Have you ever heard of “attention whores”? If not, then here’s my definition: these are people, belonging to any gender, who post nonsense on their social networking account/s in the hopes of getting people to like/share/comment on their post.
Example: updating status saying the world sucks only to say they don’t want to talk about it when someone asks. Or how about someone uploading a nice photo of themselves then putting a caption such as “OMG! I look so ugly! I hate this photo!”, garnering numerous comments assuring them that they are not ugly.
Now that we’ve clarified that, I’ll get to the point of this article. There’s a rising number of services that rank people based on their social networking influence, creating a new system that could impact you far beyond virtual popularity. Klout, Kred, PeerIndex all have one purpose – get data from all your social networking accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ then give you a score telling you how influential you are, and as social networks gain prominence, they better reflect our individual values, spending behavior and likelihood of purchasing/liking particular products.
The data collected includes how many friends or followers a user has, how people react to their tweets or post, how often they interact with their connections, etc. The point is, the more active you are on a social network, the higher your score will be. And this scoring mechanism could one day be used as a supplemental data layer alongside your credit score, among other things. Did you ever think a tweet could keep you from getting a car loan?
Virtual scores, real world mores
A previous report here on SiliconANGLE discussed Salesforce looking to hire someone with a Klout score of 35 or above. This is kind of disturbing to some, if you think about the probability that in the future, employers would be considering, or requiring, a person’s social score for a position in a company.
Klout isn’t really transparent in the algorithm they use in obtaining a person’s Klout Score, so if they are just basing it on how active people are in social sites and it’s all about the number of people who share/like/comment on a post, then attention whores would surely get some of the highest scores. And would companies really want to hire someone who posts “Who needs condoms when you got SWAG?” and get a thousand likes/shares/comments on that post?
I’m not really against social scoring–I think it has a potential to help companies hire great employees, but I think the content of posts/tweets should also be considered in scoring.
Let’s do a little bit of comparison with social media analytics tools.
As I’ve said earlier, Klout is not really transparent when it comes to how they conjure up the Klout Scores but according to them, they base it on “true reach” which, as the size of engaged audience “amplification” relates to the likelihood that one’s messages will generate actions such as a retweets, comments, likes or shares, and “network impact” is computed influence value of a person’s engaged audience. Based on their criteria, content of posts or tweets don’t really matter.
Kred was created by PeopleBrowsr, which is a social media analytics company. Kred, like Klout, measures a person’s influence but unlike them, they observe user’s content, who it reaches, who acts upon it, and whether the user relays the content of others.
Kred gives out dual scores that determine one’s Influence (the likelihood that someone will trust a person and act upon their posts) and Outreach (the propensity to share other people’s content forward). They also measure how users interact with their contacts in terms of acting upon their friend’s post like sharing them.
Kred users may also give out +Kred to other users if they think they deserve extra recognition. People can also submit PDFs of their real-life accomplishments to add more points to their Kred Score. So they measure a user’s online and real-life social influence which I think would be a better metric for potential employers.
This social media analytics company tracks a person’s footprint on major social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Quora and RSS feeds, and they measure a person’s Activity, Audience and Authority to measure influence. Authority measures how relevant your social activity is to the community and when someone acts upon your activity, Audience measures your reach, and Activity measures how active you are compared to other users.
Just for the fun of it, I checked my scores on all three. I have a Klout Score of 13, 513 Influence and Level 2 Outreach on Kred, and a score of 31 on PeerIndex. My Klout Score is really low, which for them means I’m not active and not really influential since the average Klout Score is 38.
My Kred Score isn’t that bad since my Influence is 513 out of a 1000, so I guess people trust me? But it again shows that I’m lazy as I don’t really share people’s posts unless I completely agree with them.
As for my PeerIndex Score of 31, they think I’m a Twitterbot. A score of 50 and above means PeerIndex thinks you’re a real human, a score below 50 means there’s a huge chance you’re a spambot or Twitterbot. But I just signed up, according to them, it would take seven days to fully analyze my score so 31 isn’t my official PeerIndex Score.
So what have I learned from getting my score? My laziness in using social media to actually interact with people was validated and I’m a Twitterbot. In the future, if companies do decide to require applicants to provide their social score, do you think you’d be hired?