Klout has bugs.
Out Damn Klout. That was my original title for this post. I am performing in the Independent Opera Company production of Verdi’s Macbeth this month, so I have the Bard on my brain. But given the whimsies of SEO, who knows what this might conjure up?
I like Klout. It’s a cool idea that might actually have some merit. But like most everything on the Internet, I approach Klout with a healthy dose of skepticism and double triple check my profile on a regular basis. Case in point. I joined Klout earlier this year and connected Linkedin, Twitter and my personal Facebook profile. Klout immediately generated my score of 48.80. (40 is average). Good! Too my horror, I also discovered that Klout had listed McDonalds as one of my topics of influence. Not So Good!
My photo from Centre Pompidou. Klout listed Paris as one of my Topics.
With all due respect to this multinational giant of a corporate success story (I do like their Fish Sandwich), I am no expert on McDonalds. In fact, as a health-conscious Pilates-practicing hiker and runner, I was not only puzzled and embarrassed, but suspected some corporate product placement/partnership was going on behind the scenes. I immediately emailed Klout’s PR person requesting the removal of McDonalds from my profile. She graciously responded explaining that Klout was improving their Profile Topics management feature in the next few weeks. I managed to expunge McDonald’s but was not able to add Public Relations to my profile. Hmmm.
My Klout score went down. My recent Facebook post Heirloom Tomato Salad received 19 Likes and 5 comments, but Klout only listed 5 engagements. I also noticed that Klout had disconnected my Facebook page without my permission in May. I had to manually reconnect and hope that my score wasn’t affected. When I emailed my complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org, I received a canned reply.
Update: Since this post was published, I received a reply from a Klout engineer who admitted that their connection to my Facebook account was interrupted. He said to allow a few days for their systems to catch up and my score to backfill.
The grand takeaway is that our online life is ephemeral. Yes, Social Media is important. Yes, we need to put ourselves and our products out there. But we don’t live and die by our Scores, Likes and Retweets.
Have fun. Create and share content to delight your audience. The rest will fall into place.