Today you may find you’re not quite as influential as you thought.
Yesterday, Ash Rust posted on the Klout Corporate Blog:
“Today we’re releasing a new scoring model with insights to help you understand changes in your influence. This project represents the biggest step forward in accuracy, transparency and our technology in Klout’s history. Joe shared the full vision behind these changes in his post last week.”
Advancing The Algorithm
Yes, we knew this was coming. But I’m not sure people had entirely prepared themselves for the #Kloutapocalypse that was about to descend on them…
Shortly after posting, the comments started rolling in. Pleas of people to “Fix it” or “Put it Back.” Let’s be realistic here people… They aren’t putting it back. You are less influential than you were, because you probably were never that influential to begin with. And I say this as someone who lost 9 points herself.
I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer accuracy over inflation. Bubbles are artificial, they make us feel nice, but ultimately they burst. If Klout had not made this adjustment, people would continue to find ways to game the system, and the ‘standard’ for influence would eventually become a joke metric. (And yes, there’s plenty of people who feel it is one already, but I take the position that there’s value in it, so feel free to debate me at the bottom of this post.)
Instead of complaining about it start doing something about it. Focus on real engagement and your Klout will rise. Post insane amounts of posts that no one is reading? You’re not really that influential then…
More Accurate? Yes.
Meet Vince. He’s our MarketMeSuite test account, and is not a real person. We’ve been watching him increase his Klout over the past few months, and he has not once engaged with anyone, nor commented, nor really had anyone engage with him. The occasional retweet.
All Vince does is post out and occasionally follow. He posts a lot (afterall, he’s a test account). Vince had risen to a 32 in Klout, pretty spectacular for a non-entity. But, with the new changes, he’s plummeted. Down to a lowly 16, which is much more fitting. And why is this? Because Klout got smart. They started to measure engagement, and who that engagement was coming from, leaving Vince not particularly influential anymore.
One interesting thing about this algorithm shift is that it’s retroactive. Have a look at Vince’s chart above. Remember, he was a 32… but that’s not shown. It looks like the highest Vince EVER was is 18. So Klout hasn’t only readjusted from now on, they’re making sure that you don’t show a massive drop in influence either. In fact, when I logged in as TammyKFennell yesterday, I was greeted with a message of congratulations, that my Klout score had gone up 3 points, when it had actually gone down 9. This is because they adjusted my historical figures, so I never really was a 55. Instead, I was a 44, and by going up to a 47, I had improved.
I can’t decide if this part was a good move or not. On the one hand, it’s nice to see a steady increase or at least not a massive drop… but on the other, it’s a little confusing for people who woke up one morning to find their Klout score had been lowered and there was no record of it ever being the number they knew it was. Scenes from Jodie Foster in “Flightplan” are coming into my head… “I know I boarded this plane with my daughter…. don’t tell me I don’t have one!”
Klout has had its share of growing pains and critics. Danny Brown’s “I’m influential in sheep” escapade showed some major flaws in the system. But what I like about the company is they are willing to address issues, and work to improve exploits and shortcomings. Algorithms aren’t perfect. Scores aren’t perfect. Some of the dumbest people in my high school got straight A’s. But, in this fast paced world, metrics are useful. They help us generally separate the haves from the have nots, and gives us a decent idea if we’re doing things right. You should not live to try to improve your Klout, but you should know, that if you just keep on doing what you’re doing, and be as human, engaging, and thought provoking as possible, your Klout score should start to reflect this.
What Do You Think?
Did you experience the #Kloutapocalypse? How big a role does your score play in your social life? I want to hear your thoughts.