Whoa! What was that? I am sure I just saw an important guy with no clothes on walking down my street! Does no one else see him? Really? But, he’s naked! Butt naked!
As a part-time writer, a long way from making any kind of living from it, I am finding the process of building a following and sales for my first novel pretty challenging. Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and all the other social worlds I am supposed to become a master of eat up time like a ravenous gannet. A lot of that time is spent trying to understand how best to use them and reading masses of tips from helpful fellow users.
Just when I thought it was becoming safe to go online again, along comes another social media service to understand, master and utilise – Klout. I signed up for this service not knowing what it was, but now that I have…whoa! There he is again – you see him now, right? THE NAKED GUY!
For those of you who have not seen Klout, or even heard of it, it is marketed as a way of measuring how much ‘influence’ you have online. It strikes me as being based on a management analysis tool – a sort of Johari Window perhaps. You are given a score that rates your online ‘influence’, and you can raise your score by Tweeting more often, Tweeting in particular ways, by writing blogs, using keywords etc, etc. The nearer your score to 100, the nearer to unbearably smug you can be!
I am sorry, I raise my hat to the marketing genius(es) who thought this up, but I don’t think I should be playing along. I am pretty sure I should be writing novels and blogs, not spending time stroking (or denting!) my ego by pretending that a Klout score matters. I don’t think I want or need a score representing my online influence. In fact, what does that really mean anyway? I do want people to read my books and enjoy them (I clearly don’t need this of course, but it would be nice all the same). For this to happen, I need to write well, and then convince lots of people that I write well enough for them to buy my books.
I can’t help but have a nagging suspicion that Klout is far less about being social than it is about proving who’s best and pandering to, and playing upon, natural insecurities we all have. You may, of course, vehemently disagree. If you do, then fair enough. Perhaps I have missed something and need enlightening? If so, please help me blow away the smoke and take down the mirrors.
I can still see him though…the naked guy….