I’m still undecided about these services and applications that purport to measure your social influence (or social equity), mainly because there is very little transparency of the algorithms they use to determine where you rank amongst the “crowd” (understandable I guess, to avoid people manipulating their score), but do I really want to add to my stress levels if I suddenly see my ranking going through the floor?
However, I will admit to dabbling with this stuff, mainly to try and discover whether there is something useful to be learned, or some benefit to be gained. I could imagine that if I was amongst the top ten in the social list I might get some interesting offers from various marketing departments to push their products – but do I want to do that with social media? NO! But I can see this might be a driver for some people.
I subscribed to Klout some time ago, and though I try not to get too obsessive about by my score I’m intrigued to find out what it may actually mean and what activities have an influence on it. For example, can quality of content be assessed and weighted above quantity? I’m not one of the people who like to Tweet about what they’ve had for breakfast, or what they’re thinking now. The algorithms are supposedly based on engagement and reach, which may partly resolve the quality issue (assuming that someone who tweets about their breakfast is not going to get re-tweeted to any significant degree).
Anyway, I felt compelled to try out the recently launched The Sunday Times Social List a “definitive and ever evolving list of who’s who in the world of social networking” according to the blurb. I know I’ll never get onto the Sunday Times Rich List, so maybe this is the next best thing – to be socially rich is not without some merit.
Drawing information from the four biggest social networks – Foursquare, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook – The Sunday Times Social List system adds up your social networking activity and measures how much interest it generates amongst your friends and colleagues in order to work out how well you score.
Free to join, participants simply need to link up whichever social networks they use and want to be included. Every morning The Sunday Times Social List will make its calculations.
To help people see where they are in the grand scheme of things, they are allocated a rank when they join and a badge that goes with it. This could change from ‘Fledgling’ through to the top spot, ‘Titan’, over time, depending on how well they are doing.
If anyone has any views on these services – good or bad – I’d be interested to hear from you. As I said, I’m still trying to work out whether social equity does have a value, and if so how should it be used for the greater good.