First, let's cover what Klout is all about. You create a Klout account and then you give it nearly full permissions to scrape your accounts at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and anywhere else you have accounts set up. That's a massive amount of power for one organization to have - and many social network users just aren't willing to do that. So there are vast number of users who won't use Klout for that reason. Still, many networkers are quite curious about how they compare with others out there and sign up to see what happens.
Once you sign over all those rights, Klout examines your feeds for a few days and sees how you compare with others. How often do you post? How many followers or friends or likes do you have? What topics do you post on? Who comments and responds? Then it creates an overall score for you, as well as which fields you are expert in. It then updates that score on a daily basis going forward, for you to track and report on.
So there is my page above. I'm currently a 62 in the world. What does that mean? Well, Bill Gates is a 92 and an expert in computers and business - and Apple and children. Mark Hamill is 87 and an expert in actors and Avengers. Deepak Chopra is 86 and an expert in Buddhism, children, and ... Deepak Chopra :).
In the field of writing you've got the Writer's Digest at 68, expert in authors. J. K. Rowling is a 90 - but her expertise is in Alfred Hitchcock and Chris Cornell?? Elizabeth Gilbert is 78 and expert in books and Buddhism - but also Brooklyn and Bravo. And then many wildly famous people fall lower. Kathy Reichs of the hugely popular Bones series and related books is a 63.
Then we get into the masses of people who choose not to participate. Sue Grafton. Nora Roberts. Danielle Steele. Mary Higgins Clark. Janet Evanovich. Just to name a tiny few.
The "expert" fields are wildly random. If you post a number of times about a topic you suddenly become an expert in it. One of my 200+ books is Knowing Yourself which is a medieval "choose your suitors" romance, sort of similar to the Bachelorette TV show. Because of this one book (out of 200+!!) I was marked an expert in "The Bachelorette" even though I'd never seen that show. Well, technically, I saw it once ;). I continually get flagged as an expert in random topics because of a few posts I make. When I was working on a "Twisted Dolls" art show for Halloween I became an expert in dolls. I think not :).
Also, this site is MOLASSES SLOW. The time it takes for a page to draw can be a lifetime. Asking it to measure or find something can take - literally - sixty seconds or more. Alexa reports it as being one of the slowest sites out there. So using this site for anything at all is a chore beyond belief.
Their reports can be hard to read. You have to guess which colors match in this chart of your network usage.
On the up side, by linking all your accounts here you get found. People who DO use Klout see your updates. People searching for an expert in "Yoga" for example are shown the top 10 posters on that topic. If you build up your posting levels on a topic, and build up your audience, you could be found by those Klout people searching for help on the topic. So it's free publicity for zero real extra work.
And those with a high Klout get offered free products to review. For example, I just got offered a selection of free trade products to review, for free, because of my profile. So if you're interested in that aspect of the web, the option is there.
To summarize, if you've read old article about Klout being the greatest power in the universe, that's just no longer true. But it's not as bad as the MySpace situation where it went from "hippest site on the planet" to "what is MySpace?" Or, heck, GeoCities for that matter :). People do still use Klout and it's one of those set-it-and-forget-it sites. Once you set it up you simply post in all your other networks as usual and Klout aggregates that. So you might as well have your account there. You never know who will find you or what you might get out of it.
Lisa's Klout Account - take a look and then sign up!
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