Posts Tagged: klout

Jan 12

Considering Authority vs.Influence in Online Outreach

To start the post off, the basis for my thinking comes from a presentation and resulting conversation by Jesse Hirsh from Metaviews regarding “The Future of Authority” given at the Academy of the Impossible. This presentation consisted of brief look at how we as a society currently view authority and how this affected the events of the past year. As part of this discussion a comparison of the current thinking of online influence against the idea of authority caught my attention because it was directly relevant to what is currently being done in terms of marketing products online through social channels as well as to the whole idea of individual influence and its measurement (example: Klout).

What I took away from the presentation is that the concept of being influential vs. being authoritative is the difference between generating awareness of a specific topic vs. generating action on it. When you are ‘influential’ the information you share has a larger reach than the average person. This is in comparison to being considered an authority where a person’s audience is likely to place trust into and act upon the information they distribute. To put it even more simply you can say that one person is really good at sharing a message but the other is trusted enough to have their message actually listened to.

After considering the difference between influencer vs. authority the question then becomes why do marketers place so much emphasis on influence? When the supposed promise of social media is to reach the most targeted audience as possible why is the focus still on the more traditional ‘pay and spray’ approach? My inference is that the focus is still very much on being able to see how many eyeballs an effort can generate (something tangible) vs. reaching someone with authority and the change in opinion/potential for future sales generated by those that trust them (something not as easily measured). To not be active in reaching those with authority though is something I find puzzling as isn’t the end goal of marketing to generate sales rather than have users simply know about your product?

To conclude I’m not saying that marketers should do away with influencer outreach as awareness generation is still important. When considering where marketing dollars are going though it is also important to consider if you can use your limited resources to positively change people’s minds about your product than simply having people exposed to it. To keep this post from going overboard I’m completely disregarding the implementation aspect of taking such actions for now (I’m thinking about it!). Watch for a post on that topic to come up very soon!  I’m interested in what others have to think about this  topic though. If you have an opinion feel free to share it in the comments or by sending a tweet to @kevrichard.

Jul 11

Can We Use Measurement For Self Improvement?

Recently I read The Measured Life which took a look at group of people who call themselves “The Quantified Self” who track and measure many of the different actions in their daily lives. Reading this article  fit well with some initial thoughts I had about  what could potentially be done in self-measurement and reminded me of my recent (failed) attempt at a  personal measurement dashboard. Measuring what we do and our personal growth isn’t something that has been fully explored yet but is something that potentially could play a stronger role in our lives in the years to come.

Data Everywhere!

In our lives we create a lot of collectable data. Thinking about our external data sources there are data trails such as your banking records, what you purchase, how much you travel as well as usage data from a variety of electronics and apps you use daily. Additionally for yourself personally there are  things such as how you sleep, your mood , general health and physical activity levels that can all be measured in one way or another. Could bringing all this data together potentially give us a much deeper view into how we live our lives and give us a way to better optimize it?

Why Could This Data Be Useful?

The big advantage of any financial tracking application (example: Mint) is that you see where your money goes which  makes you much better equipped to spend your money more wisely. Additionally  knowing your purchase or usage habits lets you know what you should buy or replace on a more effective basis.


Could we all eventually have our own personal dashboard? Picture c/o Bill Rice

Use cases for measuring our lives could be things such as receiving an auto reminder when your car  or other devices should be serviced or seeing how often you purchase a particular item so you know the next time you should pick it up. In terms of tracking your life data it could potentially  be used in improving your health, gauging your personal satisfaction as well as let you weigh out potential decisions and opportunities.

But What About Fate?

Taking an opposing stance it could also be argued that knowing everything about ourselves could remove the serendipitous or by chance occurrences in life and limit us to our own predetermined paths. Could we be taking out some of the exciting aspects of life by putting a number towards our achievements and actions? I think this type of issue would come down to whether a person lets their life measures rule them or if they simply use  them as a resource to make generally better decisions.

What’s Coming Next?

If I had a crystal ball I would say that opportunities for personal measurement are going to pop up more frequently in the coming years. With the popularity of tools such as Klout  ,web applications like motivational app  Epic Win  as well as real life activity tracking tools like Nike + I think there is a strong desire for people to be able to quantify their actions so they can make a better judgments of their accomplishments as well as compare themselves against others.  With some creativity and good use of technology I think we could have some interesting applications to use in the years ahead.


What are your thoughts? Should we be measuring ourselves? How do you measure yourself already?