Tag Archives: Klout


Does anyone remember nuance?

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You know – the subtle differences that are out there in the non-virtual world.  Maybe it’s why some folks see Azure, Cyan, or Turquoise while others just see Blue.  Nuance is why some people who can read the words really can’t understand the meaning of what they’ve read.  It’s for sure why some managers have issues with their staff and peers – they can’t hear the nuances in tone that are so critical in interpersonal communications.

I worry about nuance from time to time.  Most of the communication we all seem to have these days is via the written word – email, social posts, and texts.  None of those things have nuance.  I think that’s in part where emoticons came from.  They can help add nuance to social posts (and are totally inappropriate for business communications, kids).  I also think that we all have been on these lengthy email chains from time to time because someone is missing the nuance in one of the notes.  Ever wonder why a brief phone call or in person meeting resolves the back and forth issues?  Nuance.

It’s not just written stuff that lacks nuance.  A lot of the evolving social scoring or influence measurement totally misses the nuance of influence.  Two of the most influential people in my life can barely turn on a computer and are invisible on the social web.  They have neither Facebook nor Twitter nor other social accounts.  The people who are influencers in my life that are online don’t have tons of followers or friends.  I checked one of my friend’s Klout score and it’s in the teens but people online and offline come to him for advice and guidance all the time.  Quantity certainly misses nuance and even attempts to measure the quality of his user base fall short.

What matters isn’t how many Twitter followers and Facebook fans you have or your business has.  What matters is how you and your business turn those embryonic links into real relationships – ones that involve nuance in the interpersonal communications.  That leads to buzz but it also leads to more satisfying bonds with your friends, your staff, your clients, and your customers.

You see the nuances?

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Filed under Reality checks

Fake Traffic

You probably have read about fake Twitter followers.  Most people have some (1% of mine are), famous people have lots (Justin Bieber has 14%).  You can check out the fake or inactive counts at Status People.  Obviously I haven’t gone out to acquire fake followers but like every part of the interwebs, Twitter has its share of  spammers and other flavors of cretin and they leach on to legitimate folks all the time.

That’s very different from folks who create fake accounts to add to their follower totals and very far removed from folks who go out and buy followers.  I suppose that the quantity of an audience is important to some people who market themselves based on their Twitter base or Klout score.  It’s been interesting as I pitch new business to have potential clients ask about that and how their minds change a bit after they understand how the system can be gamed.  Caveat Emptor if you’re hiring based on that and not on business acumen – it’s much harder to buy!

One way a system is gamed that I find really disturbing is the sale of web traffic.  No, I don’t mean impressions being sold to advertisers as ad space but the sale of bulk traffic to websites looking to increase their numbers.  There are a number of firms – I’m not going to plug them here – who will generate visits to your website for a fee.  Need 100,000 visits quickly?  $250 will get them for you.  Obviously for sites that sell based on rate bases or on impression guarantees, this is a form of fraud.

How do they do this?  Some companies use bots – automated scripts.  Others pay people to do nothing but click on the list of pages they’re given.  Still others push pop-unders which display the purchasing site when a user hits some other site the vendor controls.  Others use redirects from abandoned domains.  Pretty questionable stuff.

I’m told that some rather prominent sites use these firms near the end of a month when their traffic is kind of light.  I sure hope not.  This is exactly the kind of thing that will set back digital advertising 10 years just as it’s getting a fair amount of traction.  I can’t imagine what these folks are thinking.  Like the lightweight consultants who buy followers and game the reputation system, once this found out, those same systems will be used to spread the word about their duplicity.  Skeevy, right?

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Filed under digital media, Thinking Aloud

The Popularity Contest

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I saw an article last week in Ad Age about Influencers.  In case you missed it, I’ve linked to it.  The gist of the piece is that having a lot of followers (it cites Bieber as an example) isn’t the same as having a lot of influence: being popular isn’t the same as being able to influence behavior.  The piece delves into Twitter quite a bit but it’s a good lesson for the worlds – virtual and real – beyond. Continue reading


Filed under digital media, Helpful Hints