First I saw vague references to something called “Klout” on tweets. Things like “I just Klouted someone” or “I got nudged on my Klout.”
Since I didn’t know what a “Klout” was, my brain utterly ignored these tweets. They were invisible. (I know I just contradicted my first sentence. STFU! Hey, who’s the writer here?) Much like the native peoples who couldn’t see European “tall ships” offshore or the way I can’t find the mayonnaise jar when my wife has moved it front and center on the top shelf in the fridge.
Eventually I learned that Klout was a website/company that provides “social media analytics.” Finally! A company to fill that need in our society. Screw the 1 billion or more people without access to safe drinking water and the 2 billion without access to toilets. We got Klout. Yeah!
Naturally I signed right up.
I learned that Klout measures “influence.” As near as I can figure, this a measurement of how good you are at getting other humans to do that most holy of acts: spend money.
How does Klout measure influence? (I imagine this sentence will bring scads of traffic to my blog. Hi, mom!) Like usual, it’s an arcane and mysterious process much like the “ancient Chinese secret” made famous by Calgon detergent. Of course that means it’s fancy things like proprietary “algorithms” and stuff. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone. That’s apparently one place they don’t want any Klout.
Klout knew about some of the same people I already knew. Wow, this is fun, I thought. Some of the people were already on Klout. Some of them were not and I was encouraged to pressure them to sign up. I respectfully declined.
Since then my Klout score peaked at 38.88. Right now it’s a fucking pitiful 38.53. Dammit! Like I needed another reason to want to kill myself. Curse you, Klout! I’m wholly inadequate. I don’t deserve to live.
“Klout, enable location services. Now, please tell me the location of the nearest bridge of sufficient height to enable self-termination via the act of leaping.”
Oh, shit. Wait. That’s Siri. Dammit!
While I wait for that technology, I might as well look at my Klout “topics.” According to Klout, I am currently* “influential” about:
Wow. Just look at that list. Klout, you know me so well! Not. And all of these have little graphs with what I assume is, the smallest theoretical amount of color, just to emphasize that my “influence” in these areas is extremely low. Barely enough to register. But they still presumably want me to play so that have to give me something.
See how I’m willing to sacrifice myself for your edification in the name of science? I’m a human guinea pig. Maybe my autobiography will be titled: “The Guinea Pig Who Fathered Gerbils.”
Weird. So what is missing from my Klout topics? Just a few wee things like:
You know. Most of the main shit from my “tag cloud.” The things that I actually want to be known for. Sorry, no can do, Kimosabe.
So, undaunted, time continued on in a very Klout-like way. I signed on Klout almost daily and, by doing so, I was earning “achievements.” Hey, that’s just like World Of Warcraft. Hey, this really is fun after all.
My achievements are:
- Klout Addict
- Klout Addict (deja vu!)
- Making It Rain +K
- The 20s
- The 30s
I can only assume those latter achievements have something to do with my I.Q.
With some achievements I picked up +K points. I currently have 10 of those points. Because I got tired of doodling on my toenails with a Sharpie, I set aside time to give some +K to my friends. For example, I gave some to Amy Severson for the topic “zombies.” That was so much fun. I figured, what the hell. She seems to know a lot about those critters. But, as far as I could tell, little to nothing actually changed in the universe due to my +K generosity.
Naturally, the most important thing to me about Klout was the idea that I could have influence about topics that mattered the most to me, like negativity and poop. I looked, but those weren’t topics at all! Apparently only the things that Klout feels are important can have actual influence. If it isn’t on the Klout guest list then you are shit out of luck.
My Klout Science Experiment
I complained about the lack of a “poop” topic on Twitter. @madtante was nice enough to make what I thought was a very intelligent suggestion. She said I should search Klout for “fertilizer.” That was a bit of a compromise, but I was still excited to give it a try.
I clicked the big blue “Add A Topic” and was advised it was going to cost me 5 +K points. I agreed. I mean, you can’t take them with you, right? So you might as well get some enjoyment out of them. Lo and behold, searching for “fertilizer” provided me with four wonderful possibilities to choose from:
- Chemical And Fertilizer Mineral Mining, Nec (industry)
- Phosphatic Fertilizer Manufacturing (industry)
- Fertilizer Manufacturing (industry)
- Fertilizer (mixing Only) Manufacturing (industry)
I know. “Fertilizer Manufacturing (industry)” sounded like a match made in heaven, so I chose that one. I clicked the “Add” button, 5 +K points were taken and … Viola! “Manufacturing” was now a topic on my list.
What the fuck? That wasn’t what I selected! “Manufacturing” could mean anything. That doesn’t evoke “fertilizer” was was supposed to a euphemism for “poop.” Why do I feel like I just got lied to and hosed down?
Worse, a few days later, “Manufacturing” dropped right off my profile. How odd, since I never freakin’ discuss that. (Well, in terms of poop perhaps the “food” topic might be construed that way, but even I admit that’s quite a stretch.) So I feel like I totally got ripped off. Is there an achievement for “A Sucker Born Every Minute?” If so, sign me up!
Perk You, Motherfucker
Klout also has something called “Perks.” Klout proudly describes these as “exclusive products or experiences that you earn based on your influence.” Oh, goodie! I could hardly wait. Talk about feeling tingly all over excitement.
When I used that section, however, “my perks” always had “nothing to display.” If I looked for anything else, I was always told, “Sorry, this perk is full.” Sounds a lot like a perking lot for a busy event. (Hardy har.) Sometimes I was also told, “Sorry, you’re not eligible.”
You really know how to hurt a guy, Klout.
Not on the Guest List
In the old days, if you weren’t one of the “in” crowd, you had to wait in line (known as The Losers) and hope to someday get past the bouncer and get into the club. Or so I’ve heard. In my entire life I’ve never tried to get into a club. I don’t dance.
Klout, though, happily brings a new twist to this phenomenon.
Now, I’ll be honest with you. I’ve never been invited to speaking engagements*, a meet or a clutch or a conference or even a microblogging circle jerk. Not that I’d ever accept, but I’ve heard these things do exist if you are cool enough.
Now, thanks to Klout, we have a factual criteria that can be used to determine who gains entry to the promised land of the influential influencing each other. Oh God, I bet that would be fun to watch!
ATTENDEES MUST HAVE A [KLOUT] SCORE OF 40 OR HIGHER
And, for the record, I am also available for motivational presentations. My speaker’s fee is insanely low, too. All I require is a can of cat food which, for added bonus, I literally consume during the performance. (I even provide my own can opener.)
Is Klout going to be useful to my existence? I don’t know. As far as I can tell it is useless as a pile of poop which, unfortunately, I’m not worthy enough to have influence about.
Still, Klout has some “social” element to it and also a “score.” Therefore I have decided it is integral to my existence and I must have it. I dream about my Klout score day and night. I must get that number higher. When people look at me, I want to hear them say, “Wow. He has influence.” Ooops, I mean, “You are one pathetic loser.”
Once I left the big city rat race for a simpler way of life. Now all I can think about is the technological digital rat race sponsored by Klout.
I sure hope I earned some +K points for my “Klout” topic for this post. That would truly turn my life around, at least until I get the info on that bridge from Siri.