Why Klout matters—for brands and for you

Don’t write off this platform that measures online influence before you read this story.

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Nothing seems to get rational people in a frenzy as much as Klout and its attempt to measure “influence.” I have immersed myself in the world of online power and influence over the past six months and feel like at this point I have probably studied this topic more than any person on earth.

And, unlike every other blogger on the planet it seems, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a very important development. In fact, a historically important development. Before I explain why, let’s knock a few obvious facts out of the way:

1. Klout cannot measure every type of influence. Never has. Never will.
2. Klout can be “gamed.” Is there anything on the Internet that can’t be?
3. It is uncomfortable being publicly rated and compared to other people.
4. Yes, it is stupid that Klout thinks you’re influential about lamps or sheep. It is still in the early stages of development.

Now, for a different perspective

Before the Internet, you had to actually accomplish something to be a celebrity. Today, anybody can drum up some attention for themselves by creating content that virally moves through the social Web.

Even me.

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