|Falls and rises—Klout scores have more elevation shifts than heliskiing in Alaska.|
This is a break in normal outdoor programming to describe a behind-the-scenes look at some of the first-world problems of working as a social media journalist.
Much of my livelihood depends on my social-ability. Klout is a company that is widely known in the industry as tracking that ability and measuring it. Many times, it is what is used to determine someone's talents and skills in engaging and interacting with people online and thus companies will use it to offer benefits and jobs to individuals.
My agitation continues to increase over this because Klout's scoring system appears to be completely arbitrary and unreliable. Although my score is quite good, it can't be trusted. Not because I feel I'm not rockin' at connecting with folks through social media, but because Klout doesn't practice what it preaches, nor does its score shifts accurately measure what is happening in real time. Or at all. So, although it may make opportunities for my livelihood a bit more difficult, it has come time to shut down my account. For those of you in my field, you'll understand that this is a hard decision.
The following is an open letter to Klout (and to all sponsorship & hiring personnel that use a faulty Klout score to determine what a "good" social media player is):
With a score of 65.7 dropping to 63.7 in a matter of days, I've decided to disconnect my Klout account once and for all. Faulty measurements, wild shifts, mysterious metrics & no interaction from a company which measures interaction? Trust lost.
I rely on my social scores because I am a freelance photojournalist with national magazines & major companies. I get hired for assignments and opportunities based, in no small part, on my social skills. Klout claims to accurately reflect those scores, but that claim goes beyond false advertisement; it's an outright lie.
My score drops the more I interact. To make sure of this claim, I conducted several experiments, the most recent being this week. I ramped up interaction, receiving increased likes on Instagram (some days even hundreds), a massive increase in likes and comments on Facebook and held Twitter conversations among people with Klout scores in upper 60, 70s and lower 80s. I returned to Klout each day to check my score hoping, beyond recent experience, that you would pull through and score my diligence accordingly. But no; my score dropped each day, losing over two full points in less than a week.
However, when I do my normal amount of tweeting/Facebooking and Instagramming, my score rises. So is your lesson: do mediocre work on social? Maybe I should just RT whatever you are doing; seems whenever I mention @klout in my tweet, my score mysteriously rises.
I have tried interacting a ridiculous number of times with you through your Twitter account with many people joining in the conversation. Still, you remained silent. Unacceptable. You are an interaction-measurement company. INTERACT.
Those of us who rely on companies digging our social-ability are slaves to a broken system that is Klout. You guys were at your best when you still had your interaction style graph (two years ago). You were consistent then. You were friendly to use. You were young and open.
Maybe you've gotten too big for your britches now, but many of us are getting turned off. You're mysterious and frustrating. Fix your stuff. In the mean time, see ya! You're a weight off my shoulders.
With no regrets,
Hallelujah. I'm no longer a number.