update 2018: klout has been shut down and those like it seem to be going thru changes also
Likes, +1's, tweets, postings, blogs, social networks, AAHAHAHAHAH! Yes, the day of your average Internet worker is hammered with posting and social network interactions. We take our time to cruise the Internet looking for things of interest, that perhaps others may find interesting as well. Some actually get paid for doing this “work”. It can be pretty labor intensive. Others of us have found it a way to augment our current work model and still others are basic hobbyists to the social networks.
When it has to do with your work, how can you tell that you are generating any impact with the time to find, read, review and post to he world? There are many tools out there for tracking your interactions. Some work on a specific social network, some track the links you've posted out. Still there is one that is very different. It measures clout. They spell it Klout, I guess it's an Internet thing, you know how we do. At least they didn't stick an “i” in front of the capital letter and call it good.
Klout ties into the most social networks of any tracking tool I've seen so far. It has a very nice interface. Very Web 2.5 you might say. They have some interesting data representations as well. What Klout does with all this neat sounding stuff, is tie into your social networks and track all of your interactions. It checks for posts, responses, likes or similar, re-tweets and so on. It attempts to do this across 12 different social networks with more on the way. I only use four at the moment. I use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus. It does many more, but I don't have time to manage 12 social networks and the social network aggregation or management tools have not gotten to this point of such broad support. But this is all really about Klout and how well it works... or doesn't as you may see.
Klout recently released a newer interface and associated “Moments” reporting feature. However, they took away a piece of “interaction reference” I kind of liked, it had shown what type of interaction you do on your social networks. It had interesting ratings such as “observer”, “pundit” “thought leader”, “celebrity” and on. It was interesting to see how your interaction rated against these concepts. Instead, you get “Moments” now. This is a nice outline of your interactions and reactions generated. It would be even better if it took into account more than just Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. See, I use Google Plus quite a bit as well. I've found it to be a nice simple interface without all the FB clutter. Klout is currently showing no data for my G+ stuff. Further, the “Moments” themselves seem like something better for an additional report section instead of a main in your face feature.
All of this is nice and yes, the interface is rolling along, but unfortunately, not the actual data. You see, it is heavily focused on FB and Twitter and yet, the data from those sites can take up to a month to translate over to Klout. Even worse, having Klout “connected” to my G+ yet it shows no data at all? Well, if it's not pulling data for me and my Klout rating, what is it doing connected to my G+ account? Probably nothing really, not even pulling data from the looks of it. I have heard this similar comment from others on the Internet as well.
Though I noticed similar long data delays under the previous UI, so it most likely is not the UI change that has caused this issue. It is for this reason alone that I can not take the Klout Score as anything more than a Kute Kampy number for my on-line activity. Maybe as something to poke at my friends with here and there. I have heard talk of businesses actually using this as a reference to how well they are doing with their social campaigns. Or worse to possibly rate someone for hire on a social media oriented position. Until Klout can show it is at the very least up-to-the-minute, it should be taken as nothing more than a number to boast of in a social scene, that ultimately has absolutely NO place in a business or HR level decision.
Further along this business path, how do you think Klout intends to monetize this whole thing? It is a Beta, so I'll cut them some slack there, but as a business reporting, or personal media reference tool it is seriously lacking. Perhaps they were thinking of charging for your stats once they fully release? Perhaps they are going to offer more expanded service, such as up-to-the-minute stats if you pay for the service. I am just not sure about the value here. What would it even be worth? And more so, can you show me where it is of value for me, when even now you can't accurately reference my data on the four networks to which you are connected?
For now, I'll treat it as kute, perhaps once they start figuring out a way to charge for it, it will work as you might expect. Until then, my score has been bouncing between 45 and 46, poke, poke, what's yours?