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Does Klout Really Matter?

Earlier today, I read a blog post about Klout, which was quite interesting as it was the first time I’d heard of this website. For as much time that I spend on the internet, I was shocked to discover a website exists for the sole purpose of giving people a ranking based on someone’s online presence. The post detailed some of the benefits and uses of Klout, so I decided to visit the site and get my own score.

I don’t really consider myself to be very influential on the web. I am definitely more of an observer and occasional commenter on the sites I regularly visit, but I was quite shocked to see that my score was a whopping 11. This score may change as I was not able to link all of my social networking accounts when setting up the account since my browser crashed, but I’m not expecting any huge jump overnight.

After seeing such a low number, I tried to link any accounts I could think of and start completing the “quests” in order to gain more points. I spent probably about an hour trying to understand exactly how the site works and maximize my potential score before I stopped trying and considered the idea of if it was even worth my time to make myself seem more influential online.

The concept of Klout makes sense, as it does give some justification for people to have so many ways of staying connected, but I think the rating system still has some flaws. According to the post I read on Wired.com, the only celebrity on Klout with a score of 100 is Justin Bieber (or as my favorite seven-year old Michaela calls him “Justin Beaver”). I’m not sure I really trust a system that gives a “perfect score” to a teenager whose biggest accomplishment is being a teen heart-throb and making kids think its cool to have hair that resembles a shaggy dog. To have such a high score means that you spend a ridiculous amount of time online posting things and acquiring followers.

The idea that some employers are starting to use services like this to help make the decision of whom to hire is a little intimidating, as you don’t want to seem too disconnected from social media, but at the same time not want too high of a score as that gives the impression that all you do every day is spend time online updating and posting to the various social media channels. Is there a “good” number members of Klout should aspire to achieve and maintain?

I’ve wondered in the past if it’s possible to become too connected to what is going on online, and fear that websites like Klout might push some people over the edge of what is a healthy connection to an unhealthy one. I know that I am the type of person who walks a fine line with that balance, and always seem to have my phone either in hand, or close enough that I can check my Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail at a moment’s notice. This is something that scares me at times, as I’ve seen friends and even close family members get sucked into addictions, and worry that I could be headed in that direction.

With all of that being said, should I worry about my Klout score? Do you have Klout, and if so, why did you sign up, and have you experienced any benefits from it?

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