I'm Giving Up My Klout

Do you have Klout?

Even if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you probably do.  The website says everyone has Klout.

I recently discovered klout.com when my Twitter feed was blowing up with Twitterers (is that a word??) giving other Twitterers klout or +K to people who are influential in there life.

Out of curiosity I looked up my Klout.

Scary thing is that when I signed up, Klout had listed topics of Hawaii, Blogging, and Google Reader (what the hell?) that I was influential in.

Gave myself a pat on the back.

I started lurking around the website and learned how to create lists to give my friends on Twitter their fair share of Klout.

What's the point??

Well, when you have reached a certain level, you earn perks.  The incentive to build your network and influence is to get free loot.  And we all love free loot, right?

The first tip-off to me that didn't feel "just right"- Seeing that people who HAVE NOT signed up for Klout had Klout scores and profiles!

I was encouraged to invite these friends so that I could "increase my klout" and get a truer reading of my influence.  Because these people were great influences on me (according to Klout), if I started influencing them my Klout score would increase.

Increasing my Klout score became a great challenge for me.  I tried to post and reply on Blogger and my Twitter account and gave +K freely to other bloggers that influence me, in the hopes that they would return the favor.

Then I started thinking.  

How did Klout get this information on everyone? 

I googled and found some interesting blog posts on the topic.

Tonia Reis from The Real Time Report writes how Klout gets most of it's profile information.  Basically by using your Twitter account, which is a public platform, Klout analyzes your influence.  

OK, fine. But a huge issue arises when she finds her son now has a Klout profile.  According to Tonia, her son is very careful about keeping his information private.  How did Klout get his info?

Well, Tonia created a public post on Facebook and since her son had commented on it, his info was now available for them to use.

Have they gone too far?

Danny Brown also shares some insight on Klout (and shares updates on that particular post).
I realize that Klout pulls information that is public.  And Twitter is a public forum.  And this blog is public. 

So it's not like Klout went digging for information on me.

It just pulled it from the internet.

Now the issue for me isn't that Klout has this information but more so that by using my information, friends and family have no idea that their information is now fair game.

I totally get that the information used is public and already out there.  I'm just not sure I want it all
to be linked up yet, even if in reality it is, I prefer it not to be my reality (yes, I sound delusional but it works for me.).

After some reflection, I decided I'm not 100% confident that joining and updating my profile on Klout is the way to go.

It really is a fascinating concept. 

My first red flag should have been that I didn't completely understand the system and was just "going with it".

So for now I'm unlinking (since there is currently no way to delete your profile) my blogger account.  There is not option to unlink my Twitter account so I revoked access via my Twitter settings > Applications.

Like many other blogs I read out there, this wouldn't be such an issue if given the option to opt in or out.

UPDATE: Check out this post on how to delete your Klout information. I haven't tried it (because it's lunch time in the 808 state and I'm hungry!) but will keep you posted if it works.

Have you heard of Klout? Do you use it? Do you find it useful, fascinating, confusing? What do you see as the good/bad/ugly of having and using such "personal" but private information? 

1 comment:

  1. Oops, I should have read this post before +K'ing you all day!! LOL!!! Your concerns are paralleled with some of the discussions I'm having in school right now! I am actually beyond careful and precise with what information I share on the internet and have multiple alias' for that very reason. I'm actually contemplating deleting facebook, as that is the only open source with my..you know.. NAME! HA!! But, as far as everything else you mentioned, I don't have anything out there in the world wide web I didn't approve first......to my knowledge. =D


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