What do you think about Klout? Is it useful or is it an illusion?

There’s a backlash against Klout. Scalzi recently wrote about DeKloutifying, in which he explained why he quit Klout. He immediately received a multitude of comments praising his decision and detailing complaints about Klout.

Image Credit: Benzado

On Google+, Lynette Young did a similar thing. She explained why she quit Klout, saying,

I no longer feel dirty and hypocritical.

Her post received a similar barrage of +1s and favorable comments. One, from Meryl K Evans said,

It looks like Klout is losing clout with a lot of folks. Martin said it — it feels like a competition. It also feels like it’s stressful for many of us and leading us to change how we interact instead of just being ourselves.

Meryl also tweeted about the post by Lynette Young. I was alerted to the tweet by @kmdk, because an article posted at BlogHer a few days earlier talked about potential employers asking for Klout scores. The idea that employers would ask for Klout scores throws off a lot of warning flags and ignited quite a conversation on Twitter.


Those of us listed in that tweet had a lengthy conversation about Klout – its inaccuracies, its requirement for constant tweeting, and its lack of true meaningfulness, and the idea of asking for it with a job app – the conclusion of which was summed up nicely by @mollydotcom

Anyone using Klout as a means to measure self worth is causing themselves grievous harm and must stop! @vdebolt @kmdk @iheni @merylkevansFri Nov 11 20:46:56 via web

One of the issues with Klout is that it demands constant social engagement or your score falls, even on weekends. Jenna Hatfield wrote Dear @Klout, Here’s What I was Doing this Weekend. She describes an important weekend, but Klout deemed it inadequate. She responded,

So, Klout, you’ll just have to excuse me for not making time to, as your note says, “share more content and engage with my network.”

On BlogHer, Chole wrote My Family is Killing My Klout Score with a similar observation about the realities of life vs. Klout scores.

I have Klout in WHAT?

Beelebeandog wrote An Open Letter to Klout which brought up another oft-cited issue with Klout. It’s inaccurate. She compared her long-lasting @bellebeandog score with her brand new account in her real name Liz Jostes,

My barely-used-barely-connected-and-zero-engagement @LizJostes Klout score is higher by 1 point.

Not only does this not make sense, but to me it’s the final nail in the casket of Klout’s kredibility.

Everyone seems to have a story about the ridiculousness of Klout scores. For instance, I’m suppose to have Klout on the topic Virginia. I presume that means the state of Virginia and not the me Virginia. I have a lot of knowledge about myself, but absolutely none about the state.

Grace Hwang Lynch, BlogHer’s editor for race and ethnicity reported,

Klout tells me @BlogHerCultures is an expert on White People.

Yeah, it must be all those articles @BlogHerCultures mentions about Muslim Americans and Chinese Americans. Or, it might have been that one about the Muslim cabbie and the Jewish bagel bakers.

Renee Blodgett talked about REAL Klout influence and asked,

Wouldn’t it also be more interesting if tools like this took into consideration a person’s offline influence as well as other things they may have done, such as a bestselling book or created a program that made an African village sustain itself?

Renee actually had a chance to visit with the founder of Klout. It didn’t give her an improved perspective on Klout’s performance so far.

Calling it Quits with Klout

People are quitting Klout and telling about it public ways. When something so misleading and inaccurate is used to measure worth, quitting in protest makes a statement.

One can hope all the people quitting make an impression on Klout and the scores are revamped to be something useful. In the meantime, what are you doing? Are you quitting Klout?

Cross-posted at BlogHer.

2 thoughts on “What do you think about Klout? Is it useful or is it an illusion?”

  1. Two the the biggest issues I have with Klout (but by no means the only issues) is that people are often shown as influencers in topics that can – and have – hurt their credibility. Long ago I was ranked influential in ‘mullets’, I live in New Jersey, this is to be expected I suppose. What about the Christian mom that is ranked influential in ‘pole dancing’ or job hunter in the finance district that ranks for ‘bad loan’ because of the stupid algorithm Klout uses?! My other beef with Klout is that the human recommendation of K+ing someone within the system did nothing to increase that person’s Klout or influence. My guess is that the metric was used internally to sell more advertising and sponsorship to Klout’s clients (speculation).

    I for one feel much better that I am not actively using or contributing to a system that is, to me, obviously designed to make themselves money and exploit the networks we have built to meet that end.

    1. I am concerned about the fact that Klout ranks you just because you are on Twitter and/or Facebook. You don’t sign up, you don’t opt in, you just get assigned a Klout score. That seems invasive to me. Some Twitter clients then post your Klout score as part of your tweet, as if you had asked for the rating.

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