Several months ago, I was urged by friends in the social media world to join Klout. It’s a website that tells you who you are “influencing,” and there are perks that sometimes give you free items like crackers or coffee.
I went to the website and was all set to sign up, as I’m always interested in new social media tools. But then I saw something. At the time, and it has since changed, Klout said that it could access my direct messages (read: not public messages) on Twitter. I stopped in my tracks.
My question was, “Why does Klout need to see those?”
So I never signed up.
In the past two days, I have seen a fury of Twitter updates, LinkedIn messages and Facebook posts about how Klout has changed its algorithm and people’s scores have dropped. My first response was, “I didn’t realize we were back in high school.” My second response was, “I don’t even know what my score was before, so I really don’t care now.”
Then I came across a blog post from Tonia Ries on The Realtime Report. In it she explains that although her son has a fairly locked down Facebook page, because he commented on one of her Facebook updates, suddenly he was listed on Klout as someone she influenced.
As you can imagine, this outraged her and she suggested people disconnect their Klout profile from their Facebook profile, as it was clear to her that Klout was grabbing data from Facebook.
All of it makes me glad that I never signed up in the first place. And that’s not to say I know there is data about me floating all around the interwebs, but at least this is one more place where it’s not.
Or so I think.
My questions to you are: Have you signed up for Klout? Did you see your score drop? Do you care?