Social Enterprise optimize

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.

About

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.

25 comments
Mary1010
Mary1010

I've had several great jobs after graduating from college, and I was always hired based on my skills . Any company that ever brings up my social media presence during the interview process is a company I would never work for. The fact that someone heavily uses social media and exerts some sort of influence over their "social circle" definitely does not make you a stellar job candidate.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

enough social media contacts, daft. It reminds me of a job interview back in the late 1980s. I was working with a government department and applied for a job as a supervisor working with a specialist program that the department used. The head interview told me at the interview I wasn't getting the job as I hadn't worked in her section before and thus couldn't know enough about the program to be a supervisor. I withdraw my application and told her boss, in front of her that I wasn't prepared to work for such an idiot as it was obvious she'd never bothered to read my application. She hit the roof. her boss was angry until I mentioned that his boss had asked me to apply, and if either bothered to check my application of the program they'd see I was one of the two people who wrote the damn thing. Both the Klout issue and that interview come down to preconceived misconceptions that have absolutely no bearing on the realities of the situation or a person's capabilities. How can a highly competent person who works in an organisation that doesn't allow high involvement with social media sites get a good Klout score? They can't, and the same for one who works where the Internet access is not that good. Bloody social media is way overrated and too many brain dead morons thinks it means something.

gjkiker
gjkiker

I could not work for a company that took this seriously.

nwallette
nwallette

Popularity kontest, preying on people's needs for self-affirmation. Kompletely worthless.

AlphaCentauri
AlphaCentauri

Does this mean that the higher your Klout score, the less trustworthy you are?

neil.postlethwaite
neil.postlethwaite

Clout is a load of old bollocks, and way off the mark - at least personality testing has some limited credibility. Clout is just a measure of how much time you can waste on social media, and not doing any real actual work. Wondering if their is a black market in Clout, as with the grubby trade in wholesale provision of Facebook 'likes'. Whatever happened to capability to do a job, qualifications and experience. As mentioned above, Justin Bieber has 'Clout', but unless your job is making juvenile girls wet themselves, he isn't your man.

mustang84
mustang84

Any company judging me on my Klout score is not worthy to be my employer. And since I don't do Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, You Tube, My Space, or anything like them, I must be the master limbo artist of Klout. How low can you go?

xmakinatek
xmakinatek

Love the pancake influence! I am apparently influential on the topics of cloud computing, SaaS, macs and... the Federal Reserve. Huh? Equally as strange and mysterious in its source as your pancakes!

realvarezm
realvarezm

Seems people need money and that gives you the Klout standar? To creat a definition by who do you know is so dumb. I have googles founders in my profile and that means squat! And that is the way companies in their greed for money think have the best consultant brands. Why waist my time writing more about this stupid concept!

Professor8
Professor8

It's just a scam, another pretext to declare able and willing US STEM workers "disqualified".

xangpow
xangpow

So since you seem to be influentia in the world of pancakes, how do you feel about them? Would you rather have them fuffy and soft? What would you like ON them? I, myself, LOVE pancakes with bacon, maple syrup, and shreeded cheese. Yet, I have never seen IHOP have anything like this. So what do you think of pancakes? Remeber you are influential in this area so watch what you say. ;)

aandruli
aandruli

Articles like this happen on a slow tech news day, like when your local news starts showing locals pics of squirrels and birds

SheFixesThings
SheFixesThings

I found the Rod Serling reference quite amuzing and I'm not even that old!

Odipides
Odipides

" Let???s just say Justin Bieber???s score is higher than the President of the United States." Tells you everything you need to know about the value of this 'test'.

rld
rld

Ohhh good grief Toni! "Rod Serling" ? WHO??? Puleeeze stay current, or do us all a favor and find another career besides "writing".

tusharnene
tusharnene

i too signed up originally for fun, and watching those topics gets wacky. i primarily tweet and FB about nerdy tech things, but i'm apparently influential in Korea for cracking a couple dear leader jokes on twitter, and "chili" for discussing it back and forth a bit with a friend. Most of the stuff i actually am influential in, you know in the real world, doesn't always come up. but i did kind of start worrying about it after i read the same Fiorella piece as i'm as much in business as i am in tech. this really shouldn't have to be something i have to worry about.

Robiisan
Robiisan

I deliberately don't do social networking, so let's lean over backwards and slide under the closed door together! :-) Music, maestro!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Most franchises have something called a McGriddle. It's a breakfast sandwich made with sausage and egg between two maple syrup-flavored pancakes. I'm sure they could leave out the egg and add cheese. Personally, I find the concept of syrup and either eggs or cheese to be slightly nauseating, but whatever floats your boat.

pgit
pgit

I wouldn't consider this information 'slow day filler.' It's part of a bad trend, and I do hope this "klout number" garbage is a passing fad and doesn't become indurated in the human resources world.

elmramir
elmramir

This reminds me of a famous quote by Babe Ruth. When asked why he thought he should make more than Herbert Hoover (31st President), Ruth quipped, "I had a better year". Maybe this isn't so far off after all.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

While I don't like seeing anyone's name misspelled, Rod is hardly 'current'.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Since the only place I'm active is here, I'm sure I'll have as low a score as possible.

nyssssa
nyssssa

Or marmalade, or honey. Real maple syrup is good, too. Any road, waffles are better - they tend to be lighter.

pgit
pgit

ick. That stuff always repelled me.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

molasses, Nutella, marshmallow fluff, or peanut butter.