Guest Post By Dave Noreen—occasional What the Klout? correspondent at large
By now, Klout has done a good job of measuring people’s influence. I’ve used the Klout APIs to hook up my Facebook , LinkedIn, and twitter accounts. From a ‘influencing’ standpoint, I don’t think that I’m really that excited about Facebook. I think it serves as a great way to understand how many people are my friends, where those people live, and how many people my post might get in front of, but that’s about it. I don’t really engage with brands that much on Facebook, I think I might be a fan of Sweettarts, but I never interact with their brand. I know they send me “Like this post and win a trip to Charlie’s Chocolate Factory!” posts, but I don’t really want to go, so I ignore them.
I’m actually really excited about the LinkedIn connection to klout. I’m much more interested if I ‘influence’ someone in my business network. Is someone commenting on a story I wrote and posted in LinkedIn, or someone reshares relevant content I found while reading business news. Knowing that could have some value.
Whereas I got a twitter account in 2008, I’ve never really fully embraced it. I used it at first to simplify communications between our founding team when we started a technology business in the summer of 2008 in Philadelphia. It was great for that. I never really got into following anyone, because…well, to be honest, I don’t really care when someone takes their dog for a walk and gets rained on #thatssocrazy!. I’ve got better ways to spend my time. YES, I DO see why a taco truck would want a Twitter account, so don’t comment down below that I don’t get ‘twitter for business’.
To a lesser extent, I also connected my blogger account (and all 20 views per month it gets) which only gets seasonal views when I’m blogging about College Football, (second shameful plug, it’s called ‘The Money Bet of the Century’ )and I never included a Google+ account, although, I won’t be surprised when Google cuts off my Gmail account because I have not signed up for a Google+ account yet.
What’s missing from klout is Quora integration. Maybe this is a coming feature, but there is no better measure of influence, anywhere on the internet, than Quora.
Let me give a simple example. Let’s say I wanted to take a trip to Denver, Colorado this summer, and I wanted to have some insider information on the town. I could go to Quora and search the topic ‘Denver’
Drilling down to the restaurant level, I can see a question about food:
What’s interesting about Quora is that anyone can answer that question, and if it is a stupid answer, most likely no one is going to ‘Vote it up’ (unless it is really sarcastic and stupid, then it’s going to get a lot of votes. Ha ha)
We can see the answer to this question was answered by a guy named Adam Mordecai, who appears to be born and raised in Denver. Pretty comprehensive answer, and gives the reader a few spots to go check out (this is just an abstract photo of his post, he actually mentioned many restaurants).
But the secret sauce is not the fact that Adam answered the question (which does deserve some credit), the real value is that 13 people have voted this answer up. This means that there are 13 people who would agree that ‘Adam knows what he is talking about’ when it comes to topics such as Denver Restaurants. He doesn’t influence them, but they agree he is influential. You could say he has a larger magnitude of influence than others that have answered the question (of which there are 7).
It seems to me that if this functionality was tied into klout, we’d be able to see not only is Adam influential to the person who asked the question, but he 13 other people would also agree that he is highly influential on this topic.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but that seems more genuinely influential than surfing some sort of ‘breaking news’ site waiting for a big story, and then ripping off someone’s scoop and #hashing it so that you get retweeted a million times….
Or posting some sort of dumb eCard or picture of your neighbors ‘crazy cat’ on Facebook and getting 20 likes.
If klout is looking to optimize and fine tune influence on the web, they need to do a deal with someone who understands and measures true influence, and does it well. And that site is Quora.
What do you think?