in the 30s?  Or when a bunch of black hat rats figure out how to game the Klout system and make their small fortunes selling you robot apps that will juice up your Klout score?

Fernandez may protest that none of this isn’t anything that Facebook isn’t getting ready to do with advertisers, anyway.  That in my book only means that Fernandez and his crew are only slightly less evil and creepy than Mark Zuckerberg might be.

The only answer—and it’s the ONLY answer—is for us to withdraw from Klout.  Unless a substantial number of us build a movement of people to quit Klout, they will become the 7th grade cool kids of social media, determining your worth to their advertisers and your clients and peers.

It’s easy to do.   Go to www.klout.com and then:

  • Go to Profile Settings and, at the bottom of the page
  • Choose the option to delete your account

[UPDATE 11/12/11 Klout disconnected the link between "profile settings" and "delete your account" again this morning.  The deleted function is now buried at the very end of the "privacy" policy which you can only access through a link at the bottom of your "profile settings" page, or by clicking on the footer link "privacy" under "Developers." Easy to get to, eh?  Apparently we're having some effect.  Please, please delete your Klout profile. RJM]  

And then go on with your life.  You’ll feel so much better how you’ve helped make social media better, and perhaps eventually we can derail Klout entirely.

Or you can wait and spend $99 on one of those black hat robot apps to get your Klout score up to the same level as your next door neighbor.

Your choice, neighbor.

 

 

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  • Dec 27 Posted 2 years ago Scott R Asher

    I closed my klout account today. I agree, this service is totally worthless. Thanks again, Scott R. Asher.com 

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 26 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    Klout is nothing like your credit score.  Unlike Klout, the major credit rating companies--Equifax, Experian and TransUnion--are highly regulated by federal and state laws.  They are subject to outside audits from regulatory agencies.  They are under such strict regulation because they provide information people use to get mortgages to buy homes or loans to buy cars.  Everyone recognizes how important it is to have multiple credit rating agencies, and to have them subject to laws about transparency, access, privacy and accuracy.  

    Klout is subject to none of this regulation and is not accountable to anyone for transparency, access, privacy or accuracy, except for the privacy regulations in the EU.  Klout also has no significant competition to keep them honest.  

  • Nov 23 Posted 3 years ago TechSources

    What about credit scores? We cannot opt in or opt out of those, and those are determined by companies who make money selling our scores to banks and other creditors. I'm not saying Klout is perfect or effective, but who is to say FICO scores are the be all end all of determining one's creditworthiness? I'm sure the credit rating agencies were met with a lot of resistence when they first started, but over time they became the standard. Perhaps if we give Klout and other social media influence scorers some time to perfect their methods and for people like us to provide feedback to help them make improvements then maybe some day we will find Klout and others provide a useful service.

  • Nov 18 Posted 3 years ago Anonymous (not verified)

    Spot on. Plus, I negatively reviewed two of my Klout perks and, the next day, after picking up a host of followers and comments on other sites -- my score went down.  So -- you'd better like the perks or -- your score suffers.

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 15 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    UPDATE: Klout delete profile link is now found by going to Profile Settings and clicking on the Privacy link at the bottom of the page, then scrolling all the way to the bottom of the Privacy policy.  Or click here: http://klout.com/#/edit-settings/optout  

  • Nov 15 Posted 3 years ago guppydas

    I may be a little daft, but I can't find the link to discontinue my account on Klout. :( Any news/update/help/pointer highly appreciated. :) 

  • Nov 14 Posted 3 years ago John B Badd (not verified)

    Rohn, I agree with you on one point. It is nearly impossible for them to measure our social influence based solely on the sites they watch. I do a lot of writing on HubPages which is not measured by them at all and on various other niche sites such as ComicBookMovies.com. Because the site does not measure all the other places you have influence (like how many people are reading this article) it can not put out accurate numbers.

    I just look at it as a fun way to gauge how many people I am reaching. It has also motivated me to become more active on various networks.

    Best of luck to you,

    John B Badd

  • Nov 14 Posted 3 years ago Jim Mitchem (not verified)

    I wrote this a year ago about Klout. http://obsessedwithconformity.com/416/how-a-little-klout-goes-a-long-way/ Finally, you guys have figured it out. - signed a nobody

  • Nov 14 Posted 3 years ago Anonymous (not verified)

    Your post is really well done. Thank you for some food for thought today.

    I do question the idea that measuring influence is like measuring beauty (ie, it's not possible). There is an entire multi-billion industry built on measuring beauty. We define beauty, tell people how to achieve beauty, and sell products to people who've been convinced they aren't beautiful. And to your point, you or I may not agree about a particular person's beauty but the fact remains that there is a common perspective on what constitutes beauty.

    Klout may be wrong, arbitrary, and clunky, but it's also transparent in what it's doing (ranking people) and clear on what people get for having higher scores. 

    So I may disagree on the value of Klout, I'm not sure it's doing anything particularly evil. Even in the situations where it's collecting data on people, it's (I think -- correct me if I'm wrong) only collecting public data like twitter feeds. 

    You mentioned your daughter having a Klout score. Is her account public, or did she protect it so you have to ask her permission to see her tweets? To me, that's the biggest factor in whether Klout's doing something really wrong.

     

     

  • Nov 14 Posted 3 years ago mike litson (not verified)

    I thought everyone already knew how to game Klout and get a score in the 50s in a few days?

     

    But back to the main point I agree it is exploitative, but on the other hand not everyone gets such a raw deal, some of the klout users get decent value products free, just the majority that get screwed.

  • Nov 14 Posted 3 years ago Kim Randall (not verified)

    Love this post. It says everything I feel and have said. It's an overrated popularity contest that makes businesses believe that they need to focus on a number. Social Media is and will never be about a score. It's about engagement and how in the world can anyone decide how influential someone is anyways? 

  • Nov 14 Posted 3 years ago Anonymous (not verified)

    Personally this article says it all, regarding klout and the fallacy of presumed influence http://jonathanmacdonald.com/?p=5694

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 14 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    Monday morning's New York Times includes this article about Klout, focused on the experiences of a Washington DC-based blogger, Maggie McGary,  who found out her teen-aged son had been assigned a Klout score without his permission.  In the article the writer points out that Klout "no longer automaticaly assigns score to people," and allows people to delete their accounts.  

    Interesting read, clearly Klout is becoming a flash point for a number of concerns that reach across many social networks and applications: http://nyti.ms/uhh5aX.

     

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 14 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    John--It's your opinion, and you're entitled to it, as I am to mine.  

    I will point out that my central objections to Klout are a) they say they are measuring "social influence" which is almost impossible to measure, let alone reduce into a single number b) they publish scores for people who haven't registered for the service, no matter if they want that or not and c) they are trying to establish themselves as the "gold standard" of measurement, but there is no audit or certification.  

    Their business model is to package "social influencers" and sell them to advertisers--their value proposition is comprised entirely or your and my connections and in return a very few of us get hair gel samples and car rides.  

    I also dislike "hating" on people, especially entreprenuers, but in my opinion Klout crossed a line a long time ago. They frankly are getting too much "clout" with advertisers and I felt it was time that someone pointed out a way to opt-out of Klout's business.  Nothing will stop them, but we don't have to join in.  And I think it's important that professionals in social media take a stand publicly on issues effecting us all.  

    Thanks for the comment--RJ

  • Nov 14 Posted 3 years ago Ady Coles (not verified)

    Another comment totally agreeing with you and your other commentors. Also thought I would bring the following post from Simply Zesty to your attention: http://acol.es/rhmlj7

    I have a Klout account (got one when they first started out) but have been uninterested / disinterested from about day 2. Deleted.

  • Isra Garcia's picture
    Nov 13 Posted 3 years ago Isra Garcia

    Congrats, this is the kind of post I've been waiting for a long time.

    I don't give a F*** about my klout score, it doesn't bring me projects or put me money in the pocket.

    I was speaking in a European conference and someone asked how I measure the ROI in Twitter, I replied definitely not using klout.

     

    Thanks again Rohn.

  • Purgly's picture
    Nov 13 Posted 3 years ago Purgly

    Thank you very much for your green light, Rohn.

    Find your article in Portuguese at 

    http://retejo.blogspot.com/2011/11/porque-excluir-agora-em-111111-o-seu.html

    All the best from Brazil,

    Jorge Purgly

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 13 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    Jorge-Thx for deleting your Klout profile, and by all means feel free to translate to Portuguese.  That will be a first for me--RJ

  • Nov 13 Posted 3 years ago John B Badd (not verified)

    I find it kind of funny that someone who is in the business of social media would hate on another social media site that is way more popular and has the potential to become the industry leader.  It is almost like you are trying to damage the competition.  

    I am not pointing any fingers or saying this is true, but it seems a little selfish to me.  Klout is free to use and you are under no obligation to them for anything.  No one is forced to be on the Internet or to use social media.  We live in  a free nation and once we give up our privacy I can not blame some smart entrepreneurs for wanting to capitalize on that.

     

    John B Badd

  • Nov 12 Posted 3 years ago Jorge Purgly (not verified)

    Excelent article. I deleted my Klout account now. I am kindly asking your permission to translate this article into portuguese and publish it, with all referals and links to the original, on my blog.

    Thank you very much for your response.

    All the best,

    Jorge Purgly

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 12 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    Not quite true.  Klout posts a score for you no matter if you register for the site or not.  When you do sign up, your score goes up, and if you add more social networks your score goes up even more.  But many people have Klout scores and they've never been aware of it.  This is just another part of the "evil" about Klout. :-) 

  • Nov 12 Posted 3 years ago DebraBekker (not verified)

    They have put the "delete account" button back! I'm deleted, yay!!

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 12 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    This morning Klout restored "delete your account" link to the "profile settings" page. Yesterday Klout dis-connected the link after receiving a large number of deletion.   Please, please do.  @consultclay, no face slap intended, but glad you hear the clarion call.  

  • HotBlogTips's picture
    Nov 12 Posted 3 years ago HotBlogTips

     

    While I do think the idea that our online influence can charicorized by Klout is ridiculous, I do think our social media influence is determined by social sites in general and Klout is is just another social networking site. Privacy issues issues are a concern with most of us online but it's funny that everyone is up in arms about an issue that can, for the most part, by controled by us. Nothing is shared or made public that we haven't added ourselves.
    If we're concerned about our Twitter of Facebook steams being evaluated, we can always omit those accounts by not connecting them or even creating seperate accounts for other social media purposes.

    While I do think the idea that our online influence can characterized by Klout is ridiculous, I do think our social media influence is determined by social sites in general and Klout is just another social networking site. Privacy issues are a concern with most of us online but it's funny that everyone is up in arms about an issue that can, for the most part, by controlled by us. Nothing is shared or made public that we haven't added ourselves, either by connecting accounts or by adding personal information.

     

  • HotBlogTips's picture
    Nov 12 Posted 3 years ago HotBlogTips

    Hi Jeremy, it looks like your account has been deleted after all. Your profile link redirects to:

    http://klout.com/#/static/disabled

  • Nov 12 Posted 3 years ago momsthoughts1 (not verified)

    I have SO many questions for Klout. They attempted a slick brief brush off answer then I posted a couple on their facebook page.  When I challenged their simplistic answer - they went silent.  So many questions. 

     

    Here is my post...maybe some one can help me? 

     

    It seems to me something is not right with Klout and let me explain why. 2 different problems. Klout has my activity peaking on a day I was traveling. I barely tweeted or used Facebook. It was actually an unusually slow day for me. A week or two later, however, was an extremely engaging day for me. A lot going on. I had a lot of interaction with heavy hitters and a ton a retweets...possibly one of the biggist retweet days for me...again by heavy hitters. I also had an EXTREMELY busy Facebook day. I was online, interacting and having content shared all day...this translated into virtually no change in the Klout score. How is it possible this makes sense?
    · · 19 hours ago ·
      • Anne Cahalane ‎2nd issue has to do with the +k program. I know we are to believe +K don't impact our Klout rating but it does impact our rank which could translate into followers and influence. That said, Klout manipulates the +K program unfairly. I understand giving each individual a limited number of +k to share...but you also limit who we can share with and that is WRONG. If I find Joe Schmoe to the be the most influencial in nuggies - then I should be allowed to give him +k in nuggies every day. FOR DAYS I have been unable to give a bunch of people +k so I am sure people have been unable to give to me. THis is just wrong. Klout should not be manipulating the rankings like this!
        19 hours ago ·
      • Klout Hey Anne Cahalane it may help to know that we Score once a day and you see today's engagement and influence reflected in tomorrow's Score. Thanks for your feedback on +K, do keep in mind it does not affect your Score directly.
        19 hours ago ·
      • Anne Cahalane Yes, I understand there is not an immediate reflection is klout score. I am using examples from Oct 27 vs Nov 9. It doesn't add up. No way....No how. To paraphrase Dr. Phil..."If it doesn't make sense...its not true"
        18 hours ago ·
      • Anne Cahalane As you say, the K+ thing doesn't have an immediate direct impact on score (so you say, we have to trust you on that) but it can have an indirect impact. Therefore it is just flat out wrong, that you manipulate it. What is your motivation to manipulate the rankings?
        18 hours ago ·
      • Anne Cahalane I am curious to know if the changes to Twitter have impacted Klouts assessments? Also I unlinked a bunch of my other accts - no change in score. Some thing is not right. I am not a statistician but I know when something doesn't add up.
      • Meg McAllister Anne, great examples showing Klout's inefficiency and total inability to come up with plausible explanations on how their algorithm works. These guys are flying by the seat of their pants in an attempt to create the appearance of real influence assesment so that they can take their company public and score a big pay day like other social platforms have.
        16 hours ago ·
      • Anne Cahalane So...an hour ago my klout was up...now its down...huh? in an hour?
        13 minutes ago ·
      • Anne Cahalane I still don't know if Klout account for people who have multiple accounts expressly to increase their klout...they retweet themselves, converse with themselves, etc....
        12 minutes ago ·
      • Anne Cahalane Several apps have different methods to retweet - some put it in quotes and allow comment, twitter has their traditional RT...some comment before or after the RT...does any of this affect how klout analytics pick up the retweets? Do you process all RTs no matter how they are expressed and which app is used????
  • Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago @consultclay (not verified)

    RJM, Thanks for slapping our faces. I have followed your lead on this one. It was rather difficult though. One must follow the link you provide as they have completely blanked out the Change Profile page.

     

  • JasonBodHD's picture
    Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago JasonBodHD

    Klout 18 years of age minimum, I'll agree Klout should consider. Still TeamKlout. Best, Jason

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    Today Klout stopped allowing accounts to be deleted.  I just checked the Klout "profile settings" page for someone else, and the option "If you would like to delete your account, click here" has been removed. Here are the official instructions posted last week by Klout on how to delete your account: http://support.klout.com/customer/portal/articles/227013 

    If you go to the "profile settings" page you will see the option has been removed.  

    There still technically is an "op-out" page, but it's been disconnected from "profile settings," so the only way you can get to it is if you have the direct link.  If you complain to Klout about this, they will send you this direct link.  

    I guess we all do have some "klout" after all.  Thx-RJ

  • Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago Fabian (not verified)

    That's awesome! Great perspective.

  • Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago Fabian (not verified)

    I like Klout, it's not perfect, but it provides me a lens that I don't otherwise have to gauge influence. It's generation 1 for sure, but helpful. I wonder if this will increase my klout?  :)

  • Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago Matches Malone (not verified)

    It's not clear to me that I need to delete my Klout score, however, I can choose to ignore that I have one. The other issues that may turn into an entire subscription include but are not limited to, will I ever get asked why I don't use Klout, and will it matter at that point.

    I feel it's easier instead of taking the time to delete my score/profile entirely, I can simply choose not to play the social media game.

  • Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago DebraBekker (not verified)

    See below posts - they have deleted the delete button!!!!

    Now what? I've emailed them - waiting for a response...

     

     

  • Edwin Huertas's picture
    Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago Edwin Huertas

    Wow that's crazy! I think they JUST did this. After reading this article yesterday I also decided to go in and delete my personal account. I was able to do it easily the way Rohn explained it, but today I tried to do the same with my company account and the link was no longer there. They probably noticed a large number of people deleting their accounts. In my opinion, this should'nt be legal for them to do, but it sure proves Rohn's point about how shady they really are.

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    Ha! I'm still for deleteing profiles entirely in order to try to gain a critical mass of cancellations.  

    But this strategy comes in a close second.  #altkloutprofiles noted.

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    Alas, you have to register for Klout in order to delete a profile they compiled about you without your permission.

    Log in with Twitter credentials, follow the delete profile directions in my post, then go to Twitter and revoke the permission you gave to Klout to log on.

    Thanks-RJ

  • Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago Jeremy Head (not verified)

    I've found a far more fun way to do this. Don't delete your account, just cannibalise your profile description:

    Mine now reads: "If you believe someone's influence can be measured by an algorithm like Klout you are frankly stupid."

    Have fun with your own and then share using the twitter hashtag #altkloutprofiles
  • Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago Jeremy Head (not verified)

    I still can't see a way to delete the profile? I'm logged in using my twitter creds. I don't see any delete account option. On Profile settings I can delink my other accounts (FB and  G+) but not my twitter one. So I don't think it's possible?

  • Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago DebraBekker (not verified) I've been thinking about Klout for awhile now too and had decided that it did me no good whatsoever. No harm, but no good. So I'm trying to delete it, but can't find a delete button. I won't give up, though. I'm deleting. Excellent post, btw, thanks.
  • Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago SHIV (not verified)

    but we'll get mesuared anyway by Klout if we're not registered for Klout...
    what to do about it? 

  • Nov 11 Posted 3 years ago UncleWaldo (not verified)

    Seriously... I just did a search in their Help section. They said exactly what Jay said to do to delete your account. The phrase "If you would like to delete your account, click here" has been removed from the edit profile page.

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago UncleWaldo (not verified)

    I guess someone at Klout read your article... because you no longer have the option to delete your account.

  • PamMoore's picture
    Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago PamMoore

    I was debating deleting my Klout account as well and this post pushed me to the YES. We absolutely are not defined by any score and particularly one which lacks credibility. 

    Even given the issues with the algorithm and the scores dropping for people, I do not think the score drops are the reason people are upset. 

    My score dropped from a 79 to a 60. The average score of people I influenced went from high 60's & 70's to spam accounts with scores in the teens. My amplification dropped and stayed at a steady score of eight??

    I also deleted 7 of the network accounts two weeks ago and have seen not even a point drop in my score. So what does that tell you? That connecting the networks and providing the data did absolutely NOTHING for my score in hte new algorithm. However, they sure did get a TON of my data for such.  

    I think the key reasons people are upset and Klout has lost credibility and will fail if they don't fix it is the following: 

    1. Privacy issues & profiles of minors are being created on Klout. They are creating profiles for children who have account on Facebook set to private. These children are also listed as influencers, sometimes caused by them commenting on a public post on a another users profile. 

    2. Algorithm is unexplained. What drove down the scores? Why the focus on prioritizing accounts/influencers with smaller following and who tweet, post or engage less? 

    3. Unexplained "glitches". Check out this image of 3 accounts up until today Klout had listed as top 3 people who influenced me. http://www.twitpic.com/7a9u45

    Note they almost all the same exact stats including number of followers as well number of tweets sent. Even more crazy is all 3 accounts had only sent 2 tweets ever. Both tweets happen to be the same. One is a retweet of one of my tweets. 

    I know this may sound a little crazy but is there a push toward focusing on spam accounts because it is easier to game the system? Think of this model where advertisers can then create fake accounts, and they show up on the influence page of someone like myself who has 65k followers. I'd love to see the analytics of click thrus from accounts on Klout to the influencers who supposably influence them. 

    My next question here is how the heck did they prioritize all these people as top influencers to me? Their answer after a week of asking was "your profile must have been affected by a "glitch"" Really Klout? Ya' think? 

    5. Their lack of response and communication. They launched a new algorithm stating it would have more transparency yet they seem to have disappeared into the deep end. Where are they? Where are the answers? This I think is their biggest mistake. If there are issues with the algorithm then come forward.

    You lose my trust, you lose me. They have lost my trust plain and simple. That is the reason I will delete every Klout score we have on every account. I am also informing clients not to spend a moment worrying about the score. 

    6. We are not puppets. As others said, we are their product. Only we can stop such a biz model as we have control to delete our own profiles for now. Maybe?  I do not have a problem with a biz making money. I do have a problem with a company, even if in beta stating they are a standard yet they run and hide when things go awry. In reality they were brilliant. We got played, all of us and me included.  Here is the latest article I wrote on the topic "Stop the Social Puppetry for Klout & Other Influence Metrics" 
    http://www.pammarketingnut.com/2011/10/stop-the-social-puppetry-for-klout-and-other-influence-metrics/#

    Question: How do I delete my profile? I do not have an option at the bottom of my settings page to delete it?? I have sent a question to Klout for such and of course have not received an answer. 

    Good and empowering post! 

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Anonymous (not verified)

    So how exactly do you delete a Klout account? I never even  thought about it before, but did as you said -- went through the steps to get to my profile. But there is not an obvious way to delete the account.

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Ben Berry (not verified)

    pennies? swag? Try $25 gift cards and free windows phones. Its just getting started. Think about what it will be like in a year or two? theyre already partnering with chevy for free loaners on new cars.

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Annek1 (not verified)

    Robin,

     

    You are correct.  Additionally, I for one, do not need a bot to game the system, I have already figured out how to do it.  I pay no attention to my score just how much I can move it in a day or two.

     

    You only need to influence one to make a large purchase of your product or service for your influence to be worth something.  Therefore, having a small carefully chosen network of people who care is much more valuable to your true social media ROI, otherwise known as money in the bank, than any score on any platform.

     

    Let's go back to basics and marketing fundamentals and use the Social Media tools for what they are, one more piece of the promotion "P" in the four Ps of marketing.

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Susan Lowe (not verified)

    This is another scoring tool from a Standford start-up-similar concerns- will provide your 'professional' score or what they call your 'brand' score.  It is based on the school you attended, number of years worked, and your network.  WE are boiled down to a number- some big companies have signed up already- https://www.identified.com/about/faq

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Larry Steinberg (not verified) Oh my god, Klout has investors and wants to make money? How dare they. Evil capitalists. Don't they know that you shouldn't try to measure anything. Everybody is great and equally worth. Everybody should get a trophy just for opening a klout account.
  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Omar A. (not verified)

    It seems like Klout is in it just to gain a buck or two, but then again who isn't nowadays? Specially in social media. If you think about it, most social media platforms are free, some may offer premium services, but alas the general notion is that, you, the end user, should not be paying for this service. Much like e-mail services nowadays and how they are infused by advertisements all over their web pages. The truth is that anyone who willingly signs up for Klout or Facebook, who is aware that they just signed a contract with the devil, should not at all complain about why such websites are taking their data and selling it to third parties. Be smart, post what you want to be public about yourself, and keep the sensitive stuff in some safe folder away from prying eyes on the Internet. I can't really say that Klout is credible or not, but I am concerned that as Rohn stated, one day I end up loosing out on a job or a client because how my Klout score is perceived. I truly hope that this "boycott" klout movement resonates with some people, and I am particularly interested in seeing how it will pan out...

     

  • RickLiebling's picture
    Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago RickLiebling

    I feel like there are two types of people who are voicing an issue with Klout right now. The first, like Rohn Jay, have real issues about how Klout is pulling data and what purposes the system serves. Then there is another group who are upset because their scores went down.

    It feels a bit like the OccupyWallStreet movement. Some people with specific and valid issues, and some people who only vaguely understand who they should be upset with, or what they should be upset about.

    Personally I've come to the conclusion that Klout is primarily a misguided waste of time. I put it in a similar class as most 4Square acitivations: The only real consumer value is a coupon or product sample for a brand you're unlikely to ever patronize unless they give you more coupons.

    Unfortunately, I think there will always be a demand for a Klout. It boils it all down to one simple number, and many brand managers would rather have a simple falsehood than a complex truth.

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Stacey Hood (not verified)

    I've been thinking of deleting mine for quite a while after topics that I have no idea on how they picked for me; shoes, Avatar (the movie), etc. So I join the rank and file of non-Klout users.

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Brian Vellmure (not verified)

    Rohn,

    Good thinking. I made some similar and complimentary points in a recent post titled "In search of a meaningful measure of Influence"  http://www.brianvellmure.com/2011/11/02/in-search-of-a-meaningful-measure-of-influence/#nl

    The counter-argument is that for better or worse, people are and will increasingly rely on "influence" measurement scores. You could likely make the same argument about facebook. Facebook exists to capture and analyze your network, your interactions, your interests, your habits, and is using that data to sell to advertisers. 

    Being on or off the grid will increasingly become a tough choice for individuals. 

    An alternative view of "how the world should work" has been pioneered by Doc Searls and others called VRM, which essentially transfers the ownership of data and privacy from organizations to individuals. 

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Susi Schuele (not verified)

    Unethical for sure and add broken to that as an understatement . I can't remember when I signed up but I can tell you that their new scoring system dropped me 28 points almost instantly. Came back up in points to about a 41, I half-jokingly complained on Twitter & Facebook and then noticed I had dropped to 10. Currently, it's back to 46 or some such number. On the home page there's 2 profile pics for my husband (we are partners in a social media/graphic design/WordPress firm) with one profile showing a score of 41 and the other 13. Now that you have the statistics, let me tell you that I spend most of my day on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I post every day and my "reach" is determined by the reciprocal friends, likes or followers, not by Klout. And how did Klout become supreme influential determiner and ruler?  I don't think I'll be upset if I reach Justin Bieber, who Klout uses as an example of "True Reach" or Justin Timberlake, their example of "Network Impact" with "influential people". Duh. Yep, I think my profile will soon be awarded to the eternal pits of cyberspace.

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    Edwin:  It's my understanding that if you pro-actively delete your Klout ID on www.klout.com there will no longer be any kind of Klout identity or tracking of you.   Just try to find out my Klout score based on my Twitter handle @rohnjaymiller.  It's gone.  

    If you've never gone to Klout.com and set up access to your social media networks on behalf of your Klout ID, Klout can still track you and award you whatever score they wish, based on your public social media activity--mostly Twitter as I understand it.  These are the people who have to--ironically--go to Klout, sign up for their ID and then delete it.

    Once you've opted out of the Klout system you are no longer tracked.  

    I can't speak to PROSkore, though their CEO did write a defense of the new Klout algorthim.  I mentioned them just to point out the very different business model they have.  They look like they're trying to be a mix between LinkedIn and a job board.  

    Even with PROSkore, like Klout, I totally reject the idea that you can put a number on "social influence" that has any meaning whatsoever.  It's like putting together a score for "beauty" or "creativity."  

  • Rdopping's picture
    Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Rdopping

    Wow, we know where you stand.

    I am not a social media guru or a social media expert or the like but I am an avid social media user and a fledgling blogger. I think the biggest mistake anyone can make is to assume analytics drive influence. I recently wrote an article for the Urban Times on this exact subject. I hope that you have time to read it. There are some astounding similarities in the commentary.

    http://www.theurbn.com/2011/10/what-is-influence-in-the-world-of-social-media/

    I hear you, neighbour.

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Robbin Block (not verified)

    So nice to see a contrarian article to all the hype out there. Couldn't agree more -- a Klout score is too generic to be valuable. And just becuase you can measure every little thing, doesn't mean you should (will geeks ever really understand marketing?).

    There's a lot more to marketing ROI than counting Tweets. In other words, does being a "person of influence" the way it's measured here really equate to sales, especially if the relationship of the influencer to the purchaser is loosely defined? Are impressions like these really more valuable than any other type of impression? In other words, could you get more traction by running a great TV spot or a solid PR campaign? Or let's go back to the start...by having a product or service people really want to buy?

  • Edwin Huertas's picture
    Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Edwin Huertas

    Great article.

    I agree 100% with you, but what's the difference between having and NOT having an account. If they track everyone anyway what are the benefits of deleting your account? Does having an account mean they can sell your info or can they do this even if you don't have an account?

    I will also be deleting my account on the basis that it seems unethical to me as well, but I wonder what good that will do.

    Also, I checked out Proskore and they have a Klout logo on their front page. Does this mean they use their data to incorporate into their algorithms?

     

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Robbin Block (not verified)

    "Vanity metric" -- that's a great way to put it.

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    No, to answer your question.  You can trace many things with Google+, all of which is power in your and my hands--not in the hands of a third party who then publishes a public evaluation of how strong my "social influence" is, regardless of if I've registered for Klout or not.

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    The entire concept of quantifying influence is nonsense on stilts----as Fernandez admits in the opening quote of my piece.  Hey, I think my wife is beautiful and she's an expert in many areas I am not.  Is she influential?  To those to know her or are aware of her in so many different ways and degrees that putting a single number on that is not just incorrect its unethical.   The day you lose a client because your Klout score isn't in the 50s or more is the day that you may understand better.

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Ben Dover (not verified)

    You are only starting to realize this?  Dude, where the hell have you been the last couple of years?  YOU, the user are the product.  

     

     

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago miro23 (not verified)

    Just deleted my account. Realized that this score has no use and that checking it - even occasionally - is a waste of my time.

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Corve DaCosta (not verified)

    I disagree with you wholeheartedly. Just like every other development these days,people want to make money. Facebook sure can take down a govt but it's making money. Money runs the world. I digress. I love Klout. I do not think it's a perfect system but I appreciate the creation.

    I find that most people are against Klout because they have a low Klout score. Come on, get more influence and raise your score. Sure if you have 90+ Klout score, many others would be shouting it's praise. 

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Ontwerpia (not verified)

    Identifying influencers? Hmm... isn't this a major benefit of the Google+ ripple extension that has just been launched. For Google+ post one can do research on who distributed from who, in orther words identifying potential influencers.

    Hmmm, are you nog gonne delete you Google+ account too? ;-))

  • Kyle Ginthner's picture
    Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Kyle Ginthner

    I found it interesting that I have one of most of the accounts they offer, and even if I add them all, my score stays the same. I'm definately going to delete my account in the near future. It seems to only be an anxiety causing website. Great Post btw

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    The irony is that you have to first connect either your Twitter or Facebook account to Klout, establish those credentials and THEN delete your account.  You could just send them a note, but I've read blog posts from people who have tried to do this and gotten little or no response from Klout.

    The irony for me of writing this article is that it probably caused my Klout score to zoom--if I still had a Klout account, that is....

  • rohnjaymiller's picture
    Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago rohnjaymiller

    Jason, I respectfully disagree with your decision to "stick with Klout for now."  My 15 year old daughter has a Klout score even though she never registered with Klout and never gave Klout permission to follow her.  In the EU this gets very close to a legal situation.

    Klout wants to brand you as successful or not publically, putting that interest above the interest of encouraging free and open social communication.  And they want to brand you no matter if you asgree to be branded or not.  And they want to brand your children.  

    How much more evil does this need to get?  I urge you to re-consider deleting your Klout account.

    Thanks--Rohn Jay

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago chptsofmylife (not verified)

    its funny i found this post, i was thinking the other day how many social networks i have signed up on and what use they were to me. NONE! i do the normal tweet, google and such but if people are really interested in my post, then they will go read them. i think over thinking the blog marketing isn't always good either. thanks for sharing.

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Jason Kidwell (not verified)

    I believe your Kout score is calculated behind the scenes whether you have an account with them or not.  Sticking with Klout for now, interesting article Jay

     

     

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Aurindam Mukherjee (not verified)

    The idea of Klout measuring social influence has always intrigued me. I smelt a rat after my klout scores didn't change after I added my Facebook profile to it(which it was supposed to, big effing time). Klout just measures the number of retweets and mentions I get. That's all. nothing else.

     

    Waste of time. No! Wait! Serious, waste of time. 

     

     

  • Nov 10 Posted 3 years ago Will Berend (not verified)

    I applaud you for this post and for deleting your account. I will join you and delete my account tonight. 

  • ChrisSyme's picture
    Nov 9 Posted 3 years ago ChrisSyme

    Never been a fan of Klout. It only measures actions (that they equate to influence). No real science. It favors accounts with large fan numbers and cannot predict influence to scale. Vanity metrc. Good points.

  • Nov 9 Posted 3 years ago Anonymous (not verified)

    What if I never registered there? I only know -everyone- automatically got an account, but if I want to opt out and delete, do I have to register first?