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So Much For My “Klout”

Posted by on Nov 16, 2011
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For me, another experiment has ended; I’ve given up Klout. I haven’t gone the route that many have and totally deleted my account, but I’ve done pretty much everything else. Now let’s see what happens.

check out of Klout

Klout, as you know, is a ranking system that supposedly tells people how influential you are online. I’ve written about it a few times and have to say that I haven’t always been a big fan; actually I never was a true fan of the site. I felt that its rankings were pretty arbitrary and somewhat hard to figure out.

It expected activity, yet it penalized certain types of activity. It expected you to engage with others and yet it would penalize you if you engaged with people whom it had ranked lower than you. And if you stepped away for even a few days, your ranking would fall; I mean, what the heck is that?

Anyway, I talked about this concept of influence versus wasting time and I mentioned them in that post. Subsequently I read two posts by other people on the idea of killing your Klout account. The first was by a guy named Rohn Jay Miller, who was pretty adamant about deleting your Klout account. I thought it was a bit extreme and harsh, though I understood his point. The one that pretty much convinced me was an article by a lady named Sharon Hayes titled 10 Reasons Why I Opted-Out of Klout. Of course I had problems commenting on both blogs because of their comment systems, which is why I wrote this post instead.

As I said, I’ve decided to check out, but I didn’t delete my account, mainly because both of these articles gave ways to do it but I never saw the links they talked about. Instead, I did it my way. I stopped allowing them access to my Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook accounts. Since they don’t do blogs I didn’t have to bother with that. Now they can’t track me “effectively” anymore; I’m not playing the game. I guess my name will still be on the site but without getting any help from me, their score will be even more capricious than before. If it drops 20 points in a day or rises 20 points in a day, I could care less. I’m giving up Klout for “clout“.

I also got rid of the Firefox plugin I was using that tracked Klout scores. I added it when I wrote my post on 21 Black Social Media Influencers, as I needed a tool to help me create this list and my second list. What will I use now? No clue; I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get to it.

I’ve shed another heavy cloak that’s been holding me down just a little bit; I wonder what’s next?

Update – If you look at the comments, you’ll see that Vernessa figured out how I could kill my account, so I did; now I’m totally out of it.
 

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38 Comments »

Mark@Plan B Profits:

the ranking sites sometimes doesn’t give a good feedback to blogs. Sometimes they give misinformation.

November 16th, 2011 | 10:52 AM

Hi Mitch,

Another one bites the dust! Capricious is certainly a good way to describe the service. Due to time constraints, I’d lowered my interactions on Twitter for a couple of months. But never knew that my score had nose-dived until after reading a post from Sherryl at KeepUpWeb discussing the same issues. (If you want to weigh in on that discussion, there are no barriers to commenting: Does Your Klout Score Fit Into Your Social Media Strategy?)

I’ll leave my account for the time being, but will take a look at some of the alternatives I’ve seen mentioned, like Kred.ly, which supposedly offers transparent metrics and some sensible analytics.
Vernessa Taylor recently posted…Survey #1: Do Bloggers Monetize Blog Content?My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I’ll check that out Vernessa. I’d noticed my score dropping slightly as people stopped retweeting that first big post of mine but when I took a sudden 13 point drop after their last change, and then have seen it continue saying I’m losing influence for 188 days (which made no sense), I figured it was time to just stop playing the game. I didn’t go full monty because I couldn’t figure out how, but I’m not a part of their full tracking system any longer.

Vernessa Taylor Reply:

Hi Mitch,

Ok, back again. Just read Mr. Miller’s article and found the links he referenced.

The deleted function is now buried at the very end of the “privacy” policy which you can only access through a link at the bottom of your “profile settings” page, or by clicking on the footer link “privacy” under “Developers.”

I tried this and you do reach the Privacy page. http://www.klout.com/corp/privacy

Further, at the bottom of the Privacy page is this sentence:

“If are not a Klout user and wish to opt out of Klout, please click here. If you have a Klout account, please sign in before following this link in order to delete your account.”

“click here” in that sentence goes to http://www.klout.com/corp/optout

At the bottom of THAT opt-out page, you’ll have to click on “Continue opting-out” to finish the process.
Vernessa Taylor recently posted…No Hardhats Allowed – Online Project Management For The Rest of UsMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Yup, you got that one taken care of, and I’ve followed through. Thanks a lot Vernessa!

November 16th, 2011 | 11:07 AM
Mitchell Allen:

Mitch, I give the creators of Klout +K for trying. That would be “kudos”. Whatever we may think of the service and the validity of its metric, it was successful in getting attention.

As with so many other things, I haven’t even bother deleting the account. It was fun to play with and I’ll leave it at that.

Cheers,

Mitch

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Mitch, I guess I’ll give them a “nice try” for what they tried to do. Truthfully, I talked about this Empire Avenue thing some weeks ago and didn’t think much of it, but it’s helped my FB page grow about 50% in the last month. Hard to be mad at that.

November 16th, 2011 | 11:40 AM

I’ve been reading all those Klout articles lately, too. I really just plan to ignore it. It doesn’t do me any harm or good as far as I’m concerned.

If someone wants to give me some +K for something or other that’s fine -I can return the favor, but I’m not living and dying by it.

So far I’ve just been enjoying the Klout detractors and defenders pushing their respective cases, it’s an interesting read to me.
John Garrett recently posted…[COMIC] JG’s Vacation part 2!My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

John, I thought about ignoring it, but the issue is that there are people being penalized in some ways because of their Klout scores and in my opinion it started reminding me of Technorati. And you know me, when stuff starts irritating me I just have to get it away from me; kind of like those stupid clowns. lol

November 16th, 2011 | 12:11 PM

Thanks for the mention of my post.

If you can contact me privately and let me know what problem you experienced with commenting, it would be appreciated. Comments are enabled for both Facebook and WordPress.
Sharon Hayes recently posted…10 Reasons Why I Opted-Out of KloutMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Sharon, your post was great, and I hope others read it and at least think about the things you talked about.

November 16th, 2011 | 12:24 PM

I got in a few months about and have yet to see a benefit for me. For them, I bet there’s loads.
Scott Thomas Photography recently posted…Best of 2011 – DisneyMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Scott, they get money for those perks they give away or help to advertise. I didn’t see a single perk that I could use in the time I was with them, and when they dropped my score suddenly I wasn’t eligible for them anyway.

November 16th, 2011 | 12:56 PM

Hey Mitch,

I totally deleted my Klout account. When they first appeared on the scene I had watched an interview with the creators of Klout and I wasn’t that impressed with how they came up with their scoring. Then I found out they were automatically creating accounts for people who had not authorized them and I find that disturbing.

For me personally, I don’t want to be judged by what some scoring service thinks of me. Like you mentioned, if you tweet and response to people with a lower score you get penalized. What the heck! Everyone has to start somewhere right so in my eyes Klout is saying to everyone to not associate with anyone lower than you or you’ll be penalized. That just put a bad taste in my mouth personally.

So a couple weeks ago I made the decision not to be bothered with them and I didn’t want them to have any information from me. To be honest with you, I never created my account to begin with, they did. So, I have washed my hands of them and haven’t looked back.

I applaud you for doing the same.

~Adrienne
Adrienne recently posted…True Inspiration From My Most Popular YouTube VideoMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Adrienne, I didn’t create my account either, but hadn’t ever really thought about the reason it was there. But I did give it a shot to see where it might take me and I came upon more disappointment than anything else. Earlier today Vernessa figured out how I could delete my account and I’ve now done that, so we’re on the same team. ;-)

November 16th, 2011 | 12:57 PM

Another static test, personally don’t like any. Not that information is misleading, but definitely useless. At the end of the day, can make simple search in Google with particular name and see how many results will appear.

November 16th, 2011 | 11:19 PM
Anna:

Do you think that this ranking system is better than Google’s ones?
Anna recently posted…Why do dental crowns cost so much?My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I think they all stink Anna.

November 17th, 2011 | 8:44 AM

I deleted my accounts from Klout as well, being an european citizen I cited the privacy act we have in an email to them, and they enabled deletion directly from the profile settings page (explicit link, which doesn’t appear in the account I deleted later, I had to go through the corp/optout thing).
Gabriele Maidecchi recently posted…Why Google Plus Could Be The Real Last Chance to Beat FacebookMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Good for you Gabriele. I’m not one of those people advocating that people should do it but I just felt it was time for me to get away from it.

November 17th, 2011 | 9:36 AM

Hello Mitch!
To be honest, this is my first time that i heard about the Klout. I see some people like it, they use it, some people dont like it and find it useless. Well, maybe better i try it out myself to see whether its worth for me or not :) Thanks for the post!
EleonoraEOF recently posted…The 4 Day Diet Review By Ian SmithMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Go ahead Eleonore, it might work out for you.

November 17th, 2011 | 8:20 PM

I haven’t bothered with Klout for a while now. I have better things to do than to worry about such sites. I’m not going to worry about deleting my account or even unlinking and of the accounts associated with it.
Sire recently posted…My Venture Into Becoming A YouTube StarMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Sire, that’s your choice, like everyone else’s. For me, I started noticing I was doing things unconsciously on Twitter that I would never have done before. Frankly I don’t need that in my life either.

November 18th, 2011 | 5:31 AM

I have a Klout account but I don’t really spend much time on it. I just check it from time to time and get some info. But I certainly wouldn’t delete an account – you never know when you might need it.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Eugene, just asking but when or why might you need it as far as you’re thinking?

Eugene@mobile application development companies Reply:

Mitch, good question)) By my answer I mean that as I have created an account it’s not my habit to delete it)

November 18th, 2011 | 11:10 AM

In my opinion,Klout only shows all the effort that you have done in promoting or socializing on Twitter. Accurate or not it’s just a number.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Well Joseph, it’s supposed to show that, LinkedIn & Facebook, but I’m doubting it’s showing any of that at all, only Twitter.

November 18th, 2011 | 5:31 PM
Allan Douglas:

I’m pretty confused by Klout too, Mitch. I tried to learn to play the game, but they kept changing the rules, and things that seemed like they should help, backfired. Not cheating things, just doing what they seemed to be wanting – just as you described. When they changed the metric completely my score went from an 86 to a 47. OUCH! I’ve got better things to do with my time, so I’ve just sort of walked away from it. I do still get notices of people klouting me, so I probably ought to delete the account if I’m not going to play.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Allan, I had recognized you had a very high score, but wow, what a drop you suffered! Frankly, I had to get my mind out of there so killing it was the way for me to go. I’m not one of those people advocating that people drop it; I just decided I had to.

November 20th, 2011 | 3:17 PM

I don’t make too much of Klout. How can it judge how influential I am if it has no idea even whom I want to influence?
David recently posted…Blogging Fail – how to tell a spam blogMy Profile

November 20th, 2011 | 6:16 PM

I’m not really set on Klout one way or the other, I usually ignore it and those who like Klout I’ll occasionally give a few k’s. connect.me looks like something similar I’ve not had a chance to check out, facebook friends are vouching for me over there on various subjects.

Empire Avenue is great for getting your Facebook pages, traffic to your sites, etc. Time consuming place but it does bring results. Just the same, there and everywhere else I have to take a step back and ask is this effective use of my time, does it take me in the direction I want to go? or did I go offtrack to rank higher in whatever social media game of the day it is?
Heidi Caswell recently posted…Level Up?My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Hi Heidi,

The thing that kind of pushed me over the edge was when I read that if you’re interacting with someone whose Klout score is yours that your score will actually go down; I mean, what kind of “class warfare” tactic is that? That made it seem elitist to me, and I couldn’t in good conscience participate in anything like that.

November 22nd, 2011 | 9:25 AM

Of course, I had to go to my Klout page to see what my score was ecause I haven’t checked it in a LONG while. It used to be 67 know it’s 54. I don’t make much of it because you know me, I am not into EVERYTHING social media has to offer.

One thing I did notice though was my top influencers had Klout scores of 10 and 15 and one didn’t have a score at all so I’m sure that must have some impact om my score.

But here’s the bottom line: When I go onto Twitter, I go to interact, tweet my stuff, to RT others and to get RT’s (in that order). When someone chooses to RT what I put out, that tells me I have some klout so a score really doesn’t matter to me.
Beverly Mahone recently posted…Being an Expert Doesn’t Make You Media SavvyMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Bev, it wasn’t the ranking so much as its arbitrary nature. I mean, you get clout by just talking to people… that I get. But you lose clout because you’re talking to the wrong people? Nope, can’t get behind that. And the fact that some people, for certain jobs, are judged based on their Klout score? Nope, just couldn’t play that game. Of course, now I’m wondering if my name shows up at all since I pulled out, but I’m not going to check. :-)

November 22nd, 2011 | 1:49 PM
Dean Saliba:

It took me a while to understand what Klout was (you’d think I’d get a clue by the name of the thing), I joined last month a lot of big bloggers were raving about how it was helping them (I’m such a sheep at times.

I won’t delete my account but I will certainly be leaving it as I don’t see how it can help me make more money with my blog or drive more traffic, as far as I can see it is just a program to show off to other big bloggers.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Dean, however you decide to use it is up to you. I just kept trying to alter it and realized that there not only wasn’t anything I could do, but that I was unwilling to play the game. Trust me, my mind is much freer these days.

November 27th, 2011 | 5:46 PM