I agree wholeheartedly. What influences me are the intangibles. Sure, social proof has its place but real interaction is what makes the biggest impact on me. I want to see a consistent message and passion. Oh wait - that's exactly what marketers need to convert visitors. Eeks - it's the very same way!
It's true that we have fallen prey to the lights and glimmer of social proof - so much so that we sabotage our own feeds with fluff. Can Klout really, truly measure the true value and influence? No. Does it still make a person feel good? Sure. And we know that Klout has been a direct connection between fluffed up high scores and special promotions from large brands. So maybe adding a bunch of silly fluff followers isn't all bad - when your fluff efforts pay off in tickets or hotel stays.