Wired magazine’s story on Klout.com from earlier this week set off a minor rage-splosion in the social media marketing sphere, thanks mostly to the revelation that some companies are using job applicants’ Klout scores as an under-the-radar screening method (also, casinos are using it to decide who gets the coolest freebies, on the assumption that Players with high scores will use their SM influence to send more business the casino’s way).
For those 95% of you who have a life, Klout.com is a service that supposedly ranks your online influence from 1 to 100 based on your social media engagement using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare, etc.
It’s annoying and possibly even evil. Klout embodies everything about “Big Data,” that freaks people out: Being secretly judged on arbitrary, but bizarrely specific criteria? Check. Being assigned a purely numerical value based on secret algorithms cooked up by a computer at a data farm somewhere? Check. Whatever you’re afraid Google or Facebook is doing with all the information they’re gathering about you, Klout is actually doing it, and it has IRL consequences.
“So what?” you’re thinking. “I don’t have an account, so I’m not on the radar, right?” Wrong. If you have a Twitter or Facebook account, you have a Klout score and anyone with a Klout account can look it up.
So, your Klout score is out there now and it matters. If someone can hire or not hire you based on it, then you know that if you’re an entrepreneur, like a graphic designer or a freelance writer, your Klout score is going to start influencing the gigs you can land as well.
5 ways to increase your Klout score, even if you think it’s a stupid waste of time.
So you have to deal with Klout. But you don’t have to let it push you around.