Sometimes we get on a track and become so one-pointed that we haven't figured out that we aren't going in the right direction anymore. Or, maybe we simply push so hard we don’t have time to take side trips, learn new things or just appreciate where we are.
To alleviate this problem, I got off my blog posting 'track' and took a needed summer break. While I rested and digested all I’ve done for the past 6 months, I learned some things that writers and bloggers might want know. Today I will share a few things about KLOUT.
I had been slowly building my Klout score through blogging, posting, Facebook and Twitter until my novel writing had dwindled to a trickle and was barely flowing at all. So, I slowed down on the social media interactions, limited my posts to once a week while I rested and evaluated my status. Sometimes we need to stop or step back to get a better perspective on our life than if we are right in the midst of it.
Was I doing the things I needed to do to get me closer to my goal?
My Klout score, which had been on its way up, dropped like a lead weight inside of a week. I was feeling really bad about myself, thinking, “I can’t do this if I have to feel like I’m running on a tread mill that needs to go faster and faster with no relief in sight.”
But then I began to suspect that Klout was the problem. The scores were artificial in some way. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I knew there was something not quite right.
Then I read this article and learned the tricks that Klout uses for their own purposes and not especially beneficial or of a real value to your real clout.
“. . . the quantity of your social interactions is a very different matter than the quality of those interactions. As you increase your social velocity you will naturally attract followers and it may take some of them a while to prune you out if you are not contributing worthwhile content to their social feeds. Social media is, I dare say, a bit of a Ponzi scheme in that way.”
In his book Grouped, author Paul Adams says, “The loudest, most visible people are not correlated with influence.”
If you’ve been discouraged about your Klout score or it your blogging status is static, take courage and remember:
- Popularity is not influence and influence is not popularity.
- One person does matter and one person can be significant.
- Concentrate on the quality of your blog and your people will find you.
Do you know what a Klout score is?
What do you think about Klout?
I just looked up my Klout score by clicking on my Twitter profile. It's 20. I expect that's not very good, but can't say that I care. I like doing my weekly blog. I have a few followers. And, mostly, I like writing. When I don't get to work on my novel for at least an hour a day, I feel like my life is lacking.
Cora - I like your quote about the Ponzi scheme!
I take numbers with a grain of salt, curiosity more than anything. Same with number rankings on Amazon. The only number I'm interested in is the ones on the royalty checks. Zowza!
Thanks Suzanne, you're quiet, steady resolve is an inspiration.
You are so right!
Thank you for this Cora! My YA novel revision was suffering too, so I've cut way back on social media to keep making progress. I was ignoring Klout so I wouldn't get depressed about how "un-kloutish" I am. Now I feel better. Common sense told me not to let Klout scores influence me, but it's nice to have agreement and validated support for that. :-)
If the scores dropped suddenly, check and see if something like Facebook became unlinked.
I'll admit that I'm baffled by Klout. I get that they don't want to explain how it works -- there's too many people who will try to came the system. But it keeps telling me it thinks I'm influential about subjects that I have nothing to do with!
You were smart, now I'm joining you in being un-kloutish.
Thanks for the post, Cora. It is certainly clear that you can spend your entire free time on social media and not produce any actual writing, which is what you want, and perhaps why you are involved in the social media in the first place. Set your priorities. Keep your "real" goal in sight.
A business colleague of mine who writes social media computer programs *uh, smart guy, you know* said to pay no attention to your Klout score if it goes down. He said he knew the initial designers way back when and they didn't have a clue what real social influence is about. He asked me if I knew what an "influencer" was, and I gave him an answer. He said, "No, an 'influencer' is someone who follows you and GETS YOUR STUFF OUT THERE ON THE NET, not someone whom you feel 'influenced' by." That put it all in a different perspective for me.
With a Klout score of 73 and a Twitter following of 41,793 tweeps, he must know what he's talking about!
Klout reminded me too much of high school insecurities and popularity concerts. That, and I'm skeptical about their ability to measure influence. Klout just seemed yet another number (like Twitter followers and blog subscribers) for people to get fretful and anxious about.
Like you, I've realized that writing stories is way more important to me than the numbers game. I'm going to focus on what I love and do best--the things that feed me and bring me joy and contentment.
Why no avatar, I wondered, so here I am trying another way...
The only number I'm interested in is the ones on the royalty checks. Zowza!
Too right, Sunny!
I felt like I was back in junior high, my school separated us by our grade points and how we interacted with other students and teachers...we all knew the 'score' and I didn't make the 'A' class, due to a few things...shyness, inablity to speak to teachers or fellow students and the dreaded math class.
Klout makes a person feel inadequate, especially if you don't spend all the time online. Like in school, I'd rather spend my time writing or reading. I will do what I need to do to promote and sell my books, but I decided a week after I checked out Klout that I wouldn't let it phase me.
The alt view from Wired is here, Cora. http://www.wired.com/business/2012/04/ff_klout/
I agree that there are problems with the algorithmn. Frankly I would rather curate a stream of followers that I like to read and hear about. It's not a numbers game to me; I look for quality of writing, wit, and whether I feel a connection in terms of interest, subject matter, or community.
I too have been completely baffled anbd mystified by Klout. It defies prediction. My score seems to leap up a few points every so often (for no reason I can discern) and then dribble down gradually. It was higher earlier in the year when I was posting more regularly -- much higher than I thought it should be. I got a bit addicted to tracking it and was checking it every day.... more recently I've been ignoring it. I will read those links you've posted with interest!
It is influenced by how much your reply to people, how often you tweet, and how much people RT you. I always see my score drop after a convention because I'm not tweeting at all. If I have a week where people aren't online (i.e., Christmas), the score will also tend to drop.
Good advice from your friend on what an influencer is. Thanks for that.
I know, it took me months to work out of my "expert" status of juggling.
Priorities are not that simple when you need to do both--marketing and writing. It's learning the smart way to market that doesn't interfere with the writing that's the key. At least that's what I've learned this week. Thanks for commenting.
You are right, too similar to HS insecurities. Ugh.
Don't know why your avatar is not showing. I just messed up my sight trying to figure it out. I'll keep working on it.
I'm with you--not going to let Klout phase me.
Thanks for the alt view. I'm with you on the concept of cultivating followers that are in tune with what we are writing and have similar interests. I guess that would mean targeting our audience rather than some algorithmn. Thanks, Cynthia
I think the key is to not be obsessive about it--let it do its thing while I do what I know I need to do. Checking it only when I know I've been doing a lot of "social" work--or not at all. Ha.
Good questions Cora. The advice from Rachelle Gardner
http://www.rachellegardner.com/2012/06/should-unpublished-novelists-be-platform-building/ suggest that unpublished writers spend 90% of their time writing, revising and 10% on social media.
Her suggestions made sense to me, resulting in less blog posting which allowed me to finish revisions and send off a MS.
I'm glad you allowed yourself to take some time off. Be well.
Cora - while you are writing and learning all things social-media-ish, remember that what you're doing is the same as if you were opening a new business. It takes a few years to even breathe and after you start climbing you will still have "up" days (lots of readers) and "down" days (not so many). Think of your 'influencers' as your regulars and they will bring new customers (readers) to your business so keep giving them what they want. Focus on your goals, turn your new readers into influencers by establishing a relationship with them and your numbers will show themselves in due time. To focus on numbers/scores at the onset is like being on a roller-coaster and can get quite depressing at times. My mantra: "Businesses are built one customer at a time":)
Ha, it's like the old adage "Correlation does not imply causation." I'm not surprised that it would be inflated. I'd been wondering what Klout was, but never satisfied my curiosity. I figured it had to be something related to social media and therefore I should ignore it :) Interesting post!
Great comments by Porter Anderson (especially the comments section)on Jane Friedman blog today (http://janefriedman.com/2012/07/31/extra-ether-shadowy-platforms/)about this issue of platform building vs writing time.
Thanks for the Rachelle Gardner post info. This seems to be the hot topic right now.
Great advice--I said that very thing to someone today: your readers are built "one customer at a time." Thanks for commenting.
That old adage is one to keep in mind in this fast paced and sometimes confusing internet world we are trying to figure out.
At long last, a look behind the curtain ... and who do we find? That's right, it's not the Mighty OZ, just a bumbler at the controls!
For several weeks I made an effort to care about Klout and my heart went pit-a-pat whenever the numbers crept up a mark or two. It didn't take long to become thoroughly disgusted, however, when I saw just how transient those hard-earned figures actually were. Baloney & cheese, I say!!!
Or as so perfectly stated above:
"Social media is, I dare say, a bit of a Ponzi scheme in that way.”
Yeah, have to say I was pitter-pattering as well, but the fickle facts of Klout finished me.
You're absolutely right. You do a lot of RTing, get RTed you get a high Klout score. So what? It doesn't even equate to blog visits, let alone book sales. I don't care what my klout score is.
So say all of we!
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