Does Klout Matter?

Klout scores are rising in popularity as an indicator of online influence, which begs the question… “Who cares?”

In case you’ve missed the memo, here’s some info about Klout from its website:


“Our friendships and professional connections have moved online, making influence measurable for the first time in history. When you recommend, share, and create content, you impact others. … Uncover your influence and find people who share your interests. … Klout is more than a number. Understand your impact on others and use your Klout to make your life better.”

So basically what we’re dealing with is the shift from physical, tangible, look-you-in-the-eye leadership, to a more conceptual level of online influence. My question is this: Does online leadership count?

There are three general ways to answer this question:

Yes. Leadership is leadership. As technology advances, so does everything else – including the best way to influence others. If a person’s tweets influence and inspire, they are a leader. Bottom line.

Yes and no. Online leaders are also offline leaders. Those to whom we give the most credence online are the same people who create things that influence us, speak at conferences we attend, and head up effective organizations. Online leadership counts, but only to the extent that offline leadership is practiced.

No. In the dictionary, leadership is defined as the action of leading a group of people or an organization. This is an active role that can’t be done from behind a computer in 140 characters. Leaders are role models who inspire others to action by first acting themselves.

Where do you land?

  • Is Klout worth pursuing?
  • What’s the value of a “follower”?
  • Does social media make everyone a leader?

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