Have you ever came across an online news article that by no means interested you at all, so you skipped over reading it? But then saw on Facebook that a friend linked that exact article, and so you read it, because of the fact that your friend recommended the article? Ever come across a not-so-funny YouTube video, only to watch it two days later with your friend and laugh your head off because he thinks it's hilarious?
Klout.com, a website designed to measure an individual's social media influence, has become so big in today's online news and information sharing world, that 'highly influential people' have recently began putting their Klout scores as something to brag about on resumes. Yes, on their resumes.
So what is Klout, you ask? Using a special formula that measures one's influential ability to drive others' online actions, Klout cranks out a daily fluctuating score (mines is 49 out of a possible 100), that determines your true reach (the number of people you can reach through various social networks). To give you something to compare my meager score to, Justin Bieber currently holds the highest Klout score with a perfect 100/100. Klout lets a user connect his or her Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Google+, personal blog, etc, to their Klout account to determine one's true reach. This formula calculates the number of Facebook wall posts, Twitter retweets, mentions, and followers, and 'likes' that one might receive on a given day and uses these numbers and online friends to generate a number of people you currently 'influence.'
It's a pretty cool concept, albeit, a rather convoluted one. Pam Moore of Social Media Today, wrote an interesting column on why she deleted her Klout profile. Skeptics have criticized the privacy methods, Klout score criteria, and its general legitimacy in the online social media networking world that we are all a part of today. Even though many professional organizations and journalists doubt Klout, there is no doubt that peer-to-peer journalism and information sharing is more influential and popular than ever before.
Regardless of the doubts of its legitimacy claims, Klout is a fun tool to play around with at the very least. Check out this infographic that uses an individual's Klout score to determine who the ten most influential people in U.S. politics are on Twitter.