Jumping on the ‘Klout is Stupid’ train

I first learned of Klout a few months ago. “Might be interesting”, I thought…and signed up. Fast forward to today, and there is a lot of noise about Klout, their recent algorithm changes, and all the snake-oil pawners with knickers in a twist.

In mid-August I noticed someone in my “Influences” that I did not know. That’s strange. So I posed a question on the Klout community forums:

How can I be influenced by someone I am not following and have never heard of? On my “Influenced by” list is one person I don’t know and don’t follow. How is this possible?

Megan, a Klout Employee answers with Robert McNamara’s ol’ Fog of War approach: Never answer the question that is asked of you. Answer the question that you wish had been asked of you.

You can remove anyone from your influenced by list by hitting the “x” next to the person you want to remove in your influencers tab.

Question closed. Today that person is gone from my list. Whether it was an explicate action by Megan, or an algorithm change I don’t know. But why were they ever there? Maybe its the leader of the illuminati who is influencing me and I didn’t even know it. (Sarcasm.)

More entertaining are the topics people are allegedly influential on.

  • My wife is reportedly influential on only one topic: Germany. Really? She’s been there once, for a weekend getaway to see old friends of mine in Kaiserslautern. Maybe Klout is grouping Switzerland in with Germany because it is sort of the same to many I-don’t-get-out-much thinking folks. (We live in Zurich.)
  • Lincoln Stoll, a code wrangling buddy of mine, is influential about teeth. Wha??? He has no idea why.

  • Clive Thompson (no relation), a technology author I follow on Twitter is, to his surprise, influential about anthropology and the taliban.

“Klout measures influence online” says the website. Ummm…maybe not so much. I’m officially jumping on the “Klout is stupid” train.