Posts Tagged ‘Jemima Kiss’
I’m reasonably sure, despite various comments from parents, colleagues and partners that I don’t feature on the autistic spectrum of behaviour – well, no more than the next geek anyway. I will confess to taking an interest in how I interact on the social web though, spurred on by a couple of sites I have found mildly diverting. PeerIndex and Klout.
Both sites purport to measure influence and they do so by tracking your use of the social web. PeerIndex asks you to register such things as your Twitter id, Facebook, Quora and Blogs and then divines a result based on retweets, comments etc. It presents its findings in the context of reach (number of people engaged with), Authority (Divined by number of people engaged with in the topics you typically comment on) and Activity (the volume of content generated).
I approached PeerIndex with some trepidation as I figured the sheer range of topics I engage with would militate against me. I blog at length on Music, Politics, Social Media, Photography, IT, Television and Film. Having worked in all of these industries except thank god, politics, I figure I may have something to say – on politics I admit, I’m simply venting!
Initially, my worst fears were quickly realised – with every fresh post, it seemed my authority rating diminished, while that accorded to more focused (ok, monomaniacal) contributors such as Jemima Kiss, Armando Ianucci and Guido Fawkes (one visualisation in the dashboard compares your rating with that of posters you have interacted with) were gaining credibility with every post. Personal Branding it seems, works. After several weeks, I noticed a peculiar thing – my authority rating began to rise as the search and analysis tools took on more of my output. This was encouraging and reflected in the visualisations presented on the dashboard page.
PeerIndex is at worst, engaging. The feeds it takes are limited, so I have not been able to register all of my blogs and I would like to see Flickr added to the list of defaults, but I like this tool and the possibilities it raises are interesting. We have the technology now to graft analyses onto vast quantities of data and I expect to see social media being used far more effectively by the bodies that are most threatened by it – broadcasters, record companies and newspapers. If the tools used by PeerIndex were applied to, for example, tracking the contents of Facebook pages looking for content related to a single artist, program or film, it might yield some interesting information about the makeup of the audience – and critically, where to find them.
Klout takes a different approach – analysing Twitter and Facebook interaction in terms of influence divined by amplification and reach – in other words, the more likes and retweets accumulated, the higher the score. This seems very satisfactory, at least until I noticed the tool registered my most influential topic as Cricket. A game I follow with the fanaticism of a Yorkshireman, but have never to my knowledge offered an opinion online. Perhaps this puts the value of my online opinions into a new and even more unflattering perspective!
I think that Klout is in the business of identifying influencers for the purpose of marketing. It has always been critical in PR to identify influencers – this is how we used to promote nightclubs back in the nineties and it defines the relationship between for example, Katie Price, The Press and her customers – the people that pay to have her open a shop, nightclub etc. If she didn’t generate the press, she would not be considered to be so influential and her value would decrease. What Klout appears to be doing is identifying influencers who are influential because they tap into a large following based on expertise, not notoriety. That could be a powerful asset indeed.