Posted May 28, 2011 12:05 am by with 1 comment

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I hate wearing collared shirts. They feel so unnatural, like my neck grew wings or something. I also hate shaving. I mean. seriously, when was the last time you thought “dragging a razor blade across my face sounds like fun!” I also don’t wear socks. I just don’t like the way they make my toes feel. I guess it’s a good thing I own my own business, given that most of the time I look like a homeless person. (If you are a homeless person, I am sorry, it was just a joke. And where did you get a computer? That’s awesome!)

I also hate metrics. That’s right, I hate counting. Well actually, I hate counting things that don’t matter, and most metrics are a complete waste of time. Take for example PageRank. Most are still in the dark about this famous Google metric despite the fact that Google has admitted publicly that the version of PageRank that the public sees, is a complete waste of time.

Another waste of time (in my honest opinion) is Klout. The folks at Klout probably have a very sophisticated algorithm that pulls in some of the best data on the web. But, none of that matters if no one is using it. If Twitter started sharing their ad revenue with users that had a high Klout score, I would start doing everything I could to optimize it. But that’s not happening, and probably never will.

SEOmoz‘s rockstar community manager Jen Lopez, also has her doubts about Klout. Recently, Andy and Jen had a little conversation about Klout, and I liked what Andy had to say…

Andy is right, in fact I do get “dressed up” every now and then. If you have ever met me in person you probably saw my “neck wings”, and a freshly shaven face. That’s because I understand that even though I am comfortable “bumming it”, others aren’t. That’s because each of us is a little bit shallow, and some of us are very shallow, and the truth is, I want to do business with everyone.

In marketing sometimes we have to do a lot of silly things. Sometimes it feels like we are putting on a show for others. While it may seem shallow and trivial, its important to remember that as marketers it’s our job to win over the shallow and trivial among us, so that we can show our true value in the end. By doing so we are not only doing good work for our businesses, but also for everyone that we engage, by pulling them past what doesn’t matter, and giving them opportunities to grow, with what does.

  • I would say Klout is important because it is important to clients. Place yourself in a company’s place and are looking for someone to trust on social media. There are so many claiming they have the answer for social media that it makes it hard for businesses to know who to believe.

    As marketers we may argue on the validity of Klout’s score just as we are still arguing on the validity of ROI for marketing. Outsiders want some kind of number to help them. Numbers are what business people live with, so they look to numbers. Numbers such as a Klout score, Google search rankings, ROIs, etc…

    I know some marketers are still stubbornly sticking to their guns that ROI is meaningless, but ROI is not going away. I think Klout is the same. Accept the numbers or take a chance of falling behind other marketers.

    Remember the marketers who scoffed at the marketers who were following My Space and then Facebook. The scoffers were saying social media is for kids to share pictures and has no marketing significance. I wonder what those scoffers are doing today? IMHO

    Joe another great article to stir the conversation. I may not always agree with you, but you always write articles worth talking about. Great job!