Klout for the Little Guy

What do Matisyahu, Conan O’brien, Kim Kardashian, Barack Obama, Lebron James, and Justin Bieber have in common? They are followed and “liked” by millions of people on Twitter and Facebook.

I obviously can’t disagree that celebrities are influential people. I grew up with the thought that I should be “like Mike” (Michael Jordan) and wear the same shoes and Hanes clothing that he wears. After all, who doesn’t want to be the best basketball player of all time?

In a culture that holds celebrities above the common person, it is easy to see why the little guy often struggles to create a following. For individuals and small to midsize business, adding followers on Twitter is a hassle and being liked on Facebook is a struggle that may not seem worthwhile. It is add-ons, such as Klout, that further emphasize the influence of well-known people on these networks.

I’ve been an avid supporter of Klout and the idea that it gives across. Klout finds influential people and businesses in the social media, Web 2.0 world and rewards them with points for their social interactions. This idea rocks and levels a playing field for those seeking to learn from and influence others. If you have the desire and excellent content, you can become a heavily influential person.

The recent changes to Klout have upset many of its followers and believers. If it weren’t for previous knowledge of Klout’s prominence, perhaps this idea wouldn’t have upset many people. However, the realistic nature is that if your Klout score was a 75 one day and a 55 the next, new followers may a bit more hesitant to follow you or take you seriously.

The problem, @fondalo points out, is Klout’s new scoring system doesn’t make sense. Interactions and relationships don’t seem to positively impact your score, unless you have mass-celebrity appeal. For many people and businesses, this will be an impossible task.

I propose that Klout takes into consideration people and businesses that interact with others to create and maintain relationships. Stressing interactions and outreach will be beneficial for anyone seeking to create more influence. Klout for celebrities and large businesses should stay the same; they are influential enough to gain a following without needing to follow back (looking at you, Kim Kardashian). I can’t remember the last time Stephen Colbert mentioned my creativity or maintained a relationship with me.

In a world where quality is better than quantity, shouldn’t positive influencers be rewarded for their contributions?

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