I didn’t really want to add to the conversation about KloutShonali Burke did a nice analysis, Mark Schaefer created quite the conversation, Trey Pennington discussed why it’s necessary, and even the Wall Street Journal is on board.

I didn’t feel like I had anything new to add.

But then. I received an email from Klout asking if I am interested in learning more about some new movie or something (I didn’t really pay attention) Kobe Bryant is doing. The only reason I care what Kobe Bryant is doing is because my ten-year-old brother LOVES him. Other than that, I’m pretty sure I have no influence that can help Kobe and his PR team reach any of their goals.

(With both Google and a quick search of my deleted emails, it seems I have been offered a poster and a copy of Call of Duty, which I’m pretty sure is a game for the XBOX…and I really don’t care.)

It turns out, according to Klout, I am more influential than Jay Leno. Who, according to their algorithms, is a feeder while I am a thought leader.

Let that sink in for a second.

Me. The kid who grew up in Utah. The communication professional who is “ethical to a fault” (according to some former clients). The one who knows nothing about XBOX or Call of Duty or Kobe Bryant’s involvement in either. The one who can’t even influence what we have for dinner in our house, let alone whether or not people will buy some silly game.

More influence than Jay Leno. You know…the guy who has the late night TV show? The household name?

Turns out, according to Klout, if I say something about Kobe Bryant and Call of Duty, hordes of people will go out and buy the game and the needle will move. And then I’ll be welcomed into restaurants and hotels with champagne and tiaras. Designers will send me dresses, shoes, and jewelry just so people will ask who I’m wearing. I’ll never pay for another thing because companies will be rushing to send me free products and services.

Riiiiiight. In my dreams maybe (I do actually dream about Mr. D becoming President of the United States so I can ride my bike with the Secret Service, but that’s another topic for another day).

I see value in Klout, just like I do in AdAge Power 150, Technorati, and other rankings. But, until they figure out how to target and segment where people are actually influential, they’re wasting time and resources for the companies working with them.

Figure out I likely have some influence for publishers (business and fiction), companies wanting to reach PR and marketing professionals, companies wanting to reach business owners and entrepreneurs, and even cycling, then my Klout score might work.

Until then, I’ll dream of lavish events where the paparazzi are standing at the ready to shoot my shoes, jewelry, and dresses that are on loan from high-end designers.

Or not.

Thanks to Social Fresh for the great image!

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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