Make Yourself An Influencer By Playing The Klout +K Game

A lot of people continue to talk about Klout and whether it’s something to take note of, or simply another tool that’s fun to use but doesn’t offer real value.

Personally, I’m in the second camp. Probably because I don’t feel you can measure influence purely by what you do online, and most definitely because there are so many variations that make up a single decision that – to me – it’s impossible to say what influenced that decision the most.

But whether you think Klout has value or not, it’s now a lot of fun – because you can game the system and show its flaws, and this is all done by one of Klout’s own tools, the new +K option.

The +K option allows you to vote for people’s expertise on a certain topic. The idea is, the more votes someone gets on a topic, the more recognized they are by Klout as an expert in that field. Which, as the video below shows, can lead to completely ridiculous results .

So, yeah – well done, Klout, for showing your flaws better than any critic could. Now that deserves a +K!

Note: Big props to Dino Dogan for the idea of this mock interview to highlight how to game Klout.

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68 Comments

  1. Jay Dolan June 26, 2011 at 9:28 am

    +K sounds like a delicious breakfast cereal, now with more fiber!

  2. Jim Connolly June 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Thanks for bringing the whole highland sheep debate into the open.

    Baaaaa!

  3. Kenny Rose June 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Danny

    Give me my back my sheep.

    Good sheep people. Ship Sheep Out.

    I love sheep curried, Shepherd Johnny knows about that steel Wool Rash problem.

    No flock -ing the system or your curried K+ Klout dudes.

    BAAAHH

    Classic πŸ˜‰ This is how we Roll.

    Respect Danny Sir.

  4. Brian Driggs June 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Niiiiiice.

    It makes me a little sad when I see friends who I view as extremely-well-versed in specific topics asking for “+K” on them in my Twitter stream. I just tell myself they’re looking to fast track their way to relevant swag and chotchkies from Klout Perks and try not to think about it.

    Cheers.

    • Danny June 27, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      I hear you on that, mate. It’s kinda like those that do nothing except retweet praise of themselves, or an article where they’re being praised.

      That doesn’t make you influential; just egotistical.

  5. Al Pittampalli June 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Lol. Really funny, Danny. That being said, although their are flaws, I think there is some value to tools like this that attempt to quantify influence. Stand alone, they are worthless, but used in conjunction with other factors can be a useful way to gauge normally qualitative characteristics.

    • Danny June 27, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      I think that’s the key phrase right there, Al – “in conjunction with.”

      The most successful projects will always be the ones that have integration across platforms running through them.

      Cheers!

  6. Bill Dorman June 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I saw the vid at Dino’s; very well done and certainly creative.

    Part of me says maybe I should pay attention to some of these measurement devices and potential impact, and the other part says just be yourself and everything will just fall into place. I don’t want to be naive, but anything associated with ‘gaming’ the system sounds too much like work to me.

    Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Now if you start talking about the different dishes haggis can be used in I might pay more attention.

    Hope you had a great weekend.

    • Howie at Sky Pulse Media June 27, 2011 at 11:59 am

      We should find something incredibly off topic for us to be experts in Bill. Like round the world ballooning or maybe the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    • Danny June 27, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      I look at people across the web that don’t appear to care too much about numbers. And generally they’re the ones that enjoy success because of that approach, since they’re not pandering to the crowd but being an individual.

      I kinda like the way that works. Keep doing what you do, sir – it’s better for it. :)

  7. Adam Toporek June 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Not to beat a dead sheep… but I loved the video!

    Klout is obviously a fairly flawed measurement tool at this point. Perfect example: I am officially influential in “Facebook” (a platform I am barely using at this point) because I wrote one blog post about it.

    I am sure Klout can be improved over time but in the end, I don’t think what it wants to measure is measurable. Most people active in SM don’t put much stock in Klout scores. I think the real question is how will people from outside use it — and is it important because of that?

    • Howie at Sky Pulse Media June 27, 2011 at 11:58 am

      I agree with your point on it’s flaws and can it truly measure what it wants to measure Adam.

      When I think of Influence the word CHEAP MARKETING comes to mind. And BRIBES. Why else seek an influencer vs marketing to people?

      I think if it was accurate (I was an expert on Oil spills during the BP crisis) it would be more like Quora or Google. I want an expert and want to find an expert to help me solve a problem.

      So maybe it can actually be used to find people to hire?

      • Adam Toporek June 27, 2011 at 7:08 pm

        Well, of course, bribes are the “black hat” side of cultivating influencers. But I think the white hat reason basically follows the same principle as a celebrity endorsement in the offline world, credibility through association.

        Your point about finding people to hire is the crux of the matter to me — and that is where I am hesitant to dismiss Klout, as many may be using these metrics in the future (or now), whether we like it or not.

        • Danny June 27, 2011 at 9:04 pm

          Funnily enough, some companies are now using Klout as a key part of the hiring process. Be interesting to see how that works out for them.

          Gut feeling? Not too much, at least not initially under the current metrics.

  8. Tara Rodden Robinson June 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Hi Danny!

    Congratulations on becoming a recognized expert on sheep. I know you must be so proud. To acknowledge your achievement, I gave your sheep score a +K. I see you’re also an influencer on the topic of Danny Brown! πŸ˜‰

    I saw a piece in the NY Times about Klout today (interested readers can check it out here: http://nyti.ms/m2Fpei). According to this report, the average Klout score is in the teens. I was gratified by this because my score is 50. Not that I understand what that means, but it gave my ego an unexpected boost. With your score in 70’s, you must be flying high!

    Again, thanks for sharing your expertise and considerable sheep acumen with us.

    Sheepishly yours,
    Tara

    • Danny June 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm

      Hi there Tara,

      I think the Times must have a love affair with Klout, I’m pretty sure they’ve featured it a few times now. Maybe they’re trying to raise their own score… πŸ˜‰

      See, to me, there are two ways to really measure your “influence” – did you make your client money and did you make your company money? Yes – then you’re influential.

      All these funky tools that are saying they offer the best way to measure? Until you can truly measure human sentiment, it’s still all guesswork. Hey ho. πŸ˜‰

      • Julia Erickson June 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm

        Exactly right, Danny! Do you make money/deliver results for your clients and for yourself? That’s real clout. Baa humbug to all this measuring without any context. Thanks for the laugh and good reminder. Julia

  9. I like sheep June 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    In the bloody wellies!

  10. Randy Cantrell June 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    I love watching people get all caught up in Klout and I openly admit that about twice a week I’ll pass out Klout + to people. I’m always legit in doing it and state the reason why I’m “plus-ing” them. But honestly, I think of it as just a game. I especially enjoy poking people who have a score that’s dropping. It’s funny to hear people make excuses why it’s happening – “I took a few weeks off, but I’ll get it back.”

    Funny. I think I’m trending upward in donkey expertise (well, I call them donkeys).

    • Danny June 27, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      Haha, donkey expertise. :)

      I’ll admit, I spend time on there now looking for ways to make social media “leaders” experts in the most ridiculous of topics.

      Game on! :)

  11. Genevieve Lachance June 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Really great video Danny! According to Klout I’m influential about the white house and food! That’s a real accomplishment, don’t you think? Coincidently, I had fun this week making a little animated video about Klout (http://bit.ly/kdJ3Uq) for a post I wrote. It’s sad that people get so caught up with these bogus numbers!

  12. Daniel L. June 26, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    I have read good things about Klout. But I haven’t tried it yet. Maybe I should try the +K option so that I could get a chance to be more recognized through voting.

  13. Leo Dimilo June 27, 2011 at 12:13 am

    I guess Klout is about as important as the person viewing your Klout score deems it….

  14. Jane | Find All Answers June 27, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Klout Klout hearing about it a lot lately, especially after the sheep mania. Great for rewarding and interacting with peeps. Yet to dive in fully to the game.

    Cheers,
    Jane.

  15. Jonathan Saar June 27, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I had a good friend of mine with an outstanding reputation online who had an topic influence on the subject of “bedroom” We had a great laugh over that one. It will take some time I guess for Klout to levy its tool and work out the bugs. Until then it is good for its laughs. For many topics they have been pretty close on though. I am on the fence as to where the future lies for Klout but time will tell. Thanks for the laugh Danny.

    • Danny June 27, 2011 at 9:30 pm

      Hi Jonathan,

      There’s no doubt that tools like this can have some uses. But I think they need to really qualify their criteria and open up what they’re measuring before claiming to be the guide for online influence… πŸ˜‰

  16. Jen Grant June 27, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Phew! I’m so glad to have clicked thru from the title to find out you agree Klout is pretty much out of it. I thought you might have waivered for a minute and fell for their baloney! :) (wonder if I’m an expert on baloney now?)

  17. Frank Dickiinson June 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Danny –

    I’m with you on the whole Klout may be fun, but can you really rely on it as a gauge of influence.

    I do think it’s quite funny that applications like Hootsuite have bought into the whole Klout clamor. Hell, they change their whole user interface to include each person’s Klout score.

    Weird – just wired that they would buy in hook line and sinker like that.

    WTH is up with that?

    Anyway – I loved the sheep speak done with Dino :0)

  18. Clay June 27, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I’m not a big fan of these types of rating systems. Too easy for friends to run your score up or for people who have a lack of understanding on a topic to rate someone as an expert.

    Klout. I guess deliberately misspelling the word makes it sound more social?

    The only clout I need is this: “Hey Danny, do you know a good copywriter?” “Sure! I have a mate in Tennessee, let me get you his phone number.”

    • Danny June 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      Funny you mention that, mate – speaking to someone next week about a content project. :)

      And yes – bastardizing a word gives you immediate cudos. πŸ˜‰

  19. Mimi Meredith June 27, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I loved this video. Love the point. But mostly, I’m so glad to hear someone address head on the origins…and dangers…of raising those sheep that produce the steel wool.

    • Danny June 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm

      It’s caught many people out for centuries, Mimi. To be honest, I’m expecting a call from The Cultural Organization of Sheep Ticklers any day now to discuss more… may have to lay low for a while. πŸ˜‰

  20. tjang June 27, 2011 at 11:54 am

    hi Danny , it’ me again
    thanks for sharing your expertise and considerable sheep acumen with us,good job

  21. Howie at Sky Pulse Media June 27, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Was this the 60 minutes segment I missed yesterday? It was hilarious.

  22. Niall Harbison June 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Couldn’t agree with you more and was just writing about it being bullshit last week. It’s completely gameable and although it might improve in the future I just don’t buy in to these sorts of numbers

  23. Emily Leary June 28, 2011 at 4:49 am

    This is brilliant!

    I’m shocked they ever introduced K+. Such a bad move – makes the whole thing ridiculous and makes you doubt the credibility of the all Klout ‘algorithms’.

    Oddly, I checked my Klout topics a few days ago, and ‘sheep’ is one of my influence topics – is the word of sheep spreading??

  24. Bhaskar Sarma June 28, 2011 at 5:15 am

    I actually checked out my Klout score after watching this video and found out that I am influential about law. Fancy that? In your face, law school grads who spend hours in the library and mock courtrooms.

    I saw a person on Twitter bemoaning that on top of needing to keep up with SEO and FB/LI/Twitter she will now have to understand how +K and +1 works.After watching this video I can tick +K off that to-learn list.

    Thank you mate

  25. Nancy Davis June 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    My son who is eight thinks your accent is not real Danny. :) “We leave the baby sheep alone cause that’s naughty” pure gold! I almost spit out my water!

    I am influential about New Jersey, Mazdas, and The Beatles. It really is a shame that Klout doesn’t dig any deeper into what people actually blog about. Oh wait, that is actual work, silly me!

    How nice would it be if we were influential in topics that are really near and dear to us?

    Hopefully Klout will get it one day, but in the meantime, I won’t hold my breath.

    • Danny June 29, 2011 at 12:12 am

      Hmm, looks like your son is onto my next topic of expertise – made up accents. πŸ˜‰

      Gotta love the continued fascination with “social influence”, eh miss? πŸ˜‰

  26. Warren June 28, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    I haven’t spent any time at all really looking at the klout scores (seems there are more analytics to track on a regular basis, than I have time to) but I see today I have a score of 62 (you’re kicking my butt Danny :)

    Does look like an interesting site though.
    Another one is heardable.com (like I said, no shortage of analytics to watch/track/monitor

    Hope your well Danny, and wish you all the best!

  27. Kim Davies June 30, 2011 at 4:56 am

    Hi, Danny.

    Watched the video over at Dino’s and if my internet connection is not as slow as it was right now, would have watched it here all over again just for the fun of it. Loved the Baaa! at the end and of course, the steel wool. πŸ˜‰

    As I was telling Tammi, who wrote an article about Klout over at Ari’s blog, I really don’t mind checking it out. I even registered and saw my Klout score. I got a 41. And for someone new, I believe that is not so bad. But, will I work my ass off to increase my Klout score? Definitely not.

    I interact with people online by commenting on their blogs or by retweeting their posts or sharing it on Facebook because I believe there is value in what I have read and I want to share this value to others. I’d like to actually gauge my social media influence by the kind of replies that I am getting from my comments and by the relationships that I am slowly building with the people I interact with often online.

    No Klout score can tell me how my friendship with Kaarina Dillabough is blossoming (we both think we’re soul sisters) or how I value Bill Dorman’s loyalty to my posts. He visits and comments every time and my heart swells just by thinking about this special person. Or how I have placed Danny Brown, Gini Dietrich, Dino Dogan, John and Ameena Falchetto, Nitty Griddy and Brankica, among others on a pedestal because of how I learn so much from them. Or how my eyes just get all starry-eyed when they reply to my comments. πŸ˜€

    So, really, Klout is not all that bad. But, it’s not that good either. It’s in the between that could just very well be in the back of my drawer. πŸ˜‰

    • Danny July 3, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      You know, Kim, your comment is EXACTLY why social influence tools like Klout, PeerIndex and others will never be (to me, anyhoo) anywhere near as good as they want to be.

      You simply can’t gauge human reaction and interaction and sum it up with a few points. It’s an unreal expectation, and doesn’t take into account all the nuances that real human emotion has.

      Thanks, miss!

  28. Wes Towers June 30, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Haven’t really given Klout much thought. Judging from your post, it seems I am not missing out on much, am I? If I do join in on Klout and I’d be labeled as an authority on yaks, I’d probably be aching to go through the same interview you had with Dino Dogan.

    Gotta give it to you and Dino though, mate. :) The video is a classic! Baaa, eh?

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  32. janrezab March 6, 2014 at 10:29 am

    DannyBrown I think I was one of the first one to say :) http://twitter.com/janrezab/status/441596312371212289/photo/1

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