Seriously, every conversation, every press article about Klout starts with a mandatory disclaimer “I am not a fan of Klout…”, does it not? So let’s start from a slightly different standpoint.
Do you like to be measured?
People brag about their physical measurements (height and – hum – other bodily parts) but also about their money, or how their car stacks up against their friends or neighbors. And girls, don’t roll your eyes saying “it’s a boy thing!”, don’t you brag about how many shoes you have? Don’t you ask whether these jeans make your bum look fat?
So we do compare to each other, it’s a fact of life. What is it then that makes us uneasy about Klout?
I asked this question to myself and came to the conclusion that I do not like the fact I don’t understand what they are measuring; just for laughs I ignored my FB account for a month and saw my score drop from 52 to 43 and decreasing; I restarted posting regularly and it shot up to 60, to then ease to 58 in last few days.
The other thing I do not like is the idea that our SNW (which could be a feature of my Digital Self) can be captured in one unique number – I know they are working to ease this perception, but I may have a different social style than frantic oversharers but this not directly imply a relative value that can be measured.
The third thing I do not like is that I perceive it as an external tool watching me, instead of a tool working FOR me: for example, why can’t I define an ideal social profile and use Klout to monitor my own progress against this ideal? Why can’t I use it to “reward” those among my behaviours that are in tune with this ideal and discourage others?
So, there you go, I actually like Klout; I like the concept of gradual improvement, I like to push myself where I want to be. Only make it work more for me and less for others.