Klout Responds to Questions and Critics
Her response is below. It arrived Friday (24 hours after she offered to answer the questions) by email and as a comment – cited here - on a previous blog:
As I mentioned, I was getting you the responses to these questions. I was in the process of drafting them when I saw this post so I sent them to you in email just now and I'll also post here:
1. Some of the criticisms of the new Klout are that it is not transparent enough. In other words you made changes that altered scores in some case by 20 points, but have not given explanations about why those changes were so dramatic. What do you say to this criticism?
Hey Mike, we announced the upcoming changes the week before with Joe's post on why we believe the change was needed and we also had a post on the day of announcement explaining the changes. As you know as someone in the field, social media is constantly evolving and as a measure of your influence there, we need to evolve as well.
2. A quick, early analysis seems to show that those who have linked all of the accounts Klout currently allows users to connect have kept their scores relatively the same or now have higher scores. This would seem to penalize, for example, non-iPhone owners who cannot have an Instagram account of those who blog on something other than Tumblr or Wordpress. Your response?
Hey Mike, we measure influence equally independent of network. Lady Gaga, for instance (http://klout.com/#/ladygaga), is only measured based on Twitter and has one of our highest Scores. You do not need to connect multiple networks to have influence but if you do influence on a network, it will help you to connect it (we can then give you credit for that influence).
3. One of the themes in the criticisms is that there could have been an “old Klout” and a “new Klout” or “Klout+” as a way to allow users to decide how serious they wanted to be about their score. Your reaction?
Hey Mike, do you mean letting people choose which scoring system they want to use? Technologically it takes a lot of infrastructure to process 3 Billion pieces of content and connections daily so apart from any other concerns having 2 pipelines isn't feasible in the long term. We are always looking to move forward and improve, we think once people look at these scores in context and get a chance to see the improvements they will grow to like them.
4. Another prevalent criticism: It seems the new Klout Score penalizes people who are genuinely involved with others on social media regardless of their influence scores versus those who are selective and only “talk” to high influencers. This seems to encourage a new form of social media class snobbery. What are your thoughts?
You are never penalized for talking to people with lower scores. We believe * everyone * has Klout and anytime someone takes action based on your content that adds to your influence. Yes, if they have a higher score, that adds to your influence *more * but either way we give you credit for that and you are never penalized.
5. Twitter and Google+ have been full of people saying they have or will rescind permissions for Klout in protest, the *OccupyKlout and *KloutPout hashtags have cropped up. Can Klout survive and thrive this reaction to what you consider a big improvement?
We definitely are working to listen to feedback and are always improving. We believe once people get a chance to interact with our new scoring system they will grow to understand its improvements.
So, how did Megan do? Did she answer the questions you have?
Klout questions for CEO Joe Fernandez
Klout changes ... scores drop and complaints rise
Mike is a strategist and teacher who helps businesses and students understand and get the most from social media. He currently is a Lecturer in the Department of Communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he teaches advertising, public relations and journalism (all with a social media twist).
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