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Why @Klout has it wrong: The Intersection of Attention & Influence

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Klout and services like it seek to measure your influence - that's not a bad idea.

Where Klout goes wrong, I think, is that it then conflates all the different metrics down to a single score. I'm currently a 61 (See http://klout.com/phollows)

So what?

Inevitably, the issue becomes not about your influence per se, but your influence compared to everyone else's. Great for gamification and, depending on how you're doing, your ego, but we all know where a "mine's bigger than yours" mentality gets us in the end.

I am not Robert Scoble, nor Ashton Kuchner, nor Lady Gaga.

Nor are you.

Comparing our Klout scores is therefore a meaningless, apples to oranges exercise. It fails to answer the question I posed above: So what?

What is not important is your influence compared to everyone else. What matters is your influence among the people you want to influence. See the difference? Your influence is only important within your community (or, more cynically, within the community you're trying to reach).

So what you really need to do is find out who the key influencers are within your community.  That's what PR agencies are good at in more traditional media.

But there's an additional factor in play here: Attention.

It doesn't matter at all if you find the right people if you can't influence them. What you need to do is find the people with influence - one degree away from you, as it were - and who are also giving you their attention.  If you can find an influencer who's paying attention to you, you're in great shape. To be fair, Klout tries to give you some insight into that with the "influencer of" data - but it seems to select people you chat a lot with rather than people who really wield the power you may be seeking. It rarely seems to be right for me.

FeedBlitz v4 (which will be out next week not this due to some travel commitments and last minute performance tuning) has the ability to tell you this vital information. It can tell you who the influencers are that are also paying attention to you. It's part of v4's enhanced social media integration.

Every person we've shown this to has found out something interesting about their followers (it's largely a Twitter-centric feature right now). It will enable you to be much more focused when you're reaching out to key people in your community and your sphere of influence. Not a single, apples to oranges score, but a list of people who are listening to you and can massively amplify your message.  You save time and energy by gaining insight into the influence-brokers in your audience.

FeedBlitz v4 will also email you a report about your important followers (and unfollows), so you can spare your inbox from the death by social media notification emails. One daily digest to tell you who's new, who's gone, and who matters.

"So what?" I asked. Well, FeedBlitz v4 can tell you. Rolling out next week. Promise!

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Anonymous Mike Hostetler said...


Sounds fascinating! I can't wait to see v4 and try it out.


2:16 PM, July 13, 2011  
Anonymous Stephen G. Barr, Publisher said...

You influenced me enough to pull the trigger on the 30 day trial!

4:12 AM, August 10, 2011  

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