From Klouchebag.com developer Tom Scott:
“Klout annoys me for the same reason that search engine optimization annoys me,” Scott said. “It’s an enormous amount of effort designed to game an arbitrary and often-changing system. Imagine if all that time went into actually making interesting things, or caring about the people around you.”
Better yet, skip the imagining and get to work. Or skip the work and express interest in the people around you.
Either way I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the return on your investment.
Update: Nicholas Thompson at The New Yorker chimes in on social media and Klout here.
— Mark Barrett
Funny, I signed onto Klout yesterday out of curiosity. And I was pleasantly surprised to see how high my score was and how high the scores were of other people not on klout. It seems to me that a definition of a fair scoring method is one in which people who are just doing their thing can excel without looking at the score board.
I also found Klouchebag yesterday and my scores were off by one point. I really do retweet too much.
For someone as motivationally challenged as I am (F-ing lazy?) Klout, and the potential of free crap, are the kick pants I need. Game-ifiaction has it’s downsides, but it works and that’s not a bad thing sometimes.
I’m all for anything that helps people get out of bed in the morning. If Klout gives you even a momentary motivational bump that’s all to the good.
My concern with social media generally, however, is both that it turns involvement of individuals into a perpetual obligation that leads away from productivity by consuming clock cycles, and that it does so intentionally as a means of profiting people other than the individual. Yes, there’s value in communicating with other human beings, and having an online platform can be critical to sole proprietors, but in the end I think the value proposition is massively overstated by people running sites that profess to tell us how successful we’re being — and by a parasitic media that is heavily invested in profiting from those sites as well..
If Klout takes up a few seconds of your life each day, or better yet every week or two, it’s a non-issue. But if you begin warping your life and your work in order to increase your Klout score, or your Twitter followers, or your Facebook likes, I think that’s a potential problem. Not only does it lead away from what you may have intended to do, it leads you toward a market crowded with people trying to satisfy the same metrics.