People have always had the power to influence others, and that power is being democratized with new social media tools.
Klout’s analysis is done on data taken from sites such as Twitter and Facebook and measures the size of a person’s network, the content created, and how other people interact with that content.
Many questions have been posed about Klout’s usefulness, its consequences and the ethical implications of its use.
Isn’t influence something we see through our own eyes? Can an online algorithm measure our impact and popularity? What is Klout’s societal effect? How can it be that President Obama has a lower influence score than a number of bloggers?
Critics have pointed out that Klout scores are not representative of the influence a person really has. Others say that Klout scores devalue authentic online communication and promotes social ranking and stratification by trying to quantify human interaction.
Charles Stross has described the service as “the internet equivalent of herpes”, saying that his analysis of Klout’s terms and conditions reveals that the company’s business model is “flat-out illegal” in the United Kingdom, where it conflicts with the Data Protection Act 1998. Stross goes as far as to advise his readers to delete their Klout accounts and opt out of Klout’s services.
Despite the criticisms, Klout holds up to 100 Million members. While the “Klout Perks” have attracted big name brands in the US such as Audi USA, Red Bull, Axe, Chiquita, and more. Time Magazine named Klout one of 2011’s top 50 websites, and in early 2012 the company raised $30 million, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers – one of the world’s leading technology venture capital firms.
The debate will continue but in the meantime, we put together the top 10 Klouters that reach Jewish audiences.
1. Jewish Treats – Juicy Bits of Judaism, Daily
2. Chabad Org – “wherever there is Coca-Cola, there is Chabad”
3. David Abitol – Founder of Jewlicious Tweet Feed
4. Pardes Institute – A Jewish learning Institute in Jerusalem for men and women of all backrounds
5. Rabbi Josh Yuter – Rabbi Josh Yuter of YUTOPIA, JewishGuitarChords.com, and now the Stanton St. Shul.
6. Chaviva Galatz – The Kvetching Editor
7. Phyllis Sommer – The Real Life Jewish Parenting and Living Blogger
8. Dov Bear – The Shabbos Table Blogger
9. Eliyahu Fink – Rabbi at Pacific Jewish Center in Venica, CA (the shul on the beach)
10. Dani Klein – Kosher and Jewish Travel Guide
Keep an eye on your Klout score, you might be the next big “influencer”.