Why Klout is doomed

Your Klout score may help you land a job or snag a better hotel room -- but not for long.

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So maybe I write about cigars? Not really. Using the magic of Google, I searched for all the influential cigar statements I have allegedly made.

On July 5, 2011, I posted the following tweet:

 

The answer: Theoretically, yes. But I’ve never seen it.

I also made references to cigars in three pieces I’ve written over the past three years – one was a joke about Rush Limbaugh lighting his cigars with welfare checks, another was something about Michael Arrington. I’m pretty sure there may have been a few Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky jokes in there somewhere, but Google couldn’t find them.

Dear Klout: Not close, and no cigars.

Other topics Klout says I’m influential about include Technology, Social Media, and Blogging (probably true); Forbes (probably not true); Peanut Butter (love the stuff, rarely write about it); Addiction (nice!); Pinterest (ick); and a bunch of generic categories like Branding, Employment, Job Search, and Money.

These latter categories aren’t so much topics I’m influential about as much as topics Klout desperately wants its users to be influential about so it can monetize its services.

Here’s what I think. I think Klout is making this stuff up as it goes along, and companies that are sucked into this are just that – suckers.

Yes there are people out there who have more influence and reach than others, often for reasons that elude all logical understanding. (Robert Scoble, I’m talking to you.) It used to be just people in certain high-profile positions in the media, and now it might be the Joe or Jane down the street.

But having a zillion Twitter followers and churning out dozens of tweets every day doesn’t make you influential, it makes you annoying. When people retweet or repeat what you say, it’s most likely because they already agree with whatever you just said. That’s not influence, that’s an echo chamber.

I think the whole Klout score mystique is a brilliant scam that’s going to melt down like a beach house built out of butter. In less than two years I predict Klout will be bought by somebody like AOL or Yahoo and allowed to quietly die in its sleep.

Trust me. When it comes to houses made from dairy products, I’m extremely influential.

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