Klout

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Thanks to Klout, says Lightman, “We don’t have to use the logical fallacy of deferring to authority. Just because someone’s from MIT doesn’t mean they know something up-to-date on a particular subject.” Instead, there’s now another option – to reward people based on demonstrated expertise: “Now we have a fair and objective way to see who gets a shot.”

Lightman – who has an impressive Klout score of 81 out of 100 and is considered the #1 authority on topics such as the singularity and the future – has worked hard at building his network and his score. That effort is valuable, he says, because Klout measures and encourages the right things online – whether you’re engaging with your network and producing quality content. “If you just go and add a bunch of people [on Twitter or Facebook] but you’re not conversing or interacting, that will kill your Klout score,” he says.

Lightman’s posts often have a scientific bent, but he focuses on generating high-quality conversations about topics as eclectic as government in ancient Rome and optimal exercise techniques. “I have intelligent people listening and participating in the conversation,” he says. Spending time developing your network, says Lightman, can improve your access to new ideas, capital, potential collaborators, and publicity opportunities. Most importantly, it might change your mind: “One of the things about having a high Klout score is I don’t have to know everything,” he says. “I can now just host conversations, as opposed to having to know it all. I don’t constantly have to be Mr. Science News; I can post a cat picture…People don’t feel a need to argue me to the ground, and I’m not as wedded to an absolute position as I used to be, because there’s always somebody who can come up with new evidence.”

So how can you improve your own Klout score? Lightman has three tips to share.
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