I may be delusional when it comes to my politics, but I'm not when it comes to influence. It's zip, zero, nada. Maybe at one time with my dog, but even then only when he felt so inclined or wanted something.
Knowing that, Lucy Kellaway's column in Monday's Financial Times caught my eye. She was going on about something called Klout and that Justin Bieber had it and she didn't. Being one of my favorite columnists, I read on.
I must say, this is taking social networking to new heights. I, along with Ms. Kellaway, am not sure I want anything Justin Beiber might have - unless it's his money. So I went exploring.
Klout, it would seem, analyzes all the social networking sites to which you belong and gives you a number. Lucy's was a lowly ten. I figured I wouldn't even register, but alas I too had a ten. I guess I belong to enough social networking sites like Facebook, You Tube and LinkedIn to have moved the needle if only slightly.
It's an interesting algorithm because I'm not active on anything but Facebook and there it's minimal. I have less than 100 friends, having unfriended many who I had because of a game and others I unfriended because I wasn't particularly interested in their lives nor interested in having them know about mine. Actually, my life is pretty mundane. Which is the reason I read columns like Ms. Kellaway's. I'm transported vicariously to other worlds. Also, the fact that I don't have a Twitter account will probably preclude me from ever advancing.
Okay, these sites are all well and good for what they are. Most people are learning that indiscretion can be devastating. We know employers have been know to ask for Facebook passwords and a big oops has been the result.
On that basis I think this has really gone too far. Since numbers of friends and likes don't seem to matter, what does? And since your account can be 'Kloutsourced' it doesn't necessarily give a true picture of who you are and why you should be considered as having Klout!
What's troublesome about these faceless and fictitious interactions is that your employability could depend on it. Ms. Kellaway found some companies actually check these scores and won't hire anyone unless they have a score over forty. According to the Harvard Business Review these 'influence quotients' are going to be consulted more and more as an aid in not only hiring, but promoting. Wow. I wonder if there's a formula in there for how much the information has been fudged!
I'm sure Ms. Kellaway's score has gone up since she penned her article. I'm sure Hub doesn't have one and I'm sure mine will never change. It's just one more unsubstantiated bit of information floating about the web.
But if you're looking for a job, or an employee, I wish you well. What you get may be no more than a figment of someones imagination. You can be sure, I think, it's nothing personal!