People are more important than Klout

Thank you for the discussion on Mack Collier’s blog and on Twitter regarding my Klout posts. I’m grateful and humbled so many joined in the conversation. Also greatly encouraged so many were totally offended by the four keys to increasing your Klout score. As you’ve discovered by now, I was not all suggesting you actually game Klout to increase your score. Instead, I was, hopefully, illustrating the absurdity of having a goal of increasing any artificial measure of influence.

Intuitively, it seems we all know no two-digit metric, or even a more elaborate metric like Twitalyzer, can truly measure influence. Too many factors go into defining, discerning, and describing influence. For instance, consider the influence of George W. Bush today, now compare that to his influence on September 12, 2001. Influence, in that case, was significantly affected by environmental conditions. So it is with you and I. (Even though Justin Bieber has a perfect Klout score of 100, I still have more influence on my 8, 10, and 13 year old children than he does! My Klout score is nowhere near his.)

As JC Penny showed us last week, any ranking system can be gamed, even one as disciplined and well funded as Google. So it is with Klout. There are specific strategies you can pursue to get a higher Klout score. If that’s your objective, no doubt you’ll succeed. You’ll find in my post four keys to increase your Klout score.

Many people recognized the humor and absurdity of my four keys. I’m glad. If you’ve heard me speak, read my blog, or engaged with me online, you know I cherish Zig Ziglar’s oft-quoted axiom, “You can have everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.” You’ve probably also heard me state and defend against all challenges the admonition, “Follow back every person who follows you on Twitter.” Even though that suggestion STILL ruffles some people’s feathers, I still advocate accepting another human being’s out-stretched hand.

Which brings us back to the real issue of increasing one’s influence. Is that a worthwhile goal? I wonder if influence, like corporate profits, is a by-product of rendering valuable service to others. Render enough valuable service to others, and you’ll have all the influence you need.

Even if increasing one’s influence is a worthwhile goal, it can’t be successfully pursued without attending to, acknowledging, and affirming other human beings around you.

Instead of increasing our Klout scores, we’d garner more clout by rendering more, more valuable service, to more people. When we’re doing that, we won’t need a third-party rating system to let us know we’ve succeed. (Just ask Warren Buffett, one of the most influential people in the world of business, who just happens to have a Klout score 1/3rd the ranking of Justin Bieber. Who would YOU rather spend a day with?)

Trey Pennington

2 thoughts on “People are more important than Klout

  1. Great post, Trey! Influence is something that is earned everyday by being a value-adding citizen to whatever community you are engaging with. There is no quick solution or short cuts out there.

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