Klout has released an update that allows members of the social media influence-scoring site to choose which areas of expertise are ranked first on their profiles, where others can see them.
While Klout initially selects the topics based on how others respond to users’ posts, the community members can manually back each other’s skills by awarding points for their influence on topics ranging from thai food to technology.
The new topics tab takes it one step further by giving members control over their own profiles. Using a drag-and-drop tool, Klout members can take, for instance, “social media,” from number 20 on the list and move it up to the number 1 slot. They can also remove irrelevant topics from the list entirely and add new ones through a search bar.
It may seem undemocratic, but sometimes Klout’s algorithm picks up keywords that, if taken out of context, don’t exactly capture the user’s essence. For instance, I once quoted Craigslist founder Craig Newmark as saying he was the “Lady Gaga of the nerds” at an industry event. This was retweeted enough times for Klout to declare me an expert on both the pop star and the entrepreneur, which I am not, rather than someone who regularly attends technology events, which I am.
And part of Klout’s business is supplying companies with people who will be interested in their products and might share them with their friends. Klout noted that the topics will also tie in with its Perks program, which rewards high-scoring members with freebies and other offers from its partners.