Today, I decided on a whim to check out where I stand according to “influence measurement” service Klout. I think the results are pretty damn funny:
I’m flattered to be considered in the same (sub)sector of the “influence matrix” as Josh Brown (blue dot) and Paul Kedrosky(green dot below red one) – although I think that’s being very much over-generous on Klout’s part – but thought-leader? Moi? I’m getting all verklempt!
The broader point is that I’m extremely skeptical of Klout & their algorithms ability to measure something that is in no small part qualitative, that is, a person’s “influence” over others. I’m even more skeptical of using proxies, that is, using a single (or small set of) measurement(s) to represent human beings who are by their very nature multi-faceted and constantly-changing. A very scary and unpleasant future would be one where something like a Klout score became widespread in commercial applications, so that the price you paid for X may be more or less than someone with more/less influence than you.
After all, if you’re a business owner, you want to make sure that you keep your most influential customers the happiest, no? Hopefully such a dystopian future will never come to be, but I’d be surprised if firms weren’t already talking about adopting such practices, or at the very least trying to figure out whether they’d be legal…