Stand back everyone…a man with Klout is coming through!  All creatures, see my QWERTY keyboard and tremble!

In kindergarten, everyone got stars, In grade school through college, grades were the way people were measured.  Athletes are measured by statistics, and coaches are measured by won-loss records. In our individual careers, we are measured by sales figures and performance reviews. Now, not to be left behind, is Social Media Klout.

Klout is a tool that uses an algorithm that’s more secret that Col. Sanders recipe to assign you a score that tells the world how influential you are.  I took a quick look at mine. At least for today, my score is 55, which makes me a Specialist.  According to Klout;

“You may not be a celebrity, but within your area of expertise your opinion is second to none. Your content is likely focused around a specific topic or industry with a focused, highly-engaged audience.” This could double as my horoscope.

I guess that’s not too bad, taking in my Facebook and Twitter scores, although I was going for Rock Star.  There’s a handy-dandy dashboard that tells me I’ve had 50 retweets by 50 unique retweeters, but doesn’t say in what time frame.  100 likes and comments on Facebook..either that’s an achievement or I’m spending too much time there.

I’ve read a couple of good blog posts on this phenomenon. Chris Theisen, who is the Director of Digital Communications for Hare Chevrolet in Indianapolis, takes a skeptical view of social scoring. Quoting from his post,  Klout…why do you Kare, Chris writes;

I have never made a conscious decision about my actions online that was influenced by a measurement. I have never used an auto-follow program to bloat my follower count on Twitter. I don’t add every last person I walked down the hall with (but never talked to) in high school on Facebook to make me seem cooler than I am. I’m surely not going to start altering what I do online because some company in California has self-proclaimed themselves as the standard for influence online”. Read the rest of the post here.

Mark Schaefer of Schaefer Marketing Solutions writes in his {grow} blog  that although this new social scoring creeps him out, that there is an upside; 

While it may be a sad and disturbing reality that we’re about to create a new social media caste system, the business benefits are obvious and powerful. This system can provide highly-targeted marketing and PR opportunities.”  He goes on to outline companies who have done successful promotions based on Klout those in his post.

This all brings to mind Studio 54, the New York disco where the doorman decided who was in and who was out depending on how one was dressed.  Maybe  there will soon be a bar that will scan you and only admit you if you have a high Klout score.