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While algorithms have served us well in terms of how computers measure our behaviours, companies are beginning to realise the importance of human opinion. Nowhere is this more evident than in social media. What a computer thinks is no longer enough for us; we want to know what people we know from our networks think as well.
Facebook’s Like button has undoubtedly increased user engagement, while Google’s recent addition of +1 is an attempt to make search more social. Now Klout, a social networking analysis site, has announced it plans to adopt a similar practice.
Klout rates your “reach” via a series of algorithms based on data from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Connected to your clicks, comments and retweets, Klout gives you a score based on your level of engagement, on who influences you, as well as those influenced by you. The site also keeps track of the topics you discuss most.
Klout is now taking this further by introducing a new feature, “+K”. Announced on its blog, +K will allow those in your social networks to affect your score on specific topics of influence by allowing them to judge for themselves. Klout believes “influence is the ability to drive action”.
The blog explains that if a user influences you on a topic, all you need do is give them a +K. This, in turn, will be factored into the measurement of that user’s Klout score.
It has adjusted its topic model, making it possible for more topics to be listed. The influence a user has on up to 10 topics will be displayed. But, if you’re embarrassed to be rated as an expert on a specific topic, you now have the option to hide it.
Megan Berry, Klout’s marketing manger, said Klout will put safeguards in place to prevent a member from using multiple accounts to falsely bump up their influence on a given topic.
Users will also be able to submit topics themselves, a feature some users have criticised in the Klout forums as defeating the purpose of +K. But Berry assured users there would be a higher bar for self-submission of topics: “You would need more people to give you +K before we would add a new topic.”