If you need to look at my Klout score to determine if I have influence, I don’t. If you need to look at my Empire Avenue stock price to determine if I have value, I don’t. And if I have to ask you to vote for me to be on someone’s list of influential people, I don’t deserve to be on the list.
I had been thinking about deleting my Klout profile for a long time, even before I did my gaming Klout test. But this tweet from Susie Blackmon this morning pushed me over the edge.
If you’ve taken the time to read the post yourself, I think you’ll agree that it’s well written, even if you don’t agree with either his or my decision to delete our profiles. And, you can probably imagine that it got the attention of Klout. Mr. Scalzi did a great job of accurately capturing some of my feelings about the service.
“I clicked over to Klout’s “perks” section not long ago — “perks” being the freebie things the service wants you to market for them — and rather than being presented with a selection of perks available to me,” Scalzi wrote, ”I was presented a list of perks I wasn’t qualified for, because apparently I wasn’t smart and pretty and popular enough for them, although Klout seemed to suggest that maybe if I did my hair a little differently, or wore some nicer shoes (or dragged more people into their service, making myself more influential in the process) maybe one day I could get the cool perks.”
I think his “high school cafeteria” metaphor is appropriate. Who doesn’t want to be one of the cool kids? As a result, it has changed the way some people behave on Twitter and in other social networks. They appear to be driven by a desire to increase an insignificant online “influence” score more than from a desire to increase their actual influence.
So, I deleted my Klout profile a few moments ago. It was at 65 when I hit the delete button. Apparently I will be removed from Klout.com within 24-48 hours. On the Klout opt-out page I was reminded that, “Everyone has Klout and we believe you should be recognized for it. Our mission is to help you understand that influence and use it to make your life better.” As I read that I had to smile.
I’d rather use my influence to make other people’s lives better. Mine’s pretty damn good already.