According To Klout….

13 Apr

Today, I decided on a whim to check out where I stand according to “influence measurement” service Klout.  I think the results are pretty damn funny:

I’m flattered to be considered in the same (sub)sector of the “influence matrix” as Josh Brown (blue dot) and Paul Kedrosky(green dot below red one) – although I think that’s being very much over-generous on Klout’s part – but thought-leader? Moi?  I’m getting all verklempt!

The broader point is that I’m extremely skeptical of Klout & their algorithms ability to measure something that is in no small part qualitative, that is, a person’s “influence” over others.  I’m even more skeptical of using proxies, that is, using a single (or small set of) measurement(s) to represent human beings who are by their very nature multi-faceted and constantly-changing.  A very scary and unpleasant future would be one where something like a Klout score became widespread in commercial applications, so that the price you paid for X may be more or less than someone with more/less influence than you.

After all, if you’re a business owner, you want to make sure that you keep your most influential customers the happiest, no?  Hopefully such a dystopian future will never come to be, but I’d be surprised if firms weren’t already talking about adopting such practices, or at the very least trying to figure out whether they’d be legal…


7 Responses to “According To Klout….”

  1. Dirk April 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Agreed, their algorithms seem to be very basic and inaccurate at that.

  2. David Harper April 13, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    of course the algo is flawed, imperfect. It’s basically version 1.0 with many future versions to come. It only needs to be useful to a first approximation

    will klout scores (or the category) be used? absolutely. If attention, trust and reputation are currencies, they will be measured. Quite aside from the imprecision of the measurements.


    • Dirk April 13, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

      Considering how imperfect/inaccurate it is, it should not be even in production yet.

  3. Comfortably Smug April 13, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    Klout is the truth

  4. Edmundo Braverman April 13, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    I think companies are already on board with Klout ratings. It’s naive to think they wouldn’t target thought leaders to promote their offerings. Tiered pricing will be a reality in the future, if it isn’t already.

    • The Analyst April 13, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

      I’m not a lawyer (obviously) but I’m curious if there aren’t legal hurdles to tiered pricing based off influence…to say nothing of moral/ethical issues that the “non-influencers” may take-issue with.


  1. Thursday look-in: algorithmic influence Abnormal Returns - April 14, 2011

    […] How well can an algorithm really measure ‘influence‘?  (Stone Street Advisors) […]

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