A few months ago I was asked by someone I trust to sign up to a new social media service called Klout—one of a new breed of social media tools. It's purported to measure your influence on social media networks. Going by some blog entries I've read, Klout has followers and detractors. However, while I use this blog, LinkedIn and Twitter for my professional networking, I decided to signup to get a feel for how the system works and what benefits it offers—for 90 days or so.
Today, I took stock. What have I found? First, Klout is potentially addictive and certainly manipulative. I have no idea how it works but it plays with your mind. While registered, my use of LinkedIn, Twitter and this blog didn't change. Yet after starting me on a low score (fair enough), Klout fairly quickly gave me a much higher score (presumably to make me feel good), and then, after a couple of weeks, my score started dropping bit by bit. Weird. They encouraged me to check back every day—to see my score and understand my "true reach" (whatever that is). After 90 days, I cannot see any personal benefit to being registered—apart from feeding one's ego. I doubt anyone who wants to avoid the Facebook Effect (being bogged down in front of a screen all day, reading and responding to inconsequential stuff) get anything from Klout. Consequently, the experiment is over. I've happily opted out.
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Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.