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Perhaps this article from Tech Crunch offers a better attempt at measuring and determing influence.
Influence requires that behavior be changed / initiated by those that are influenced. This study requires much more than the simple running of an algorithm script to count followers, retweets, and more. Such a study takes a great deal of time and resources - and people to analyze and evaluate the data. Klout does not, regardless of their claims, accomplish anything close to the detail and potential valid measurement of behavior of those that may be being influenced than the methodology and results of this study.
Respectfully, Chris, I did read your article and the comments.
Measurement is what Klout claims to do. Social media are the communication channels it claims to use for that measurement.
Your article was actually answered, in part, in a post here long ago. The post and the comments explain why Klout is not a valid useful resource.
The most important questions are those that Klout cannot answer (even today with their new algorithm, etc.): "Are you / Is someone influential?" or "Do you / Does someone have influence?"
I did not intend to refer to you directly, Chris. Rather, I was addressing those that might take your post as an endorsement. It appears that at least one other commenter got at least a hint of that based upon their comment. My comments would only relate to you if you identify yourself with a desire to believe in Klout.
I do find your statements lacking. How is Klout starting to define real-world clout or influence? To me, metaphorically speaking, it is only doing so in the minds of believers that follow those selling claims -- not legitimate measurement practices. Just because people follow (believe in) a line of thinking does not make it rational or valuable. There is so much more to debunk, but I will leave it at that.
Klout is not the example to use for this exploration of what may be able to determine influence.
Klout is not science ... it is not valid ... it is smoke.
Please read K. D. Paine's article about Klout:
Sorry, don't want to come off as mean here, but it needs to be said - lest your promotion of Klout and imitators be taken as gospel. IMO, anyone that equates Klout with a valid measurement of influence does not know anything about (a) measurement and (b) social media. And probably a lot of other things, too.
You forgot the most important questions Klout cannot answer: "Are you influential?" or "Do you have influence?"
"Twitter is not a social network, it is a series of disparately connected personalities linked through friendship, admiration, education, and context."
Brian, the "series of disparately connected personalities linked through friendship, admiration, education, and context" is a social network.
From Barnes' work in the mid-50's until today, researchers repeatedly cite the disparate characteristics of relationships as possibly having just as much influence on social network make-up as kinship or other factors. It is sometimes the inherently different or distinct elements that make the seeking out of and/or joining in a social network so appealing to some.
Hate to break it to you, but Twitter is a social network for many people; ergo, Twitter is a social network.
I'm having a hard time agreeing with your thesis, Marc. "Only 2 social networks matter right now." This is the aspect of emerging digital media, and networks, that I fear gets too overblown. This thing we're experiencing is not about mass audiences. Certainly for old school marketers (not implying you are one, either) looking at ways to capitalize upon a social network, on a national/international scale, the big two may be your playground. But, for the majority of groups I deal with, small communities do work and do thrive. Yes, retention is a problem and time &/or treasure must be spent to keep them going. But, the reality that a target group of 1,000 or 100 may be well served by a social network today is a win situation. There are many, many such situations, too. A lot of the sites I interact with are not seeking revenue, either. They are all about passionate users finding a niche that fills a need. If you're speaking broadly here about social networks et. al., I fear your missing the mark. Yes, a model (whether it be business or not) does help. It is likely too soon, still, for such broad templates to exist.