Social Enterprise

Beware the low Klout score!

There is yet another way for job seekers to be judged superficially. Have you checked your Klout score lately?

Good news for masochists: You can find out — in a numeric score — just how bad you are at social media.

Look, I know I have written in the past about the importance of improving your online profile by using personal branding pages and QR codes, but, really, where do we draw the line? A story has been circulating about how Sam Fiorella, a guy who was recruited for a VP position at a large Toronto marketing agency, was summarily dismissed by the interviewer when his Klout score was too low. (Klout is a three-year-old start-up company that measures how influential people are on social media and assigns them scores.)

I can see why a marketing position would require someone with a lot of reach and influence, so I'm hoping that this is just a specialty-related fluke. I mean, I don't see the CIA actively seeking out people who are blasting their opinions all over the place all the time. And—hands clasped here in prayer—I hope that IT folks are exempt from this superficial judging for a while. (Although if you're building apps for a company, I can see where social influence would be helpful.)

This kind of gives that old adage of "It's not what you know, but who you know" a Rod Serling-like quality, doesn't it? Aside from the obvious, as Kaleel Sakakeeny wrote in a piece for technorati, "people have swapped perceived 'influence' in the form of high Klout scores for real influence in the form of engaging people with ideas and useful information," there is the issue of who Klout's algorithms consider influential. Let's just say Justin Bieber's score is higher than the President of the United States.

Also, I signed up just for the sake of this article to see how it worked. And from the information I entered, it seems that I am influential in 18 topics, including Career, Facebook, and pancakes. Yes, pancakes. What in the name of all that is sacred did I say to give the impression that I had influence in the world of breakfast confections?

I will say that if this piece results in some people signing up for their social app, I hope, at the very least, the Klout folks send me a gift certificate for IHOP.


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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