Feeds

Bot spanking for social network ranking

Blabber tracker exposed as load of old Klout

High performance access to file storage

Social media types who enjoy measuring their "popularity" in the social media arena are in for a shock.

Their Klout score could be wrong. Instead of a gold standard measure of how much influence they have on their peers, it could just be a measure of how noisy and attention-seeking they are...

A Twitter test by an SEO expert shows that it is possible to "game" Klout – the Twitter app that lets you measure your influence on social media by giving you a score out of 100. search and social marketing specialist Yousaf Sekander found that it is possible for a spam bot to be ranked as very influential by using particular tricks.

Klout has always been something for the narcissists, but it is now being taken increasingly seriously: Audi used it to offer people competition access, and a hotel in Vegas is considering using the Klout score of its guests to determine what kind of treatment they should receive.

But it seems that simply tweeting "YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED" at random strangers can push your score right up above normal people, because of Klout's interest in what gets reactions: "The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action," it explain on its site. On his blog, SEO expert Yousaf Sekhander takes the case of Twitter bot – @_BorgCollective. The _BorgCollective's Twitter feed looks like this:

BorgCollective Twitter credit: Yousaf Sekhander

It follows 46 Twitter profiles, has 104 followers and is currently listed six times. But its Klout ranking looks like this.

Borg Collective on Klout, credit Yousaf Sekhander

That's pretty high. The Reg has 2,200 followers and we have a Klout score of 71. My personal score is 44.

The CEO of Klout Joe Fernandez responded to the blog post in the comments, admitting that that yes, that is how Klout works – and that by Klout's criteria, BorgCollective is influential:

We believe influence is the ability to drive action. Is this BorgCollective account silly? Absolutely. Take a look at Twitter search, though, and you will see a long list of influencers engaging with that account over the last few days. It's a meme that is influencing people right now and will likely die down quickly.

So seems that tweeting something provocative but not immediately spammy to lots of people with lots of followers could get you a high Klout score – and the free rides in Audis and VIP hotel treatment that comes with it. Even if they just say "sod off", Klout will still count it.

In Klout, as in life, being a provocative attention-seeker makes you appear more influential regardless of whether you offer genuine value.

Yousaf writes: "I think there should be a clear distinction between 'noise', 'activity' and 'influence'. If someone is active and noisy, it does not necessarily mean that they are influential. From what I have seen, I think Klout is simply measuring levels of activity without filtering out noise and is therefore not in a position to measure influence."

Coincidentally, it is interesting to note that the founder of Klout, joefernandez, has a much higher Klout score than the founder of Twitter Evan Williams... Go figure. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.