James Mayes

Posts Tagged ‘klout’

Blog: Where’s the Quiet Man?

In Facebook, Social Media, Social Recruiting, Twitter on November 5, 2012 at 10:10 am

noisy social mediaThe level of posts being pushed out by some companies on social platforms seems to be ever increasing, to the point of deafening. I’ve seem numerous complaints about this over the past few weeks, on multiple platforms. There are of course, many explanations – for example:

  • On Twitter, there’s a direct correlation between number of tweets and number of followers – which pushes some users to tweet heavily purely for the desire to grow numbers.  If you haven’t seen it, you should totally go check out the analysis on RAAK, where they were testing out some theories on Klout.
  • On Facebook, a good understanding of EdgeRank and the careful use of content will massively increase the chance of me seeing your content over someone else’s. Want more info – take a look at this from Fresh Egg.

Point of this post though, is a brief trip back in time.

One of my early employers was particularly fond of open-floor meetings. Everyone was entitled to their opinion, and entitled to share it. Sounds a little bit like social media, right? One chap I worked with had a great way of being heard. He’d be the quietest person in the room.  He’d make it obvious with a cough or a wave that he had something to contribute, but would then speak quietly. Very quietly.

We socialised together occasionally and I know “quiet” was far from his natural state – but he’d figured that be lowering his own voice, everyone else had to shut up in order to hear. He was respected enough that people wanted to hear his contribution, and they had no choice but to be quiet in order to listen. It was a beautiful tactic, executed with elegance repeatedly.

Bill often likens social platforms to a watercooler chat, or a bar meetup – which leaves me wondering if this tactic could transition to these new channels?

On Twitter, I think the usage patterns stack against – but with a good understanding of EdgeRank and careful consideration, I think it might actually be possible on Facebook.

Anyone seen it done?



Blog: Calculating influence

In Social Media, Twitter on January 17, 2011 at 9:36 pm

I’ve read a fair amount of blogs (and associated comments) recently on the subject of influence on Twitter.  What is it, how is it defined, can it be measured, etc.  A quick scan of online reference sites offers a number of definitions. Since this is as much for my benefit as anyone’s, I’m going to select a definition which I feel is both simplistic and roughly appropriate to my intent: “the action or process of producing effects on the actions […] of another”.

What I really want to play around with here is the idea of measuring it.  There are a number of tools out there which try do this, Klout probably being the best-known.These sites don’t generally disclose their algorithms or methods – partially to stop people “gaming the system”, partially for competitive reasons. So to the meat of this. What do I think should be measured? How does the metric look?

Most systems start with follower numbers – but this is no good if the person in question tends not to retweet or share.  It’s also no good if the person follows thousands of people and is highly unlikely to see (or even be interested in) my output.  On the other hand, if someone’s happy to share my material on a regular basis, but has only limited followers of their own, what good will that do me? Finally – whatever number of followers and retweets are involved, it’s still of negligible benefit if the followers in question don’t represent my target audience.

If a platform was going to meaningfully analyse and measure influence for me, it would need to understand both my target audience, and the followers of whoever retweeted on my behalf.  Is the data in someone’s Twitter bio solid enough to form a judgement on? Typically, I’d say not – so the only measure available would be the keywords in previous tweets. Going down this route implies the platform would need to both analyse said tweets – but more importantly, actually access them.  It’s not the easiest thing to go back in time with Twitter…

So what other measure could be a useful part of the mix?  For me, I’d be interested in the type of thing tweeted. If I got retweets from someone who only ever retweeted others, I doubt it would carry much significance.  Ideally for me, a Twitter account contains a rich mix of interesting short tweets, links to longer material of relevance and reciprocated @mentions to other Twitter users – showing the level of relationship. Capture all that, I think you get somewhere nearer to a measure of influence that might actually interest me.

Can this realistically be done on Twitter? Possibly – but I think the answer may lie in opening up to other platforms in order to better cover the target audience part of things.  Using the more detailed profiles of LinkedIn might be one route to explore.

However it progresses – and I’m sure it will – this post has been something of a pain to me.  I have an idea in mind, a model if you will – but I’m not happy with the way it’s converted on the blog.  I feel like I’m still missing a key part and I’d welcome any thoughts in getting it clearer – if only for the sake of my sanity!

Do you have Klout on Twitter?

In Personal Development, Social Media, Twitter on July 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm

As you might imagine, I keep a roving eye on social media tools – particularly those relevant to the Twittersphere. One tool I’ve used occasionally over a period of months now is Klout. There are a number of tools which attempt to monitor your reach or influence on Twitter, some simply based around follower numbers, others much more advanced.  Klout is certainly one of the more sophisticated.

The reason I’m sharing it that I’ve found it useful on several occasions. It looks at follower numbers, as most things do – but it takes a number of other items into consideration and subsequently plots your position against those of higher ranking twitter users.  This again, is not unusual. However, taking it further still, Klout breaks out these other users into types, or styles. Some people create, others syndicate. Some are broad-reach, others are very focussed. How do you compare?

Klout gives you far more ability to decide what kind of engagement you seek, then hone your message over weeks and months – and for that reason, I think it’s worth a little of your time.

UPDATE: December 2010

I’ve continued to play with Klout over the last few months, but have become increasingly sceptical of the results.  I saw this post earlier today, which does a great job of explaining the problem. It’s also worth reading for the second comment, Klout’s own CEO. Perfectly handled, in my view.


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