I have email. I’m on Facebook, though not yet using it as a verb -- you won't hear me say, "Hey, Joanna, Facebook me later with the details!" I tweet on a semi-regular basis. I have a LinkedIn account. I stumble with StumbleUpon.
I work as a blogger. I reach the masses (or at least 17 of you) via these social media thingamajigs. I thought I was pretty connected.
Then I read about Klout. This new website that measures how popular you are in the world of social media.
And I was transported to the seventh grade all over again.
This is how it works: you type in your twitter handle (such as @motherhoodlist -- follow me!!!!!), and it will give you a score on a scale of 1-100. The higher the score, the stronger influence you have. Yes, influence is a fancy word for popular.
They also place a little dot on a grid called the Klout Influence Matrix. This tells you the kind of social media "presence" you have by different classifications. You can be a Celebrity (why they don’t rename that box Charlie Sheen is up for discussion) or a Pundit (you create the news) or an Observer (you don’t do squat, really, but are dabbling).
The matrix is a bit like a Malcolm Gladwell book mashed with a Rubik’s Cube. So, yeah, they are telling you where you rank in the whole hierarchy of social media -- if you hang with the cool kids or just lurk by your locker.
The difference between seventh grade and Klout: there are no mean girls. On Klout, it's all positivity and rainbows. I scored a (whopping) 18, and they classified me as an Explorer. By comparison, @BarackObama has an 84 and is a Celebrity (duh!). @The_Stir has a 64 and is a Thought Leader (our followers rely on us to share ideas and opinions, natch).
What's an Explorer?
You actively engage in the social web, constantly trying out new ways to interact and network. You're exploring the ecosystem and making it work for you. Your level of activity and engagement shows that you "get it," we predict you'll be moving up.
See, Klout likes me. They really like me! Added bonus: they tell me how to crash the cool kids' party, how to be a part of the In Crowd. I have to engage more with others, especially the popular ones. @CharlieSheen, you'll be hearing from me!
Do you know your Klout score?
Image via Klout