Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why I Deleted My Klout Account


Pulled that trigger earlier this evening.

For those that don't know, Klout aims to measure social influence across the web. Basically you connect your Twitter account, Facebook page, Foursquare account, pretty much any social network you use and through their "sophisticated algorithm" they assign you a score based on the number of people you influence, how much you influence them and your reach. (You can learn more about how they say they do it on their Understanding Klout Score page.) The higher the score the more you are claimed to be influential.

Before deleting my page my score was 64, which for Klout is pretty high. I was a Top Influencer in the Education and Mobile Learning categories. I had received over 1000 +K. (Where folks give you a pat on the back or a thumbs up.)

Every day I would get an email saying Mr. So and So give you a +K. Or that I had a new category I was influential in. At first its intoxicating. Realizing that someone (or something) out there says you have influence. So everyday I would check my score. Seeing it go up and up.

And then I go on vacation this summer. And my score drops 20 points because I take a break from all technology while I am on vacation. So I guess I can't be influential on vacation.

No problem. I got back in the grove and quickly got back to the top. But for what? When I would check my score what did it really mean? How can a some computer decide how influential I am on the interwebs how judge how influential my interactions are with people?

So I quickly grew tired of worrying about when my score would drop tenths of a point because I tweeted too many posts with links or didn't engage with enough folks one day.

It's silly.

Being a top influencer is a great feeling to have. But the stigma of the number attached to it is what gets me. The rank. I don't need my social interactions boiled down to a number. If I am going to be influential I want people to decide. And really the only my "influence" can be measured is by the people I interact with.

The bottom line for me is that I value and cherish the relationships and interactions I have online. And that is what it should be about. Not numbers or scores or Klout. It should be about educators reaching out, sharing and learning and growing, together.
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