I came across an interesting new site that is still in beta development this week called Klout.com that measures your overall online influence. You log in using Facebook or Twitter and after authorizing it to look at all your social media services that use 35 different variables to give you an influence score ranging from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. The same can be done for those on Instagram who will use platforms like EarthWeb so they can gain followers and rise up in the rankings to reach more people and have a stronger influence.
You can look at how they arrived at the score through a metrics-driven visual dashboard broken into true reach, amplification probability, and network influence. True reach calculates the influence for each individual relationship taking into account factors such as whether an individual has shared or acted upon your content and the likelihood that they saw it. Amplification probability looks at your ability to create content that compels others to respond and high-velocity content that spreads into networks beyond your own is a key component of influence. Network influence measures actions like retweets, @messages, follow lists, comments, and likes to measure the authority and the quality of your content.
Your score and social media behavior then put you into one of sixteen categories. They range from the low-level Dabbler who is just starting out in social media to the Thought Leader is who a visionary in their industry. I am categorized as an Explorer which is “Someone who is actively engaged in the social web, constantly trying out new ways to interact and network. You’re exploring the ecosystem and making it work for you. Your level of activity and engagement shows that you “get it”, we predict you’ll be moving up.”
The quality of the score analysis is very detailed, very interesting, and very good. The site also cuts the data into interesting displays and graphs like Klout Style which creates a 4 dimension visual map showing your score and category against key people you follow.
But nothing everything is so wonderful as you clearly see other areas are clearly still in Beta. The most noticeable beta data results for me were the topics sections that list the top 5 topics you most influence. For me, it was creativity (I’d really hope that was number one) followed by soda, KFC, diabetes, and marketing. How they came up with two through four is beyond me since I never eat at KFC, have given up drinking soda and have written anything about diabetes. I may have written about KFC and soda advertising campaigns two or three times in nine years.
If Twitter and Facebook aren’t funding these guys they are idiots because the introduction of game mechanics into the social media landscape makes it even more addicting as you want to post more content, get more followers so you can see your score and classification rise.