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Online Influence Coming Of Age

| April 24, 2011, 07:31 PM | 0 Comments

For the past few months, you may have seen a Klout Score badge on the right side of the site.  And if you have been wondering what it is all about, here is the skinny!

Klout is the preeminent (of about 4 or 5) companies that measure online influence. Like Google, they do not disclose their algorithms other than to say there are many factors that come into play when developing your score.  They look at your activity on your website/blog Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and soon FourSquare and others and evaluate the score on a daily basis.

Klout Score

The Klout Score is the measurement of your overall online influence. The scores range from 1-100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence.

Network Influence

Network Influence is the influence level of your engaged audience. Capturing the attention of influencers is no easy task, and those who are able to do so are typically creating spectacular content.

Amplification Probability

Amplification Probability is the likelihood that your content will be acted upon. The ability to create content that compels others to respond and high-velocity content that spreads into networks beyond your own is a key component of influence.

True Reach

True Reach is a measurement that your message will be seen by and acted upon by your network.

So what does it all mean? As new media continues to evolve, consumers need to find out a way to sift through the wheat and chaff of online content. In the “olden days” the New York Times and Wall Street Journal were considered very authoritative sources for news and content–the NY Daily Post, not so much. This score, which you will be seeing a lot more of in the future, is an unbiased third party evaluation of the authority and influence of an online company, person or organization.

Of course, this does not take into account any influence in the offline world or print or broadcast.

For businesses, this is an incredibly powerful tool as Klout also lists the people (or organizations) that are influenced by a profile and others that influence the profile and their areas of influence.  For example, if American Airlines had a horrible flight (not a stretch, I know) and the 200 people on board were up in arms. American could look to the Klout scores of the passengers (provided they had the information) and decide how to make amends.  Certainly the frequent flier who has a great deal of influence over American’s top corporate customer might be worthy of some more attention than the leisure traveler that flies once a year.

If you are opening a new business selling widgets in Glen Burnie. It would be easy enough to take out an advertisement in a local paper and see what happens. But wouldn’t it make more sense to go to Klout and see who was an influencer in Glen Burnie and in widgets and market to them?

No one knows where new and social media is leading, but one thing is for sure, it is not somethign that can be ignored.  If you are interested, here is a comparison (PDF) comparing  Eye On Annapolis  to other local and regional media.

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About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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