All hail your new digital overlord: Joe Fernandez of Klout [LeWeb]

You would expect the person that wants to rank everyone on the internet by their popularity to be a total douche bag. For all the crap that Klout and it’s CEO, Joe Fernandez, get, he’s actually a surprisingly mellow guy.

Klout wants to rank everyone by how influential they are. If you are a normal person then Klout seems like the stupidest thing in the world. On the other hand, if you’re at involved in marketing (which, let’s face it, we all are), then you know that the industry is desperate for some sort of way to easily tell how important someone is to your brand. And as Fernandez’ interviewer at Le Web London Alexia Tsotsis pointed out, social capital is going to be really important for crowdsourcing services, like, to really work.

Klout has gotten a lot of bad press and bad rep in the last year. The most famous incident saw users take to Twitter to express their unhappiness with the service and dissatisfaction on 26 October last year. Klout had made adjustments to its algorithm which inadvertently caused a lot of users Klout scores to drop. “October 26th still brings chills to our offices when anyone mention it. We try not to talk about it,” says Fernandez.

Fernandez is surprisingly realistic about Klout and what it is and what it isn’t. It’s not the measure of your worth. Fernandez believes it’s a representation of your influence online. It’s obvious that he still believes the service has a long way to go but you get the sense that he has much bigger ambitions ahead. It may not ever release a Klout Phone but you can be certain that Klout (or something very much like it) will exist. Marketers and the billions of dollars they wield will demand it.

Fernandez says that when he had the idea for Klout (which he had while his jaw was wired shut) everyone told him the idea was stupid. People still tel him the idea is stupid. Very loudly in fact (he’s received death threats). And for all his soft-spoken manners, Fernandez says all the nay-saying just motivates him to try harder.



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