A while ago I signed up for the service Klout, or it signed me up, or something. I don’t quite remember. I did a bit of research and the Interwebs told me that Klout was basically just a scoring system measuring the people making the most relevant noise, as opposed to how many times they tweeted or how many Facebook friends they have.
I put it in the same category of “mine is bigger than yours” competitions where you can brag about a number. I know from many years of playing MMORPGs that your score related to X will go up if you invest more time in doing X, and, in some cases, will go down if you stop doing X because it’s a bell curve, and not everyone’s a winner.
Now that I’m not a student with unlimited hours to spend sleeping/playing games, that’s not really my thing anymore. I currently sleep for about 5 hours each night. I’d much rather increase my sleep score than my imaginary internet follower score or my Arena Ranking (Hello, fellow WoW nerds).
But then I got an email today that said:
Your Klout Score went up!
Keep up the good work. Feel free to check out your new Klout Score and the moments that went into it.
Now, I’ve done nothing specifically for Klout. I will always tweet about things I enjoy or find interesting but are not necessarily in everybody’s list of interests. My curiosity was piqued because this carefully worded marketing email told me:
- I’ve done something good – I’ve made myself more reputable/famous/popular/noticeable
- I want to know what these good things are! How do I do more of them?
I understand it means I can better tailor my tweets/posts to my intended audience, I suppose, but on top of that – I CAN GET MORE KLOUT! This is another Good Thing! Why? because the next time I get one of these emails, I can use Klout to find out which of the changes I made influenced my audience so I can tailor my posts even further, and then I will get MORE KLOUT!
Suddenly, I felt the hamster wheel pulling me in again. As you can probably tell from my previous experience with rankings and numbers, I know there’s no end to the tunnel, but something draws me to them – a human instinct defying infinite limits, perhaps. So I tell myself, OK, I’ll give this Klout thing a go. What harm can it do? If nothing else, I’ll find out what I like tweeting about, and maybe along the way I will increase that number in the little orange box next to my profile picture..
Well played, Klout. Well played.