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Chris LoCurto

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February 6, 2013

Defined By Klout

February 6, 2013 | By | 74 Comments">74 Comments

My business is helping people. That’s it. I believe that God has called me to teach and guide people to being a better leader, better team member, better…them!

CLo Klout

And because so much of what I do is done in a public format, like this website, speaking events, etc., I use social media to let people know that I’m here to help.

Chances are, if you haven’t become one of the cool kids who subscribe to this blog, (Click the “follow me” button now. Trust me, it’s worth it.) then you probably  learned of this post through one of the social media outlets I use.

Or, you have an incredible smart and attractive friend who forwarded this to you. Either way, part of me being effective is making sure that I do a good job using social media.

With that are many different ways of measure my effectiveness. While I won’t go into all of them, I will talk about one that is very effective at helping or hurting one’s ego. Yes, I’m talking about Klout.

Klout is a way of measuring one’s social influence. It takes a look at all you’re doing through social media outlets, and then ranks you and gives you a number.

The problem is, if you’re a gadget person like myself, then you have a smart phone. If you have a smart phone, then you’ve probably downloaded 17,000 apps to your phone, which you really only use about 10 of those apps.

If you do social media, then you probably downloaded Klout like I did. And being silly like I am, I allowed the Klout app to send me push notifications letting me know exactly what my score is at anytime, and showing me with the little badge icon number as well.

Therefore, every time I open my phone, that little number is staring at me. Which is not bad if you’re Mike Hyatt and your number is 82. But when you’re Chris LoCurto, your number is 69!

The worst is when you open your phone to see the little red badge of shame showing that you’ve dropped a point since the last time you opened your phone. DANG IT!! WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?!

At least that’s what you begin to ask yourself in said times. The truth is, sometimes we can get a little carried away with social media, and the measuring tools used to define my competence.

That’s why I deleted it off of my phone, and I only check it once in awhile online. Because I refuse to be defined by a tiny red number. Instead, I like to measure my influence by the incredible people who come here for help.

That is what’s important to me. Well, that and my Google Analytics. Did I just say that?

Question: What’s your thoughts on focusing too much, or not enough, on tools like Klout? 

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  • http://twitter.com/msmir Miriam Slozberg

    I am a supporter of Klout and its purpose, and just know if you are engaging with your networks and putting out compelling content out- and others are taking an interest, you will be in the top 5% of Klout users and that is those who have a score of 63 and above. Scores are going to fluctuate as they will go up and down a bit here and there, it happens… however, I would say worry more about what you are putting out there on your networks because that is the one thing that is being looked at even more!

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    I have the Klout app, and I think my score is somewhere around 60. So your score of 69 looks pretty good to me.

    I used to track it pretty closely. But I haven’t really tracked it for several months other than a once in a while look on my phone.

    There’s definitely a balance in looking at numbers. People often complain about churches that track their attendance, etc. They think they are too focused on the numbers for the sake of the numbers. But I think this is sometimes misinterpreted. Churches are commissioned to go out and make disciples. Part of making disciples involves growing in the number of believers and church attenders. Are we being successful in achieving this mandate? Part of the way to measure success is to look at the numbers.

    Similarly, we who are creating and growing our platforms must look at the numbers if we’re serious about getting our message out and growing our platforms. It only makes sense.

  • John Davidson

    Klout, Shmout – I give the content you provide through your blog a 100 not a 69! Your leadership skills, insights, perspectives and value delivered through the Entre Leader Podcast is relevant and has coonectivity. Stay true to your ‘why” and not a number generated through an app. Don’t lose sight in that your Platform is just one resource that God is partnering with you in. He will continue to lead you and provide you the visibility necessary to touch others. The path you are on is uniquely yours. Continue to enjoy the process and adventure of finding yourself and impacting others by losing yourself in him (God). Ephesians 2:10

  • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

    Oh another Klout debate! I’ve seen so many of these. While I don’t care for Klout, I do care greatly for numbers and using them to assess something and to inform how you improve it, but not as a sole measure of success.

    For instance, in my Air Force public affairs job, we analyze, for instance, story hits and social media metrics to gain insight into what our audiences are interested in, not interested in and why based on experience and professional judgement. Ideally, we’d survey all of our audiences to get better data but do it right is very expensive. Regardless, we use what’s available to us because we’re always looking to improve and better serve the audiences we communicate with.

    In my view, if you’re not using the numbers you have available to you as a means to assess performance and grow, you’re failing.

  • http://twitter.com/lancecashion lance cashion

    Klout is the FICO score of the internet. Some may find superficial value in it, but its pretty irrelevant. Contrast Klout with a person’s Angry Birds score or number of Twitter followers. Now we’re talking the REAL world stuff!!!!

  • http://www.collegebookrenter.com/ textbooks

    I have the same problem. I have to make myself only check things weekly, it is easy to become obsessed.

  • Kathy

    Imagine what your Klout number looks like in God’s book! Keep doing what you’re doing.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      That’s the one that ultimately counts Kathy!

  • http://www.janabotkin.net/ Jana Botkin

    Chris, you and your peeps have influence on me. Until today, I hadn’t heard of Klout. After reading how it affects people, it is on my list of Things To Not Bother About. (The list also includes FB, Twitter, smart phones, microwave ovens, millk chocolate and automatic transmissions.)

    I used to check the stats on my blog and feel crummy about the low following. Now I check about once a month, and they grow steadily. I’m not sure what the numbers represent, but I am sure that I know most of my readers and followers.

    Knowing those who follow is way more important to me than having high numbers. Seth Godin says a person can only know and marginally keep up with 150 people, so I’m good with my numbers.

    And as wonderful as Michael Hyatt is, don’t you know the guy has to be exhausted from continually working at building a following?

    I’d rather just work.

    • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

      Excellent points. Really, how much actual work can someone be getting done when they look at the comparison numbers too much?

  • http://somewiseguy.com/ ThatGuyKC

    I actually think Klout is a joke and you should delete the app from your phone. Twitter/Facebook followers, comments and Google Analytics provides more than enough data to fret about.

    Would be interested in your thoughts on what is measured vs. important?

  • http://bretwortman.com/ Bret Wortman

    Yup. I tossed Klout a while back for the same reason. There seemed to be no logic to its ups and downs that I could see, and it related in no actual way to the engagement I felt (or didn’t feel) with anyone that mattered to me.

    • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      spoken like a true numbers guy…”no logic to its ups and downs that I could see…” (and if i cant see it, I dont need it!)

      • http://bretwortman.com/ Bret Wortman

        For similar reasons, I don’t often check the stock market. As Warren Buffet once said, “I don’t need a bunch of strangers to tell me what my investments are worth. I know what they’re worth.” Well, I have an intuitive grasp of what my influence is and isn’t. And that’s good enough for me. A 100-point scale? Really?

        • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

          tru dat.

  • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

    Well Chris, look on the bright side…my Klout score is probably 2, maybe 3 :) See, 69 doesn’t look so bad now!

    I signed up for Klout, then quit using it two weeks later because it didn’t encourage me any.

    I think there is a time and a place for analytics (my tech guru is helping me set it up on my blog this week…if you wanna have the same tech guru I do, his site is http://joshuarivers.net/web-design/ )

    I’m horrible at checking my site stats too and I need to stop. I think it was Pat Flynn ( http://www.smartpassiveincome.com ) that I heard say that he only checks his site stats once a day…at the end of the day.
    I really need to start doing that. I think we start focusing more on “how am I doing??? Am I as cool as Mike Hyatt yet? Do I have as many page views as so-and-so???” and that robs our energy from doing the things that will increase those stats.
    I know I need to be reminded that social media is a tool, its not my product, its not my thoughts or my ideas. And it needs to take the proper place in supporting my ideas and thoughts.
    (…and he steps off his soap box…)

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      It’s actually 35

      • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

        haha, you know more than I do. So I’m half as good as CLo? I know I’m half as tall…maybe Klout secretly just judges your height??

        • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

          I don’t think height has anything to do with Klout score. If it did, I’d surely have a few more points. (I’m 6’6″)

          • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

            Fair point Jon, but with the limited data that I had, it seemed to fit :)

  • http://www.joshuarivers.net/ Joshua Rivers

    Did you look at my phone? I hope not…

    Yes, I have the Klout app…

    Yes, I enabled the push notifications…

    Yes, I went into the deep depths of despair whenever I saw that I dropped a point…

    Yes, I finally turned the notifications off.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      Go Josh!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      BAH!!! SEE?!

    • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

      Delete the App! :)

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Second that motion.

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    And if you’re Lily Kreitinger you have a 49 and I have 10% of the followers you do don’t you feel better already?

    At this point in time, the followers I am interested in are my coworkers, my friends, my husband and children. If I am influencing their lives in a positive way, I think I have the score I need.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      Oh, and I also found out that I can give +K to @BretWortman on Chick-Fil-A, @Matt_McWilliams:disqus on Health, and @JoelFortner and Aaron Nelson on pizza. What’s not to love about Klout?

      • http://bretwortman.com/ Bret Wortman

        I get a free spicy deluxe chicken sandwich for every +K you give me, so bring it on!!!! I need me some spicy deluxe chicken sandwiches!!!!

        • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

          Now that’s some Klout I would like to learn how to get!

          • http://bretwortman.com/ Bret Wortman

            So would I…. ;-)

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I can say you have quite the influence here my dear!

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        I will second that!

    • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      It’s all about perspective ;) And I agree with Chris, you have quite a bit of influence Ms. Kreitinger!

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    Influence isn’t something that can be measured by some silly web site.

    At some point we were told that what others thought of our creation, our thoughts, our writing or singing was what mattered. Most of us bought into the lie.

    That lie tells us that a negative critique is disapproval, that it makes what we created less valid or meaningful.

    That lie tells us that a Retweet equals importance or impact.

    That lie tells us that follower quantity equals influence.

    That lie leads to FEAR. FEAR of rejection, FEAR of reaction, FEAR of loss. Followers gained means you are doing the right thing. Followers lost means Johnny has been a bad boy and needs to get back with the program.

    But he’ll never define the program that way. He’ll never change the world. He’ll only be a sheep in the herd.

    One person mentoring one hurting child who lives in abject poverty with an abusive stepfather and a drunk mother…and watches him end up graduating from college with honors…that person has more influence than 99.9% of the people with Klout scores of 70+.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Preach it!!

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      And that is what it comes down to. If you can influence one person’s life, you have changed the world.

    • http://CorporateCultureRevolution.com/ Bob Winchester

      Very well said Matt! Leave it to you to get me all emotional. I still like it when I get re-tweeted though. ;)

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Mission accomplished brother. :)

        And me too on the RT.

    • http://www.robertperinphotography.com/ Robert perin

      That is a really fantastic post Matt. If you believe what you have to offer the world or who you can help matters, then you are way ahead of the vast majority of people. “I am important” comes from inside the heart.

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Thanks Robert. You hit the nail on the head.

    • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      Word. Our society is fake in so many ways. retweets, facebook status’, Klout scores, youtube views. That is what culture tells us makes us important.
      But seriously, like you said, people who are doing something in the REAL world have way more influence and do way more good than someone who gets 100 retweets, or 100million youtube views.

      • Steve Pate

        amen

        • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

          And a second amen

    • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

      Don’t forget Jon Acuff’s story about his daughter thinking in Tweets. I’m keeping my daughter as much of a luddite as possible as far as the internet at this point.

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        LOL “My feet stink but in a good way. You should tweet that.”

        I quote that sometimes. It’s mildly annoying for those hearing it for the 8th time.

    • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

      Well said, Matt. But I still think numbers can sometimes help us measure success. These numbers have to be analyzed with wisdom though.

  • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

    Nailed! I don’t worry so much about Klout (mine is only 50 – you made me go look), but the first thing I do when I check my computer is see how many views I have had on my blog, and I get giddy when someone tweets it or retweets me or likes something on FB. Sad really, that we’re so concerned about others. I can tell you that the best feeling I have is when someone – just one person – tells me they were inspired or influenced by something I posted. Now that’s what it’s all about!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      That is what it’s all about. That feeling can never be matched by a score!

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      Well, you inspire and influence me, that’s for sure.

      • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

        Thank you Lily – you too!

    • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

      Here’s a quote from an article that made me rethink caring about Retweets and Likes:

      “As it turns out, receiving and answering a notification results in a hit of dopamine, a chemical neurotransmitter associated with the motivation and reward response in the human brain. Dopamine is also released in high quantities when we consume drugs or have sex. Social media notifications can have the same addictive effect.”

      http://mashable.com/2012/11/03/facebook-addiction/

      • http://caroldublin.com/ Carol Dublin

        Interesting – explains a lot!

  • http://twitter.com/ibnabeeomar ibn abee omar

    I’ve been using Klout for some time but haven’t found it truly effective. My score is a 61 right now, but it’s very difficult to gauge what that means.

    At best, it gives me some kind of (partially arbitrary) barometer as to where I stand vs. others – But then again, do I really need some fancy metric to tell me I don’t have the same influence/reach online as someone like Michael Hyatt?

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      OMAR!!!! Long time my friend!!

    • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

      I took time off Social Media for two weeks at the end of December, and my Klout score actually went up! Now how does that make sense?

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        What does that tell you Erik?

        Just kidding :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

    Klout is like a credit score: a made up number measuring your worth in a specific area based on past actions. It is in no way comprehensive, and even in the realm of social media and digital influence, falls way short, just like a credit score doesn’t measure true financial status.

    Example: I just checked mine: http://klout.com/ErikJFisher and I have a score of 69 as well. You have 3-4 times the number of twitter followers I have! How does that make sense? In real digital influence, you probably score much higher on a less arbitrary scale.

    Real influence is measured in lives changed, and in real relationships. I care much more about knowing my significance of who loves me, and that my wife loves me, and likes me, which is something totally different :).

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Amen Erik! (Dang, we really have the same number and I have more peeps? What are you doing that I’m not? WAIT…never mind!)

      • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

        HA!!

    • http://twitter.com/LaytonWelborn Layton Welborn

      Agreed! It’s kinda like buying a car that you can’t afford just to impress those that you’ll never meet.

      ( It seems I’ve heard this somewhere before ;) )

  • http://www.ryanlrhoten.com/ RyanRhoten

    I think it can be a decent measure of one’s online activity. But it’s like anything else, it can be good or bad depending on how it’s used. Facebook for example is a great way to stay in touch with friends. It is not a great way to get counseling or psychiatric
    advice, yet I’ve seen people use it in that manner.

    The key to all social media no matter the form is sharing great content. If you begin posting content for your klout score vs. your audience, your tribe will quickly call you on it and find another leader to follow.

    BTW if you feel bad about your score of 69, my red badge of shame screams “ha ha you’re only a 39”. It was boosted last week because Michael Hyatt replied to one of my tweets, I think.
    So that got me thinking….what can I spam him with this week to get another reply or even better a retweet?? Joking of course, but….

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      HAHAHA!!! Hey, it just might work. And you’re so right about FB. I watch people throw their dirty laundry out on to their homepage. It’s sad.

    • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      double your chances…spam Chris too ;)

  • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

    Now I want to try Klout…. Interesting.

    My ‘thing’ was email on my phone. It was such a struggle I wrote a 1200 word blog post about giving it up, and then a few days later my ‘thing’ became word-counting blog posts.

    I don’t think the tools are bad. I think the desire behind the tool is bad, and you can determine whether the desire is bad by what you do after the tool is gone. Do you find yourself more productive? Or do you substitute one tool (Klout) for another (Analytics) that get you back to the same thinking?

    Another way to think of it: Do you value your family for the number of members it contains, or the quality of the relationships within? Or the quality of relationships within relationships (I may be going all “Inception” right now). Each of us has some value to Chris and Chris to us (one relationship level), but each of us have some value to others here (Skropp & I communicate without Chris’ ‘Klout’ involved). You’ll never measure that.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Dude, I feel like I have to wake up from that last level. :-)

  • http://CorporateCultureRevolution.com/ Bob Winchester

    Kind of surprised to hear you are even concerned with this Chris. I’m sure everyone here would agree that your Klout is 110! If that’s even possible?

    Seriously though, maybe I’m messing up, but I’ve never worried about my “klout”. Maybe that’s why mine is so low?? Doesn’t stop me from smiling when someone gives me a re-tweet!

    Anyway, I’m trying to make a difference in people’s lives. I modeled that from you, Dave, and your team. My theory is that if we focus on that, then our klout and our analytics will blow up naturally!

    With that being said, those are two different things. I can be strategic by looking at my traffic through my analytics. I can’t do much to control my klout.

    Klout shmout! Maybe it should be CLout? ;)

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      BAH!!!! I think that’s a great idea!!!

      • http://twitter.com/LaytonWelborn Layton Welborn

        Using objective tools ( e.g. google analytics, klout, etc ) is a great way to see raw information about what is connecting to you. ( unique page hits, retweets, reads, etc ) However, your influence on us is solely subjective. When someone influences you, it’s in ways that, I believe, can’t be truly measured except by that individual who returns the thanks. This can be with a note on their blog, a recommendation to a friend, or just a heart-felt thank you. Add to this the several people that you’ve reached that never really say anything back, but just reiterate a thought/concept/quote to the people in their circle, and you may never know that you’ve started the conversation.

        I take great joy in finding out that I’ve made a difference in someone’s life/career/etc long after we’ve had an interaction and not even knowing that I was making an impact at the time. I think that this is the coolest thing in the world to hear from person C that person A recommended me to person B and because person C looks up to person B, then person C felt they should definitely look me up. ( try following that rabbit ;) — now you know how weird my mind is )

        Now I admit this has its downfalls because you don’t get the immediate feedback and may feel that what you’re doing isn’t effective. This is where a close circle of friends who give you honest feedback and encouragement come into play. In addition though, there has to be a level of patience to understand that our jobs as mentors is to plant the seeds and help provide nourishment to those around us, but live with the satisfaction that we may never see those plants bear fruit.

        Personally, I’ve always used the example of Vince Lombardi. He was a great coach as represented by his championships, however, his true legacy is the number of great coaches throughout the years that were impacted by his mentoring and, in addition, their affect on the coaches after them. He never lived long enough to see the true results of his teachings.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

      Love that. We should give each other CLout scores…. Hmmm don’t get me thinking those things. You never know what can happen.

      • http://CorporateCultureRevolution.com/ Bob Winchester

        We don’t judge here. Every commenter has CLout; as long as Lily says so. Ha!

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

          I don’t want that kind of responsibility…

      • http://www.hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

        Ha! I like. I give Lily a…hmmm…..88.3348 CLout score. (don’t question it, 78% of stats are made up on the spot to prove a point…including this one!)

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

          You should be able to check it now if you didn’t break it again.

    • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

      If we did CLout scores, Chris would have 100 (out of 100) and Mark and Lily would probably have 90.