Measuring social media effectiveness: got Klout?

Interesting article about the use of twitter by US-based educators as a way to shape debates about education reform.  New companies like Klout are springing up using algorithms to measure the effectiveness of your twitter and facebook accounts. According to Klout is not enough to merely gain a huge amount of followers and friends, the company also looks for the number mentions and retweets that a user generates.

A score of 100 held by the likes of Justin Bieber indicates that a single tweet can be spread far and wide throughout the twitterverse while at the other end of the spectrum, a score of 1 is considered an individual who lacks effectiveness in social media.

The crazy thing about Klout is that you can look up anyone’s score by simply typing in their username. Have we entered the brave new world where not only is what you say online is up for judgement but how effective you are at using social media?

For fun I looked up my own account to find out that I had a score of 54 and apparently have a ‘specialist’ klout style.

The qualitative feature of scoring seems about right. I use traintheteacher primarily as an account for my learning to be a teacher activities while I have another twitter account for personal use.

However 54 which seems way too high for a twitter account of student teacher that’s been in existence for all of 6 months. Sure enough one of the topics that klout decided I was influential about masters golf tournament. Now anyone who has followed this blog or my twitter feed will never have seen a post about the master golf tournament because my interest and ability in golf extends to the minigolf and that’s about it.

There’s also a useful space for finding out who influences you are and who you influence which perhaps is interesting. Again, I’ve had weird entries come up of people I’ve interacted with once or twice on twitter.

So I’m not sure that Klout is perfect just yet, but I imagine companies who are looking to social media to promote their brand/cause then having their cause retweeted by a person of influence is something that they would likely be very interested in.  Before we all get too excited about tools like Klout it is worth mentioning the obvious elephant in the room, klout can’t measure offline influence.

Do you think that social media scores have any use within education?

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