Sunday, June 19, 2011

Klout & PeerIndex Followup/Empire Avenue

A social network diagram
Th last time I discussed PeerIndex & Klout I picked PeerIndex as the winner in the race between these two social network influence measurement services. It's only been a week or so since that posting but I've had a bit more time to think about this topic and now have more experience with Klout so I wanted to make a few more comments/observations.

First, I'm increasingly doubtful as to the validity of the scores these services publish. I don't have any issue with the concept that you can come up with a score for a single service as there seems to be reasonably good science/math behind that. Where I become doubtful is when those scores get combined. If I bowl, play baseball and play poker is it reasonable to expect that anyone could combine my results in those three different activities into some sort of score that would be comparable to other people who also participated in those three activities? What if there was somebody who didn't care about bowling or poker but was a great baseball player. How would they compare to me if I were mediocre in all three? There are a lot of reasons to want to think that somebodies on line social networking influence could be measured by a single number but at this point I don't believe that is true. That doesn't mean these sites aren't going to be successful even if I'm right. Valid data isn't a requirement for success. Ironically enough, if they are viewed as influential they will be.

Klout was apparently in the process of including LinkedIn to their score when I signed up a couple of weeks ago. LinkedIn was listed but not part of my score as a few days back I got a three point boost after getting an email from Klout informing me that LinkedIn scoring was imminent. Ignoring for the  moment my distrust of these numbers I liked the way Klout went back and recalculated my past several days information so that I didn't suddenly have a big change on the day LinkedIn was added. That made for a  much less jarring experience. I really like the fact that Klout has a strong trending/history component built in.

PeerIndex on the other hand has no history/trending so far as I've been able to tell. I'll just login one day and find my score has jumped or dropped twenty points. These changes are no doubt a result of tweaks to their algorithm but they are very disconcerting. This lack of history isn't surprising since PeerIndex seldom seems to update their data. I'm getting increasingly disillusioned with this. It seems doubtful that Klout is faking this and if they can be as timely as they appear to be than PeerIndex needs to be as well. I'm starting to think I should have given Klout first place when I ranked these two.

There is a third player in this space called EmpireAvenue that I plan on checking out. I'll hopefully have enough information on them in a week or two to comment. Speaking of Empire Avenue, please ignore the following bit of gibberish. It's part of the registration process for their site.


Image via Wikipedia
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