Why your Klout score is meaningless

Posted: June 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Klout, Statistics | 42 Comments »

As a Ph D Statistician and search quality engineer, I know a lot about how to properly measure things. In the past few months I’ve become an active Twitter user and very interested in measuring the influence of individuals. Klout provides a way to measure influence on Twitter using a score also called Klout. The range is 0 to 100. Light users score below 20, regular users around 30, and celebrities start around 75. Naturally, I was intrigued by the Klout measurement, but a careful analysis led to some serious issues with the score.

Everything in life can be measured. Some quantities live on natural measurement scales: height, weight, temperature, etc. Some quantities are derived measurements: happiness, deliciousness, hunger, etc. Though all useful measurements, research has repeatedly shown derived measurements to be inconsistent and not trustworthy individually. Specifically, if two individuals tell you their happiness levels are an 8 and a 9 on a scale of 10, we have no way to know:

  • what this means for each individual without significant amounts of context
  • which individual is “happier” even if 8 is less than 9

I argue that Klout is far more similar to a derived measurement and has several suboptimal properties. Specifically, there are 3 basic, desirable properties the Klout score should satisfy:

  1. Ordering by Klout should make sense in the real world – the score should roughly represent the degree to which one is influential or has clout
  2. The score should not be easy to game – people should not be able to hack their klout in a few days by getting bots to RT, squatting on hashtags, or simply connecting a Facebook account
  3. The score should be monotonic – if another member has higher stats than me in ALL categories, then he/she should have a higher score

To demonstrate the issues Klout has with these principles, we provide 4 groups of Klout score comparisons:

  • a set of individuals with Klout in the 40-49 range
  • a set of individuals with Klout in the 55-64 range
  • a set of individuals with Klout in the 70-79 range
  • a set of individuals with Klout >= 80

The four groups were chosen to span the Klout range and contain bloggers, executives, tech pundits, and celebrities of varying levels of activity in social media, notoriety, influence, importance, etc.

Group 1 (Klout 40-49)

Alex Braunstein (me), @alexbraunstein – Statistician, Research Scientist at Chomp, X-Googler
Ben Keighran, @benkeighran – the CEO of Chomp
Binh Tran, @binhtran – the co-founder and CTO of Klout,
Chomp, @chomp – app search engine
Vic Gundotra, @vicgundotra – SVP and head of social at Google
Carla Borsoi, @u_m – VP of Consumer Insights at AOL

Let’s consider a few pairwise comparisons. First, Ben’s stats dominate mine excepting likes per post and comments per post, however, his Klout score is 7 points lower than mine. Next, Binh’s stats completely dominate my own in EVERY category, often by very large factors, yet we have identical Klout scores. Carla’s scores also completely dominate mine, but her score is lower. Finally, consider Chomp and Vic Gundotra. Vic’s stats blow Chomp out of the water, yet his Klout score is lower. In the “real world” sense of the word clout, Vic should dominate this group. The group 1 comparisons demonstrate the Klout score violating rules 1 and 3 from above.

Group 2 (Klout 55-64)

Paul Graham, @paulg – the fearless leader of Y Combinator.
Y Combinator, @ycombinator – startup incubator
500 Startups, @500startups – startup incubator
Adria Richards, @adriarichards – a tech consultant and popular blogger (also my roommate)
Stefanie Michaels, @adventuregirl – go to person for everything travel

In group 2, my roommate has a higher Klout score than Paul Graham? Really? By 5 points? Paul has 6x more followers, 2x total RTs, and 4x as many unique RTs, but he hasn’t linked his FB account. Adria has incredibly low FB stats (she uses it sparingly), but apparently that still gives her a tremendous boost. Adding a FB account is far too easy a way to game your score higher. I understand that Klout wants to incentivize the attachment of FB accounts and keep growing virally, but this aspect of the Klout score seems broken. Additionally, the pairwise comparison of Y Combinator and Paul is confusing. Paul’s stats are much higher, but they are assigned the same score. One could argue different, perhaps more Klout-tastic people, are following Y Combinator, however, I find that unlikely given that Paul is in charge of it. Finally, its wrong that Adventure Girl’s Klout is so low. She has been named one of the top 100 people on Twitter, has been featured in Time magazine, etc., but her Klout is only two points higher than Adria’s.

Group 3 (Klout 70-79)

Tim Ferriss, @tferriss – author of the 4 Hour Workweek and 4 Hour Body
Jack Dorsey, @jack – Executive Chairman of Twitter and CEO of Square
Matt Cutts, @mattcutts – head of web spam team at Google
MG Siegler, @parislemon – my favorite writer for Techcrunch
Klout, @klout – the service I’m trashing in this post
David Pogue, @pogue – tech guy from the NYT
Jeffrey Zeldman, @zeldman – designer, writer, and publisher

Things get very confusing in this group. Jack Dorsey’s stats dominate those of David Pogue, but his score is 4 points lower. Matt Cutts has 4000 more total RTs but 1.5M fewer followers relative to Jack Dorsey, so his Klout score is 1 point higher? I’ll go out on a limb and state that 4000 incrementral RTs seem FAR less valuable than 1.5M incremental followers. Klout, the company, has fewer followers, total RTs and unique RTers by a factor of at least 6, but 7K more unique mentioners, so Klout’s Klout score is 4 points higher than Jacks? But if unique mentions are so valuable, how can Jack Dorsey have a lower score than Matt Cutts when he has 16K additional unique mentioners? This is just the start of the inconsistencies.

Without FB, MG Siegler’s score would likely be 10 points lower. Jeffrey Zeldman’s blog is super high quality, but does he deserve to have more Klout than David Pogue? Again, Facebook puts him over the top. I think that Klout’s score is far too high, though perhaps its not surprising Klout does well on its own metric. Finally, I included Tim Ferriss not just because I’m a huge fan, but his stats provide an interesting counterpoint for even more interesting pairwise comparisons. It will lead you to several more contradictions concerning the relative value of followers, RTs, unique RTers, and unique mentioners.

Group 4 (Klout >= 80)

Robert Scoble, @scobleizer – blogger, tech evangelist, and author
Perez Hilton, @perezhilton – master of celebrity gossip
Charlie Sheen, @charliesheen – #winning
Guy Kawasaki, @guykawasaki – entrepreneur and former Chief Evangelist at Apple
Justin Bieber, @justinbieber – never saying never

The pairings of Scoble/Hilton and Sheen/Kawasaki again demonstrate the severe miscalibration regarding Facebook scores. Also, I’m not sure I trust any system which has Justin Bieber as most influential.

In conclusion, there are some serious inconsistencies with Klout that render it nearly meaningless in some circumstances. It often does not correctly order individuals in terms of how influential they are, is easy to game higher simply by adding a Facebook account, and does not respect some very basic monotonicity rules. Put simply, it acts like a derived measurement. From this analysis, I have gleaned the following rough rules of thumb for understanding your Klout score:

  • Connecting an additional account (ie Facebook) will ALWAYS increase your Klout.
  • The degree to which your followers are influential seems to be irrelevant or matter very little
  • The differential between number of people you follow seems to be irrelevant or matter very little.
  • In terms of value to your Klout score: follow < RT < unique RT < unique mention but this can be inconsistent
  • In terms of value to your Klout score: like < comment but this can be inconsistent

To be fair, Klout does not want their score to be completely transparent. Then it would be easy to rip off and even easier to game. That being said it should be possible respect the three conditions I enumerated and still keep a lid on their secret sauce. As I have time, I’m going to mess around with the Klout API a bit and gather more comprehensive data to further demonstrate the points made in this post, including a similar study concerning the Klout of companies/brands. Additionally, I will submit several questions regarding my analysis to Joe Fernandez’s (the CEO of Klout) Klout chat, and hope the company follows up. I’ll post any details/answers I receive here.

More info about Klout can be found in Techcrunch articles about their initial launch, series A funding, series B funding, addition of Facebook to their ranking, and their crunchbase profile.

As any good statistician should, I need to qualify my analysis. There is of course selection bias in the examples enumerated above. Although not as egregious, these head scratching scores are the rule, not the exception. All data was pulled on 5/29/11, and may not reflect current scores. Finally, please remember that this is my personal blog and reflects my opinion alone. In particular, it does not reflect the opinions of any employer past, present, or future.


42 Comments on “Why your Klout score is meaningless”

  1. 1 Deano said at 9:33 am on June 1st, 2011:

    Why shouldn’t Facebook attached peeps have higher Klout? You didn’t enumerate the respective boosts of friend audiences, fb reshares, etc. Studies have shown that fb friends and likers have a higher marketing value than followers and retweeters. It’s pretty obvious that if the dominant tweeters linked their fb accounts, they would be back on top.

    Still very interesting stuff!

  2. 2 Ash Rust said at 10:22 am on June 1st, 2011:

    Hi Alex,

    I’m the Director of Ranking here at Klout and wanted to respond directly to some of the points you raised here.

    1) Thanks a lot for writing this.
    It’s great feedback on the understandability of our score and mirrors a lot of the (intense) debates we have internally around how the score works and what data to deliver to our users.

    2) Klout is just beginning.
    We believe we’re at the very first stage of development for this paradigm, much like online document search was in 1998 when Google was founded, so we can expect some growing pains especially given the volume of data we process. That said, we know we need to do better and we’re working hard to improve, we have a team of excellent scientists working on improving the score.

    3) Your Klout score is about quality not quantity.
    While some users may have amassed many thousands of friends and followers, those people may not be listening or may not even be real people at all; this is why we use our own audience metric: True Reach. We also assess the influence of each person in your audience, so if someone you interact with is very influential that can have a much larger impact on your score than a group of people with lower levels of influence; for example if @BarackObama retweets you, it’ll increase your score more than if I do.

    4) Adding additional networks to your Klout should increase your score.
    We can only measure the data we have. If you add a network, like Facebook, and are influencing people on that network, then it should increase your score; assuming you’re influencing people on that network. If I influence 10 people on Facebook and then add my Twitter account, where I influence 3 people, Klout can now see me influencing 13 people, hence the score increase.

    I hope this answers some of your questions and please feel free to follow up with me directly.

    Thanks

    —-
    Ash Rust
    Director of Ranking | Klout
    http://klout.com
    ash [at] klout dot com
    @AshRust

  3. 3 Ben Straley said at 12:38 pm on June 1st, 2011:

    Thanks for the post Alex. This is the most precise take-down of third-party “influence” scores I’ve seen. It’s really thought provoking.

    While I can’t add much to your analysis of the underlying weaknesses of the approaches taken by Klout, PeerIndex, and the like, I do think it’s important to add that the flaws in the methods employed are the direct result of the fact that those services do not own or control the inputs. They’re built on top of Twitter’s API and are relying on the data they’re given access to. Given this, it’s not surprising that the scores are inconsistent and unreliable. If you do not control the raw inputs, your options are pretty limited and so is the value of the metrics you can produce.

    What does it mean in the real world if my Klout score increasing by 5 points? Did I become 5-points more influential? Did I suddenly become capable of driving 5 units more reach, referrals, or sales? Your analysis suggests that there is a questionable correlation between Klout scores and outcomes like reach, referrals, and sales.

    Given the uncertain utility of third-party scores like these, I think it’s only a matter of time before Twitter builds its own (or acquires) “Twinfluence” metric that becomes the standard.

  4. 4 Yvonne said at 4:32 pm on June 1st, 2011:

    “meaningless” would be this post in my view, famous designers like Jimmy Choo or Lexus did not get to the top of their categories by not having Klout, and neither with social network media without some sort of Klout. Maria Shriver posts #threewordstoliveby and it goes viral within hours, twitter is where news goes quicker than any other medium. Klout gages where I am and how my reach is, it is an invaluable tool for anyone who wants to understand social media.

  5. 5 Liz said at 1:12 pm on June 2nd, 2011:

    Thanks for writing this post (and the followup). Klout definitely has its flaws and it amazes me how individuals and businesses live and die by a service that is almost like a Magic 8 ball based on how many people follow you (and vice versa).

    Also, i REALLY hate the spam Klout sends its users. I get invites to random events that have nothing to do with my interests, or tech, or social media. i think they were movie previews or discounts on random products. It’s bizarre, actually, and the only way I know to stay off their random events list is to unsubscribe from the service. THAT feels suspect, like maybe they’re basing my Klout score on if I’m registered with them or not. I don’t know if this has changed but it was like this several months ago.

  6. 6 Dominique said at 10:05 am on June 3rd, 2011:

    Thanks for writing this post.

    The core idea that influence can be measured by a single number is just insane.

    Influence is multidimentional and contextual.
    You seem to be pretty influential on stats and you may have no influence on anything “cheese”.
    Even taking stats as an example your influence may be very different in the community of statisticians in the US or Silicon Valley and in the same community in Italy of Paraguay.

    Best

  7. 7 Muskie said at 7:11 pm on June 3rd, 2011:

    I’ve been looking at Klout but not as quantitatively as you. I think they need more data. Data from WordPress or Disqus or something. A lot of influencing online takes place outside of Twitter and even outside of Twitter+Facebook.

    LinkedIn is an obvious network they are working on, but even then. Which networks you use most clearly affects your score. When Oprah picks a book for her club it results in increased sales. When someone influential according to Klout tweets a book recommendation does it result in increased sales? That is real influence in an economically measurable sense. Influence however is greater than just sales. Thought leadership, or inspiration are related to influence. Not sure how Klout balances all these factors…

    I choose not to get too worked up about my Klout score. It seems to have gone down steadily of late, but I don’t really worry about it. I like to think I’m not a number.

  8. 8 Azeem said at 7:47 am on June 6th, 2011:

    Great work Alex.

    I agree with Ash that this is an early market – with lots more work to do – but I disagree with his assertion that ‘you can only measure what you observe’.

    Of course, you can estimate missing data – and any machine learning / computational statistics model worth its salt will do just that. Just because I haven’t observed that you have a Facebook page doesn’t mean I should assume you don’t have one. I mean, I have never observed that you have height, so I shouldn’t really assume your height is zero feet, should I?

    Your analysis is powerful – and addresses several of the questions that we deal with as well. We don’t necessarily have good answers today for all of them – for example, aligning with our common sense notions, experience or intuitions in a topic or category.

    The question of monotonicity is very important – but you’d need to figure out what variables you aren’t observing (from the data a service might show on its consumer site).
    For example, on PeerIndex we’ll show you your @s, RTs etc, but what we don’t show you is:
    - you centrality on any of several graphs we build based on your activity
    - the PI and topic PI of the people who interact with you (and the PI and topic PI of the people who interact with them)
    These features might be very important to assessing you score but you wouldn’t observe them on your profile.

    BTW – you PeerIndex is only 13. Let’s see if we can’t do something about that!

  9. 9 Azeem said at 7:55 am on June 6th, 2011:

    Oh hey, hit send to soon.

    I also want to add two other comments
    1. A lot of your comments are criticisms based on ‘real world influence’ which is harder to observe and estimate. It is a challenge we suffer from as well – we call it the ‘Shirky problem’ (basically, what do you do with smart, mega people who don’t tweet?)

    2. The bot issue is a particularly annoying one especially when coupled with statistical processes for estimating scores – and this is going to get worse with the arrival of smarter automated posting engines (unless we collectively get better)

    3. Finally there are some real questions about how frequently an ‘influence score’ should change without it becoming an activity score. Change it too frequently, it looks funky and an activity metric.
    Change it infrequently, and drive down repeat visits to your site, mindshare and ultimately value.
    And the question is probably this: what is the balance of stock-ishness vs flow-ishness on the thing we call ‘influence’?
    The answer to that question is a tricky – particularly in a real-time world.
    best (again)
    azeem

  10. 10 Gary King said at 8:12 am on June 6th, 2011:

    This is an excellent post. The only effective way for Ash Rust at Klout to respond is for him and his company to reveal how the Klout measure is constructed. Then this kind of deconstructing wouldn’t need to exist, and the Klout measure could be used in productive ways, regardless of the apparent inconsistencies raised in the post. Without that information, which does not exist on the Klout web site, valid scientific measurement is impossible, and Klout can only be regarded as an unknown measure of an unknown quantity affected by unstated weights on partially known input factors. Ash, will you provide this information?

  11. 11 Arjan Haring said at 10:27 am on June 6th, 2011:

    My main worry is with the use of the term “influence”. Influence to do what? It’s not connected to (consumer) behavior, what would be insightful data. It’s merely based on RT behavior I guess. With some distinction between “influencers” and less influential people that you influence.

    Summarizing: Your Klout score seems to say something about how you influence other peoples behavior. But the only thing it really does, is give an indication of how much influence you have on peoples retweeting behavior. And even that Klout doesn’t seem to do really well.

  12. 12 Maurice Vergeer said at 12:31 am on June 8th, 2011:

    The problem even begins earlier than the lack of transparency on the formula. Actual measurements provided by the APIs can be biased as I have shown for Twitter’s retweets.

  13. 13 Alex Braunstein's Blog » Blog Archive » Comparing Klout competitors and alternatives: PeerIndex and Twittergrader said at 12:43 pm on June 8th, 2011:

    [...] your Facebook, LinkedIn and Quora accounts, while Twitter Grader is limited to Twitter. In my previous post I claimed that any good measure of influence should have the following [...]

  14. 14 Losing Klout: Four Questions About Third-Party Influence said at 11:58 am on June 14th, 2011:

    [...] Recently blogger and PhD statistician Alex Braunstein wrote an insightful piece titled “Why Your Klout Score is Meaningless.” In it, he analyzed the Klout Score, one of the most hyped measures of influence today. The [...]

  15. 15 human mathematics said at 4:30 pm on June 15th, 2011:

    I don’t agree with your monotonicity criterion for this reason: a Follow from an account with high followed/following ratio should be worth more than from an account with near parity or worse.

    (I would measure something like PageRank on the Twitterverse, normalising to 1 — for Likes, RT’s, and Follows.)

    Nor do quantity of tweets indicate Influence, which is what’s being measured. That’s another reason the score shouldn’t be monotonic in the displayed stats.

    Regarding “it should measure clout” — does that mean the clout of the real person, or the ability to drive (useful) clicks to a particular link? If I wanted to measure the dollar value of a Twitter account, I would want to know the latter. Thus @zoedeschanel is “not a celebrity” according to Klout — but maybe that’s OK because she wouldn’t drive steer the way Tim Ferriss might.

    Klout has effectively branded itself as the only horse in this race, and partnerships with About.me and Hootsuite strengthen this standing — so imperfections in its score are for now moot. Pretty CSS + talking to the right people &succ; mathematically desirable metrics.

    By the way, I don’t mean to sound critical. Nice use of data to bolster your argument.

  16. 16 Greg Satell said at 1:04 am on June 21st, 2011:

    Alex,

    Thanks for this. It’s really very helpful.

    However, I do take issue with your criteria. The question is not whether Klout scores are perfect, but whether they are helpful and I think they are.

    You could easily make similar arguments (and many people do) about TV ratings, but they are still widely used and the market couldn’t function without them.

    That’s not to say that Klout scores are perfect, but they are something like them is obviously required.

    - Greg

  17. 17 Mark Pack said at 3:52 am on June 21st, 2011:

    Thanks for publishing this fascinating analysis.

    One other question is quite what counts as “influence”, neatly illustrated the by way Klout gives me a higher score than my country’s Deputy Prime Minister (http://www.markpack.org.uk/peerindex-klout-online-influence/)

    It’s pretty hard to come up with a definition of influence where that makes sense – especially as almost every newsworthy thing the Deputy PM does spawns lots of commentary online.

  18. 18 Am I really more influential than Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg? | Mark Pack said at 5:35 am on June 21st, 2011:

    [...] There's a thought-provoking analysis of other aspects of Klout on Alex Braunstein's blog. Share this:EmailPrint If you liked this post, these may also interest you:How do the Liberal [...]

  19. 19 Klout | Vicky Beeching.com said at 2:01 am on June 22nd, 2011:

    [...] Just for the sake of balance, some are saying Klout is bogus and doesn’t really represent anything accurate. This blogger thinks so… http://alexbraunstein.com/2011/06/01/why-your-klout-score-is-meaningless/ [...]

  20. 20 Daniel Mihai Popescu said at 1:51 am on June 27th, 2011:

    I cannot agree more with you, :)
    There are this fake accounts on Twitter, all created on Nov 23′rd 2010, mostly with dog puppies as avatar, or animals anyway, they also have “names” and location. What have I noticed lately? They have Klout numbers, too, over 40! They never replies (it’s not programmed) openly, only in DM with a link to landing pages, always promoting something, or tweeting nonsense like: “Bertha, you can hear me now.”
    So, how can I trust such a machine which offer a high “grade” to another machine? I became aware of all this, since I’m using HootSuite, :)

  21. 21 Sean Golliher said at 11:57 pm on June 27th, 2011:

    While working on a similar project I ran across your post. I was looking for data sets to compare. I worked out some analysis using R software on my formulas for influence and compared them with Klout scores you have published here. It turns out that we can cover 94% of the variance in publicly available Klout scores with a simple formula. It could be that the computations for Klout score are “complicated” but if they reduce to a simple formula like I am presenting then we don’t need the extra complication. If we agree that measuring “Klout” is useful. Anyway, I used your data set to compare numbers with my formula and I think the results are very interesting and the R2 values are really high. I think anyone that has studied statistics would agree there is something to these numbers?

  22. 22 Annie Pettit said at 9:59 am on June 29th, 2011:

    At least for now, Klout is just a fun game. I have a bot on Twitter with Klout score of 46. That’s much higher than a lot of active Twitter users. I see no need to look behind the Klout curtain as every company has a secret sauce. But since my bot apparently has a lot of Klout, you should follow it. @MRXblogs

  23. 23 Do I have clout? or just Klout? | Savannah Unplugged said at 8:11 pm on June 29th, 2011:

    [...] Braunstein does an amazing job on his blog of arguing why your Klout score is meaningless , by doing statistical analysis of real-world examples that don’t add up. (And also critiques [...]

  24. 24 Matt Hall said at 2:21 pm on July 1st, 2011:

    I agree that trying to use a single number to compare people’s influence is probably flawed. But there is a very strong temporal component to Klout’s score, as there should be, that you don’t comment on or (presumably) know anything about.

    It’s interesting that you chose to present your credentials right at the top. I immediately thought of the argument from authority fallacy. Were you asserting your clout with a single data point?

    Anyway, I found it a thought-provoking, if flawed, write up.

  25. 25 Dick Powis said at 2:50 pm on July 1st, 2011:

    I am a bottom of the barrel Twitter user: 20 followers, and maybe 3 retweets. But my FB is hooked up, so my Klout score is better than Alex’s (with a 48). Heh. That’s pretty funny.

  26. 26 Dick Powis said at 3:04 pm on July 1st, 2011:

    Oh, and I discovered this article through a tweet from @edyong209 who retweeted @BoraZ’s tweet about this blog article. So you, @BoraZ, and @edyong209 have real world influence that is not measured by Klout (obviously).

  27. 27 Alex Braunstein said at 4:04 pm on July 1st, 2011:

    My score is actually up to 59 now :)

    http://klout.com/alexbraunstein

  28. 28 goldfries said at 5:43 am on September 11th, 2011:

    :D Klout score 72 here – wanna use my stats as part of the sample? I have less than 1,000 follower on Twitter. ;)

    My take – if adding channel of channel leads to increase in score, it’s pointless. A person with high influence on a single channel, is worth more than another person who participates a lot but no having little to no influence.

  29. 29 Mathew Lowry’s Tagsmanian Devil » Blog Archive » What is influence? or, Why I don’t care about my Klout score said at 12:27 pm on September 19th, 2011:

    [...] Why your Klout score is meaningless [...]

  30. 30 Got Klout? « Debbi Mack: My Life on the Mid-List said at 7:28 pm on October 2nd, 2011:

    [...] Here’s one person who argues that Klout numbers are meaningless in a detailed blog post. [...]

  31. 31 Datasheen said at 9:39 pm on October 4th, 2011:

    Great article. I bet it increases your klout.

  32. 32 Corporateinklings » Does Klout Live Up to Its Name? said at 2:50 pm on October 19th, 2011:

    [...] are plenty who believe that it’s useless, others who are embracing it, and a few who believe it’s just another tool to game. Criticisms or [...]

  33. 33 Carlo Mallone said at 3:14 pm on October 20th, 2011:

    This is such a useful post.
    The major issue I see here is the weight of DM’s for score computation, because this kind of point-to-point messages is often irrelevant for other people. It seems to weight a lot for Klout, indeed.

  34. 34 What’s Your Klout Score? | WordServe Water Cooler said at 9:04 pm on October 21st, 2011:

    [...] For an alternate opinion on how valuable this score is, check out this post entitled: Why Your Klout Score is Meaningless. [...]

  35. 35 What is Klout? « COM585 said at 11:45 pm on October 22nd, 2011:

    [...] single gauge is dangerous, but there are also flaws in the Klout equation that can skew results.  Alex Braunstein explains some of these flaws further, pointing out inconsistencies between individual [...]

  36. 36 brhau said at 12:54 pm on October 25th, 2011:

    Interesting ideas.

    1. You’re right. Not clear what the Klout score has to do with the “real” world.

    2. I think you can game the system a little bit, but since the score itself isn’t important, it’s questionable why one would do that. For example, I know I’ll get dinged for @replying my wife, who has a lower Klout score than I do. But what am I going to do, ignore her?

    3. and the rest of your analysis only holds if the composite Klout score is represented as a function of (only) the category scores. It isn’t.

    I think that worrying about one’s Klout score is rather silly for most people. The last thing I want is to read a feed full of people trying to maximize their score.

  37. 37 Why your Klout score is meaningless « Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science said at 10:17 am on December 1st, 2011:

    [...] your Klout score is meaningless Posted by Andrew on 6 June 2011, 9:03 amAlex Braunstein writes about Klout, a company which measures Twitter/Facebook influence:As a Ph D statistician and search [...]

  38. 38 warrengonline said at 10:34 am on December 3rd, 2011:

    I’m not sure about Klout, it is a good idea for those who are digital only. I’m a word of mouth type person. I guess that is why some people who do not know me usually comment “You’re a great salesman.” True, but I’m not trying to tell you anything. I will inform you of something I believe in. IF I do not believe it in, how can I ‘sell’ it to you?

    When I inform people, I just want everyone to make a good decision when they purchase or do not purchase or even learn of a more efficient product or service.

    Klout would have been GREAT for me when I worked at BlockBuster Video and Sears. now I am not too sociable online. I’m a forum browser and researcher now.

    Researching Klout next month to see what happens.

    IF you want to assist, please retweet just ONE of my posts on twitter (same name as listed here) and I’ll be posting the results later next month. I’ll also retweet a few of yours possibly follow you if you have good info to share.

    If you can, please keep a log of your statistics. I’m not going to gauge facebook as it is not up and running on klout at this time.

  39. 39 timburt said at 9:22 pm on January 11th, 2012:

    @AshRust, I appreciate your response and believe that you believe in what you said, but don’t believe it works. I’ve added Facebook, Google+, my blog, and yet watched my score drop when my stats are actually pretty high. I am not sure I trust that you are getting all the information and you have many sceptics that feel this way without any way of verifying that you have correct stats. Wefollow is a good example of a stat collector that has more wrong stats than right and they don’t respond to anyone’s request to correct them. With Klout, you could be wrong thereby putting out wrong information and publishing wrong Klout info. How would anyone know or be able to verfiy? I am using Klout, but have great doubts and thereby do not recommend.

  40. 40 Social Proofiness: Spotting Digital Potemkin Numbers said at 7:56 am on June 12th, 2012:

    [...] already written about this one so it has a whole post dedicated to it. Be skeptical. My friend Alex has the math, but I don’t even think you need it as I outlined in my [...]

  41. 41 Hey Klout, One-dimensional Reputation Is Meaningless. | Diego Basch's Blog said at 8:33 pm on August 10th, 2012:

    [...] Klout Score measures your online influence on a scale of 1 to 100.” I just read a blog post (from June 2011) that carefully analyzes all the ways in which the Klout score is flawed, and [...]

  42. 42 Ten Signs your Social Media Expert is Bogus | Social Media Strategies Summit Blog said at 8:35 am on October 9th, 2012:

    [...] Credits: [Alex Braunstein][eHow][The Marketing Pill][Sociolatte][nairaland][Specific-Gravity][eHow][bitrebels][Infinity [...]


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