I calculated my Klout Score and all I got was a chip on my shoulder

Klout Broke my Heart

It all started with a harmless list of 10 most influential tweeters in Toronto; and soon after, “klout” became a trending topic on twitter. EVERYONE was rushing to their website to calculate Klout scores like they were giving out free airline tickets or something. Alright, so they were giving out free Virgin America airline tickets to San Francisco or Los Angeles in what appears to be the biggest Twitter marketing campaign that ever existed (atleast in Toronto).

Suddenly, twitter became all about influence, true reach, and message amplification. Basically, I was told in one shot to the chest that I didn’t have enough influence to deserve a ticket. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone in this peril of my social career.

I did my research – read the Klout blogs and talked to my twitter friends who all happened to be influencers and yet I still felt stiffed – I wanted to yell at Klout – do you know who I am?

I realize now that it wasn’t that I wanted a free ticket; it was more like watching your twitter life flash before your eyes and notice that it’s not as glamourous as originally thought, atleast when you look at the numbers.

Klout Won the Hearts of Many

Now that we are at the end of August, most people have gone on their little trips out west. How did it all work out? I asked top influencers: @Unbrelievable, @Cellguru and @Clickflickca what they thought and mainly what I missed out on.

All of them were positive about their experiences. They tweeted the heck out of their trips, met tons of people and would more or less use Virgin America again. Unbrelievable even made it on to Mashable while all three visited various start-ups including Twitter while on their trips.

One thing that they all had to say was the fact that there were hiccups in the program. Unbrelievable raised a number of questions that were rumbling on twitter which were answered in person by Klout during her trip. Cellguru mentioned that perhaps the program was a little too saturated and should have been given to a select few as it would have sent a stronger message and recieved less backlash. Clickflickca felt that Klout has learned from their experiences and will only improve moving forward.

Klout Confused, yet Inspired Many More

Then, I talked to a few people who did not receive tickets such as @karmacakedotca, @crystalgibson and @seanward. There was general confusion amongst the non klout-worthy folks. Karmacakedotca says she tried to contact klout about their decision process but was just directed to their blog. Crystalgibson the most unbothered but confused as to why Michael Ignatieff is influenced by her. She felt that the klout analysis may not be as accurate as it appears. Seanward sings “I dont’ represent anyone’s brand well, and now I’ve gotta pay for my flight like everyone else.” in the following video entitled “Talkin’ Social Media Blues” (he depicts the social media landscape with a 1960’s spin). Sean has more of an artistic, yet humourous look at klout, twitter and its role in social media.

What Klout Can’t Measure

One thing that I feel that klout in all its fairly rigid calculations can not measure (nor can anyone really measure) is real live connections and the progress of those relationships. Furthermore, I feel that a person can still be an influencer without having links clicked or retweeted. Lastly, online will always be passive – its when you get out and meet people in person and share conversations, thoughts, ideas and interests that real influence is at play. This of course, is beyond measurement due to its subjective qualities.

What did you think of the Klout & Virgin America marketing campaign? If you were offered a ticket, what did you get out of the trip? Do you think it was a successful campaign?