New Klout Algorithm Tells Many That They’re Less Influential

In what the company calls “the biggest step forward in accuracy, transparency and our technology in Klout’s history,” the influence scoring site introduced some changes to its scoring process yesterday that has resulted in lots of ululating over drops in “klout.”

According to the announcement made on the Klout blog yesterday, the company has upgraded its scoring platform to take more of the vast amounts of online info out there into account. The post says the majority of people will see their scores remain the same or go up. If that’s true, then it’s the minority that’s kicking up a lot of dust. Some want to #OccupyKlout.

Anecdotally, we saw someone tweet for an explanation about why their score had changed. But Sherilynn Machale at TheNextWeb says her Twitter account was awash with “negative reactions” from people who had seen their scores drop by as much as 20 points. The OccupyKlout handle has 475 followers as of this morning and a pretty funny bio: “Your amplification has gone down.”

“Some look towards Klout scores as a sort of vanity metric, a source for bragging and validation that gives those with higher points a sense of elite importance in the socially influential world,” McHale writes. She points out the history of transparency problems Klout has had over scoring explanations and notes the issues it could cause job seekers.

Then she dismisses the entire social influence scoring endeavor as something that no one “really understands.” There she has hit the nail on the head. Echoing some of Buddy Media CEO Mike Lazerow’s comments yesterday at the “Science of Sharing” event, things aren’t shared in a “linear” way, but rather bounce around online and offline in ways that often make it hard to determine how a message or bit of info got from point A to point B. The best you can do is get the info to where the people are and try to facilitate its pass-along.

TechCrunch goes a step further to declare: “Nobody gives a damn about your Klout score.” On some level yes and on another level no. Companies and marketers offering perks to folks with high Klout scores do care, which may be why some people are so hot under the collar. One of the 1,068 comments on the blog post about the changes says, “Very unhappy with this change. My score went from 73 down to 53. 20 point drop. I’ve been working for months to increase my Klout score. Please fix this.” Nearly 200 people “like” that comment.

The average person walking down the street does not care one iota because they’re too busy checking in, snapping Instagrams to post on Facebook, and tweeting about what they see around them. And the marketer that is looking for deeper insight isn’t going to hold any drop in score too much against you because they’ve done their homework. They have a variety of measures that they’re using to determine your influence.