What the Klout? Klout.com is well known among young professionals, a site that’s building power bases to rival CEOs of the Fortune 500. Social media has gone 3.0 – these days, brand strategists rely on forecasting models to predict outcomes more than ever. But besides Klout, there is a secondary social analytics firm that provides puritanical data, KRED.com, which is estimated to become another general use business tool.
I came across Kred and recognized it as a parody of Klout.com. Kred helps users understand influence globally within communities connected by interests and affiliations.
I guess their mantra is true; Kred says they’re the next evolution of influence measurement.
How does it work?
Kred figures out which of 200 communities you belong to based on the information in your Twitter bio (which is not always a great description of yourself.) It can show you the influence of your whole community and how you rank in that community. Talk about peer pressure!
Kred also allows you to look in real time at who the top influencers are. The site also measures outreach, which is a measure of generosity – the more people you follow, the more people you tweet, the more content you share, the more generous Kred thinks you are.
The company’s plan is to have 30 Kred leaders and they recently announced the first three: Zem Joaquin, Sean Gardner and Jessica Northey, all of whom are active in the Twittersphere as well as being noted bloggers in their fields. Kred is also looking to agencies to use the site as a tool to find influencers in the communities they want to reach.
How is Kred different from Klout?
The difference is Kred’s transparency. It demonstrates how you get your score and view every retweet to see how many points it was worth. A normal retweet might be worth 10 points, but one from somebody with high Kred might be worth 60. Since Kred is calculating everyone’s scores in real time, it normalizes your score against the average.
In addition, you can incorporate real world accomplishments such as degrees, honors or awards with Kred. It also allows you to send a PDF proving an offline achievement, adding it to your Kred.
For all the attention and kudos that Klout attracted, it also attracted a lot of scrutiny from people who had issues with the approach, particularly after it decided to change how it calculated influence scores. So while Kred is very open about it’s system, Klout is still confusing the hell out of most users.
Klout may be suffering from an influence hangover. The buzz has faded, although it doesn’t necessarily mean Klout and sites like it will vanish. Instead, it might suggest the influence market is in flux, as brands and people ponder to get a better sense of how to measure influence.
The jury is still very much out on Klout and its credibility, and the list of knowledgeable, influential people in the digital space who either totally disregard Klout or who have deleted their accounts grows by the day.
It’s my hope that Klout, while integrated with Facebook, will be able to integrate with link shortening applications to measure engagement and click-throughs on content. The actual consumption of content is easy to measure if you own the short links, however, it’s quite difficult to know whether or not your RTs are being read or not. Most will contend that these will receive more RTs, however that’s likely an assumption of consumption, not a fact that can be easily measured with Klout.
Online measurement tools like Kred and Klout can be a catch-22. We’re not fans of Klout and are rapidly losing interest in Kred, yet clients often require some kind of influence measurement. So, the platforms are needed. But there are alternatives like PeerIndex, Twitalyzer and TweetLevel that provide a range of information and analytics to help you determine influence, without the extra steps either Klout or Kred include.
So, which has more clout? Klout or Kred?