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!

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

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67 comments
Wes Towers
Wes Towers

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?

Wes Towers
Wes Towers

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?

Kim Davies
Kim Davies

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. ;) 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. :D 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. ;)

Warren
Warren

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!

Nancy Davis
Nancy Davis

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.

Bhaskar Sarma
Bhaskar Sarma

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

Emily Leary
Emily Leary

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??

Niall Harbison
Niall Harbison

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

tjang
tjang

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

Mimi Meredith
Mimi Meredith

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.

Clay
Clay

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."

Frank Dickiinson
Frank Dickiinson

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)

Jen Grant
Jen Grant

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?)

Jonathan Saar
Jonathan Saar

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.

Jane | Find All Answers
Jane | Find All Answers

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.

Leo Dimilo
Leo Dimilo

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

Daniel L.
Daniel L.

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.

Genevieve Lachance
Genevieve Lachance

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!

Randy Cantrell
Randy Cantrell

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).

Tara Rodden Robinson
Tara Rodden Robinson

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! ;)

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

Adam Toporek
Adam Toporek

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?

Danny
Danny

Haha, okay, it is now my mission to have you influential about yaks, mate. :)

Danny
Danny

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!

Danny
Danny

Hi Warren,

I'm obviously biased, mate, but I don't feel you're missing out on too much by not checking Klout regularly... ;-)

Danny
Danny

Hmm, looks like your son is onto my next topic of expertise - made up accents. ;-)

Gotta love the continued fascination with "social influence", eh miss? ;-)

Danny
Danny

Hi there mate,

Law, eh? That'll really please my wife's friend who's halfway through a seven-year law school degree... ;-)

Danny
Danny

Any time you introduce something that allows your friends to raise your alleged experience on something is ripe to be gamed. Nice move, Klout... ;-)

Danny
Danny

When they can be gamed so easily (and so ridiculously) it does make you question their worth as they currently stand, mate - cheers!

Danny
Danny

You're welcome, Tjang - hope the tips come in useful. ;-)

Danny
Danny

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. ;-)

Danny
Danny

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

And yes - bastardizing a word gives you immediate cudos. ;-)

Danny
Danny

You know who influences me, mate? My granddad, and he died years ago. Still influences what I do today - Klout that! ;-)

Danny
Danny

If that becomes a topic on your Klout page, I'm voting you up, Jen! :)

Danny
Danny

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... ;-)

Danny
Danny

Hi Jane,

Check in with Dino - he's full of great ideas on Klout. :)

Danny
Danny

If it's being used to make key decisions, I'd be wondering how important that person is to the company... ;-)

Danny
Danny

Or just know your sheep... ;-)

Danny
Danny

Ha, can we get Dino to interview you about what it's like to cook for the Obamas?? :)

Danny
Danny

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! :)

Danny
Danny

I wish I had a comment voting system just for this! :)

Danny
Danny

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... ;-)

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. ;-)

Howie at Sky Pulse Media
Howie at Sky Pulse Media

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?

Julia Erickson
Julia Erickson

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

Adam Toporek
Adam Toporek

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
Danny

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.

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