What’s It All Aklout?


As much as I love the idea of ‘old school’ print journalism I have learned that to be successful in this age you must accept and embrace digital media and online technology. Being a bit of a technophobe it has taken me a while but recently I have made a concerted effort to be more active online, either through blogging, tweeting or just networking on facebook. An aspiring journalist not only need’s to practice their skills but also try to build an active audience. This is why I was interested to hear about ‘Klout’, a website that takes information from your Twitter feeds and Facebook activity to give you an ‘online influence rating’. It may sound like a vanity calling but to me it sounded like an interesting tool and I was keen to find out how I rated.
A Klout score ranges from 0-100 and is effectively a measure of your reach and activity online. It takes into account a number of variables such as how often your posts are retweeted, the average number of ‘likes’ your status updates receive and the number of comments you receive. Results are broken down to allow you to see the size of your active audience, their influence, and the likelihood your content will be acted on. It also provides a handy grid which plots your progress, from observer or browser right up to broadcaster or celebrity.
I scored a disappointing 22 although I was assured that my level of activity and engagement shows I ‘get’ it and they predict I will be moving up, which is nice to know. The results breakdown was both interesting and helpful, identifying the area’s I need to focus on. Facebook and Twitter can be misleading at times. It’s all good having hundreds of followers and friends but not all of these are actually paying attention to what you are saying. Klout only takes into account those that are and therefore is an effective and useful tool for people wanting to measure and improve their influence.
Initially Klout only gathered information from Twitter, only recently factoring in Facebook data. I believe this was a decision made to open it up to a greater audience and possibly the biggest criticism I have. Facebook is far more ‘friends’ based than Twitter and perhaps its inclusion has taken away from the initial point. Having said that, the potential for followers is far greater on Twitter and the people with the highest Klout scores are all famous ‘tweeters’ such as Justin Beiber , who worryingly is more influential than Barak Obama . By in large I think Klout is a good indicator although I would like to see more factors included such as WordPress and other blogging sites.
Although my reasons for using Klout are mainly as an aid to my career I have a feeling it is going to catch on in a big way.There is a certain amount of competitiveness in social networking and it would not surprise me to hear people boasting about their Klout score in the near future. Either as a useful tool or just out of curiosity I would recommend it to anyone.

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About haighsimpson

25 year old journalism student at leeds metropolitan university View all posts by haighsimpson

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