I used to love you.
You told me I was important, and that people cared about what I had to say… you sent me gifts that cared for my hygiene and my ability to write on a variety of surfaces.
But now, and for the last few months, things just haven't been the same.
You stopped telling me I was important. You told me that I wasn't communicating enough, and as a result, no one listens to me anymore.
I'm not influential enough about anything to keep your interest.
I've tried to make you happy; I wrote you poems, sent nicely worded emails, but they all go ignored; you are not interested in my petty concerns, and are so busy telling everyone how socially engaged you are that you can't hear me, or you just don't care.
And I've started hearing that there are other fish in the sea, other fish with equally adorable names, ones that based on words that start with C but have a K instead.
And so, I'll leave you alone now, Klout.
I'm moving on.
If you can't be interested enough in me to reply to my emails, I think we need to break up.
PS: If you need me, I'll be hanging out on Twitter, just where I always am. And you have my email address, so you can always get in touch when you're ready to chat.
Klout claims to be “The Standard for Influence,” and their very own website says: “You have Klout in the topics you care about. Klout finds influencers in everything from barbecue to tech gadgets to gardening. Uncover your influence and find people who share your interests.”
This all sounds fine and dandy, but here's the thing. As I write this, I have a Klout score of 71. I have 1,275 Twitter followers and 641 Facebook friends. TweetDeck on my phone tells me I average 27 Tweets a day, and I had, just last week, a single tweet get RT'd over 150 times. Hell, I was trending in CANADA!
In June, when my score was in the mid-50s, I noticed that my “Influential Topics” had disappeared. Where I had previously been influential in about a dozen things, including Moms, Blogging, Photography, Wine and Kidneys, I had a message of “We don't have any topics for this influencer right now.”
OK, weird, but nothing to worry about, right? I mentioned it in passing on Twitter, and a couple other people mentioned that they also had no topics, but that they all reappeared eventually. So I shrugged it off, for a while.
On July 19, I finally decided to try and get the problem figured out, since it was rapidly approaching a month that I hadn't had any topics. Using their email@example.com email address, I sent this:
It's been almost 3 weeks since I've had any influential topics, and with BlogHer coming up in a couple of weeks, I'm starting to worry that my lack of topics could harm my business if a potential sponsor wants to see my influence.
Can you please take a look into this and let me know if I need to do something?
Thanks so much!
And I quickly got this template back:
Hey there, Thanks for emailing Klout! We love getting feedback and are here to help out but just want to check if you'd seen support.klout.com as we may have already answered your question.
If it's not there, just reply again to this email and we'll do our best to answer in a timely fashion.
For media requests — email firstname.lastname@example.org
For partnerships requests — email email@example.com
Otherwise, reply to this email and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks again!
So I replied, again:
I'm still worried that I don't have any influential topics! I don't know if I need to restate my concern with this reply or not, but just in case:
It's been almost 3 weeks that I haven't had any influential topics, and with BlogHer fast approaching, I'd really like some topics, in case a potential sponsor checks my score and topics!
And then, a few days after I sent that reply, I got this email back from “Cliff”
Klout finds your most influential topics based on the content you post that gets the most engagement. We then analyze that content to understand the topic it relates to.
Talking about one topic a lot doesn't mean it'll become one of your topics, you also have to have people respond and share that content. As we gather more information about your influence, your topics should populate. They update once weekly so you can continue to check back. Thanks!
Thanks for nothing, Cliff! I have people responding to and sharing my content; I'm participating in Twitter parties regularly, all of which are based entirely on interacting with people. I waited a week, and still no replies.
This is where I started getting really annoyed and launched a one-woman Twitter campaign to get them to talk to me. I wrote haikus, and funny analogies, offered to bring them cookies, and suggested topics that would be good ones for me to have influence in. Someone eventually put me in touch with Megan Berry, a Marketing person of some sort at Klout. After a handful to tweets to both her AND Klout, I was able to chat directly with her, where she essentially said again what Cliff's email had said, that their fancy algorithm would find my topics and populate eventually; I just had to “engage more”
The tweeting continued, and I heard stories from other people; they were influential in things they had never mentioned, or not influential in things about which they're generally accepted to be experts or at least knowledgeable… the #WTFKlout hashtag was born, and still I had no topics.
Life got busy, and while I mentioned it on Twitter from time to time, it wasn't until recently that I was cleaning out my email inbox that I realized I'd never heard from Cliff again, so I tried the politely-worded email approach:
I'm writing to you in the hopes that I'll get some resolution to my lack of topics. It's starting to get very frustrating, and I'm feeling like, for a company that is all about social media engagement, you aren't doing much of it yourself.
I have sent, I would estimate, 100 tweets to @klout about my lack of topics, and have yet to get a single tweet back.
I chatted briefly with Megan Berry, and she basically said that my lack of topics is correct before she stopped replying to my tweets.
So I hope you can see where I'm coming from.
I understand how it's *supposed* to work, I just don't think it's working correctly for my account. I am actively interacting on Twitter, every single day. I put stuff out there, I get replies and RTs. I participate in Twitter parties and chats, and talk to my regular group of friends for hours on end every day.
According to Tweetdeck on my phone, I average 26 tweets a day, and those are conversations with people; it's not like I'm spamming with useless crap that people are ignoring.
I'm just stumped how someone who doesn't even *have* a Klout account can have topics, and I don't. I've never received a Klout perk of my own, and have only been able to get them when my friends share them… I have to believe part of that is based on my lack of topics.
I've been filling out network applications lately, and more than a few have asked for my Klout score. While it's OK, I'm concerned that if a company (Collective Bias or whoever) goes to review my Klout, they won't see any topics for me and will move on.
All I'm asking is for someone to take a specific look at my profile and see what's going on. Friends have told me they're influential in things they have LITERALLY never talked about, so I'm just not seeing why I don't have anything.
Just in case it's an issue; I recently changed my Twitter handle. I used to be @libismorgan, but now go by @CanBeaFunnyGirl
Here's my Klout profile page, just to make it easier for you. http://klout.com/#/canbeafunnygirl
I really appreciate you looking into this for me, and am anxiously awaiting your reply!
I sent that email on Sept. 24, and have yet to hear back from them. I'd contemplating sending them mail, like postcards with stamps and stuff, but I don't want to waste my money. And honestly, posting here will probably get more attention anyway!
So, what do you think about Klout? Do you keep track of your score? Have crazy topics that don't make sense? Please share this post… they've got to pay attention at some point, right?