Facebook: 687 friends and 11 followers.
Twitter: 686 tweets and 123 followers.
Twenty-four people have me in their Goggle+ circles while I have 19 in my own.
Just when I thought the counting stopped, I discovered Klout.
Not on purpose you see, I was bamboozled, hoodwinked into logging in. Once there, a white number set against an orange background rated my social network behavior on a scale from 1 -100.
Did that post garner “likes” from your followers? Did they share your post? Did it start a conversation among those in a different network? All of these insignificant numbers are taken into consideration to give a rating that seems obscure and inconsequential.
Another stupid website to check, I said to myself.
While looks are deceiving and numbers are just digits, the higher you are on the Klout score, the more privileged and pampered you’ll become.
Seth Stevenson wrote in May’s Wired that users who have scored higher than 70 get perks such as all-expenses paid trips, smartphones and luxury car rentals. One user highlighted in the article, Calvin Lee, has a score of 74 and receives these perks regularly. Then again, Lee tweets an average of once every 32 minutes.
Now we’re talking. My 36 (up from 24 last week) doesn’t seem too far away from being showered with gifts as companies try to entice me into using their hashtags or praising their products. This is why companies are now catching on to Klout. They’re looking for people who have influence over a wide casted social network to talk, tweet and post about their products.
I’m ways away from Bieber status (100) or even some of my professors and friends (mid-50s), but maybe that’s best. And it seems that another social media-driven addiction is not something I can or want to handle.
While the furthering of our self-created-celebrity-hood perpetually worsens, the story behind Klout is an endearing one. Its founder, Joe Fernandez, used social media to express his thoughts when he physically couldn’t — his mouth was wired shut for three months following a surgery.
And so Stevenson’s article was humbling and humanizing, but he too finds it overwhelming to maintain such high scores (he’s a 46). He’s left gawking at the fact that a teen idol ranked higher “than the leader of the free world.”
I guess I’ll get back to counting.Contact Kenneth Rosen.