The Klout-Spam Phoenomenon
How much talent, thought and effort is required to copy and paste someone elses unique thoughts and articles to social media networks?
Wait for it… NONE, zilch, zero.
It actually takes negative thought, because instead of creating unique thoughts of your own… copy and pasting other people’s ideas to social media networks like linkedin, twitter, stumbleupon, facebook etc seemed like a more legit option. (spamming other peoples unique content)
I’d like to make it clear that this article is not a knock on Klout… It’s a smart idea in theory, but a knock on unoriginal spam-artists that clog up my news feeds with other peoples content all day.
Why do people do this so often? There are a few reasons I’ve found. People want to be known as an industry expert. Copy/pasting someone else’s content over and over doesn’t accomplish this. It’s super easy and lame. It makes you look like the industry idiot. Mostly in my industry, it is new people to the digital/internet space that feel the need to spam up content all day. Any moron can spam social media feeds with new awesome articles they just NEED to post. Writing unique thoughts and content is difficult. I trust people who can write about their respective industry in an intelligent way. More and more, the savvy consumer is relying on articles and knowledge when researching to make a purchase decision… especially one that requires a large or long term investment.
Let’s say you needed a new roof… would you choose company 1 who wrote the book on roofing, or company 2 that sent a link to company 1’s unique work to all their LinkedIn followers. I think I’d choose company 1… I don’t know about you though.
So why do so many people do this? Klout is a major reason. Klout is a company that tries to rank people based on their social authority. Through watching these trends throughout this year, I’ve come to 3 realizations about Klout.
1) This score is meaningless
2) Your Klout score is inversely proportional to how busy you are in life.
3) Klout doesn’t take into account unique content, email marketing, articles, blog posts etc.
From what I gathered, they basically just reward people for generating a lot of social user interaction, regardless of who made that content… hence, the Klout-Spam Pheonomenon. A lot of people, especially newbies who want to impress their friends or co-workers post a plethora of other peoples content for this reason. It makes your Klout score go up. I think that is stupid, and requires no unique thought process or originality. Unique content should be what counts, and spamming should not be rewarded. For this reason, I think the score is meaningless.
Also, I’ve monitored my own score as I’ve gone through different life changes. 1 thing remained constant… The busier I got, the lower my Klout score was. Currently, I don’t have a normal 9 to 5 gig, and my Klout score is 44 with just going through my daily routine… When I was at my busiest, it dropped to a 27 at the lowest point. This is a simple fact of time, if you are really busy with whatever it is that you do, you probably aren’t spamming other peoples posts all day. I wouldn’t say this is Klout’s fault… in theory it is good. Unoriginal people abuse it though and you shouldn’t use that to determine anything important.
Unique content is difficult to generate consistently… you need to be an expert in your field in order to constantly come up with new ideas that don’t bore people to death. Keeping things fresh and interesting is a challenge. That should be rewarded by Klout. Also, other social tools with content like email marketing (newsletters) and interaction on other blog sites are ignored.
It is an imperfect ranking system to say the least. Be weary about using this to rank anything important or evaluate anyone. Someone could have a huge score but sit around all day and do nothing, but most people who are busy in life may have lower ones. Basically, take it with a grain of salt if you are looking up someones Klout score. And if someone harps on their own all day, they are probably one of the Klout spammers.