[LMB] OT: so what is Klout?

JenL jenl1625 at gmail.com
Sun May 20 22:01:24 BST 2012

On Sun, May 20, 2012 at 1:24 PM, I <iosef at gothic.net.au> wrote:

> At 01:58 AM 5/21/2012, Lois McMaster Bujold wrote:
>> I failed to understand Friday's _xkcd_ not because of the math, as
>> commonly, but because of the referent.  So what *is* this Klout that the
>> cartoonist wants no part of?
> In addition to what has been posted: Klout gets its name from the
> British/Australian slang for influence. Usually spelled with a C, clout is
> influence with a group, organisation or industry. As in: "Rupert has some
> clout with the news media, I'll get him to quash the story."
> A bit more detail (off the top of my head from a few months back, so they
may have made some changes since then)  - Klout combines a few desires -
 "I want to be recognized as a person that matters", "I want to be given
free stuff", and "I want to profit from my time on the internet" - in a
lowest-common denominator sort of way.

If you have a lot of twitter, facebook, google+ (or whatever) followers,
you get Klout points.  If those followers actually *repost* stuff you've
said (or like it), then that adds more points.  And they do their best to
break down what topics you are most influential about (technology, fiction,
fashion, etc.).  And in order for them to generate that score, you have to
give them access to all those accounts - and then they can keep monitoring
who's following you, what you're saying, and who's picking it up and
re-posting it.  In order to keep your score up to date and all....  Don't
worry too much about the potential for them to abuse all that information -
there's free swag to be gotten!

People selling new stuff or programs (like Spotify when it first launched)
will let people with Klout scores higher than a certain number get free
samples or early access.  The assumption is that these people will then
happily jump onto those social networks and eagerly describe how awesome
the product is.

So, if your influence results from exercising social network influence -
great.  If your influence results from the fact that friends and family (or
fans) really value your opinion, are you willing to shill Klout's sample
stuff in order to get on the next Spotify a little earlier?


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged
- Andy Finkel*

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