Several months ago, I was invited into a beta of something called Klout. That may sound kind of cool and trendy, but I think it just means I write a blog and have a twitter account and Klout found my e-mail address somewhere. Regardless, it’s a site that aims to measure the amount of influence a person has online. By analyzing “pieces of content and connections” (2.7 billion of them each day), Klout formulates a person’s online influence.
One of the interesting aspects of the Klout site is that they’ll designate certain topics in which you are most influential. There are a lot of different topics. A couple days ago, I received notice that my influence was being recognized in a new topic. Thinking of all the things that are important to me and that I blog or comment about, a list of possibilities flitting through my mind. But when the site loaded and I saw what the topic actually was, it was nowhere near my list of possibilities: Mascara. Yes, friends, it seems I am influential in the realm of mascara. It dawned on me that I’d made a flippant comment on twitter about boys trying too hard to make something of no-shave November that was re-tweeted by a couple guys (Thanks Drew & Robert). Because they repeated what I said, that must mean I’m influential, right? Ok, maybe not!
So anyway, I’m currently sporting a Klout score of 26, with a ‘conversational’ style, influencing 53 people (one of whom apparently clubs baby seals with sticks of kittens). But what the heck does that really mean? What does it really mean that I have 168 ‘followers’ on twitter? (It was 170 before I re-tweeted Rick Warren this afternoon, but that’s a whole other issue.) What does it really mean that there are 531 people who ‘friended’ me on facebook?
What do you do with influence when it’s granted to you?
How do you handle influence?
What are the benefits and drawbacks of measuring influence?