This has caused one of several reactions:
- complete indifference
- refutation of the importance of social media influence measurement
- howls of pain at the destruction of hard work in achieving high Klout scores
- humour like that of @jason_a_w
- even an #occupyklout movement
All very amusing to someone like me.
But the really interesting thing is that we have entered an age of radical transparency. Now our social connections and interactions are open to analysis because of our increasing use of social networks and social media.
If the data is there and publicly available then it will be analysed. There is little we can do to stop this phenomenon. As users of social networks we are fair game due to the public nature of our social discourse.
However, as a marketer, I’m often on the other side of this equation. In our businesses we seek to understand who the relevant influencers are for our particular niche or geography.
Social media is the new focus group. And it is far richer than any focus group we ever had in the past. Now brands can engage with people in realtime and adjust strategy and products in response to feedback.
We need to find ways to cut through the enormous bolus of information that is there to be digested. And we need to make some kind of sense of the new landscape we all inhabit.
Mechanisms to measure people’s influence have always existed. Clothing, manners, motor vehicles are only a few of the ways we’ve judged people’s status and influence in the past.
Social media influence measurement and monitoring is only just starting. Our lives are now lived in plain view and the data is open to analysis.
Welcome to the panopticon.