Klout. I think it's safe to say that for most of us it's a train wreck, no matter how you fight it you can't look away! It seems the longer the "Standard of Influence" is around the more and more people are questioning it. Even some like Danny Brown are trying to remove themselves (unsuccessfully) from their system. In a Klout chat (#kloutchat) on Twitter yesterday it was said that Klout is still in "beta". Oh really? It's still in beta but it is the "standard of influence"?
Let's face it, there are people out there who are going to look at your Klout, and crazy has it may seem some may use it to decide if they want to hire you or work with you. I don't like that idea any more than you do. But for now, it appears as though it's here to stay and growing. Maybe if Klout would listen to the folks in their ever growing database they could make some improvements which would actually make it a useful tool in the toolbox.
One suggestion I have, came to me yesterday. I received Klout (+K) from a follower I engage with regularly, Tracie Cook. Tracie is someone I have had conversations with on many topics, in particular, web and tech related topics. I thanked her for giving me +K. She replied that what she really wanted to give me +K on was web or tech but was unable too!! Appalling! A follower who is saying I influence her, cannot give me Klout on that topic. She has to use a topic that is listed on my profile, that is determined by Klout! So, I am reaching someone, on a topic directly related to our industry and this follower cannot do what Klout is encouraging us to do, give +K!
For some time now I have seen people I follow wonder how they are influential about certain topics. For example, I am influential about "photography", really? This is something that really makes me go "hmmm". How can this be? I know nothing about photography other than point & shoot that cute pic of my kids or my dog!
So, Klout, if you are listening, let the followers decide what they want to give +K on, don't force them to use what you determine. After all, it is our followers we are influencing, not you. What about you, what is one area you would suggest Klout use that would make it a valuable tool in your toolbox? If we are stuck in their database whether we ask to be there or not, maybe we can help make it not so out of touch.