I've written about Klout before, but there's another influence score out there that I've been hearing a lot about and it's called "Peer Index." I spoke with Azheem Azhar, CEO of Peer Index to find out what makes Peer Index an important score to monitor. He told me that Peer Index is truly able to tell who is the opinion leader in a particular niche. By increasing your communication with opinion leaders, you can have a very targeted effect on your own authority within your niche. While there are other more "overall" influence scores, Azeem maintains that Peer Index delves down more into industry specific authorities.
Here is Peer Index's view of the scoring process:
About your PeerIndex score
Your overall PeerIndex score is a relative measure of your online authority. This score reflects the impact of your online activities, and the extent to which you have built up social and reputational capital on the web. At its heart PeerIndex addresses the fact that merely being popular (or having gamed the system) doesn't indicate authority. Instead we build up your authority finger print on a category-by-category level using eight benchmark topics. Someone, however, cannot be authority without a receptive audience. We don't simply mean a large audience but one that listens and is receptive. To capture this aspect PeerIndex Rank includes the audience score we calculate for each profile. Finally, we include the activity score so account for someone who is active has a greater share of attention of people interested in the topics they are interested in.
About PeerIndex's authority score
Authority is the measure of trust; how much can you rely on that person's recommendations and opinion on a given topic. We calculate the authority in our eight benchmark topics for every profile. These are used to generate the overall authority score as well as produce the PeerIndex Footprint diagram. The authority is a relative positioning against everyone else in each benchmark topic. The rank is a normalised measure against all the other authorities in the topic area.
About PeerIndex's topic resonance score
Related to benchmark authority is topic resonance. This is a measure how your actions within a topic interest community resonant with the community. Again what goes on in the community than your single action. We only calculate resonance for topics that we have found to have a large enough community to produce a reasonable result. Although, you will only see the top five topics on the profile pages, we calculate for all topics we've detected you in.
About PeerIndex's audience score
Audience is indication of your reach. It is not simply determined by the number of people who follow you, but instead generate from the number of people who listen and are receptive to what you are saying. Being followed by large number of spam accounts, bots, inactive accounts will reduce your audience score. The audience takes into account the relative size of your audience to the size of the audiences for the rest of community.
About PeerIndex's activity score
Activity is the measure of how much you do that is related to the topic area. Being to active and people will stop listening to you and if you are too inactive people will never know to listen to you. The Activity Score takes into account this behaviour. Like the other scores Activity Score is done relative to the community. If you are part of a community that has lots of activity your level of activity will need to be higher to achieve the same relative score as in a topic that has a lot less activity.
About PeerIndex's realness score
Realness is a metric that indicates the likelihood that the profile is of a real person, rather than a spambot or twitter feed. A score above 50 means we think this account is of a real person, a score below 50 means it is less likely to be a real person. When we first come across a new profile, we give it a score of 50. Initially, we don't have the information one way or the other to make any determination. As we gather more information we move the number either way. We look at a range information to generate realness such as whether the profile is claimed and been linked to Facebook or LinkedIn. We are continually adding new signals to our realness calculations to improve it. Our calculations are modified by the realness metric. We do this to penalise non-real people. Claiming your profile will boost your authority, audience and activity scores and consequently your PeerIndex as well.
Normalization of scores
Before we present PeerIndex scores back to you, we normalize them. This means every number in PeerIndex is based on a scale of 1 to 100, showing relative positions. We find scores presented in this fashion tend to be easier to digest and compare. We use an aggressive normalization calculation which helps you discriminate between top authorities. The benefit is that you can more easily understand who the top authorities are. The trade-off is that many of us end up with seemingly lower scores. Here's an example: If you are in the top 20% by authority in a topic like climate change, it means you have higher authority than 80% of other people who we measure within this topic. Your normalized authority score for this topic (the one displayed on your page) will be in the range of 55 to 65 (that is, significantly lower than 80). But remember, a score of 60 puts you higher that 80% of people we track in that topic. A score of 65, means you rank higher than 95% of the people we track. And we focus on tracking the top people on a specific topic, not just anyone.
We are integrating Peer Index into MarketMeSuite. Look for an update next week and see above for a little sample!