The Failures of Measuring Social Media

Klout, Peer Index, Empire Avenue and even now Kred all try to measure influence. But can they really do that? I think they're failing and this post tells you why.

As you know by now, I love social media. I am everywhere, I even teach and coach businesses and individuals on how to navigate the sea of social networking information. This post is about services like Klout or Empire Avenue or Peer Index. There's a big problem with the services, primarily that they try to measure your influence and social activity. The problem isn't so much that they're trying to do that, but that they're doing a very incomplete job of it, giving us a skewed and inaccurate view of the social networking field.

If you have seen my video rant about Klout then you is might see where I'm coming from. Today, I have a much more practical approach to my thoughts. The gaps that the services have are tremendous, for example they don't measure Yelp yet. They can't measure your activity in a forum, and with the exception of Empire Avenue most of them ignore your own blogs. Blogs are arguably the center of a lot of social media interaction.

As cliché as it might sound, Content is king. So blogs and websites, especially individual's websites are the place where people find content to share across their networks. We need the measuring systems to quickly build a more flexible framework to which we can plug in all the smaller websites that we participate in. Whether it is our personal blog, GetGlue, GoodReads, Daily Mile, Daily Booth, and even StumbleUpon. If we are going to truly measure influence, or social activity then we must include all the avenues in which this interactions take place, not just the big ones or the ones that are convenient or most lucrative. Until then Klout, Peer Index, Empire Avenue and even Kred are nothing more than a sociology experiment; albeit, one of the funnest experiments I've participated in.

One comment

  1. yup – we are on the same lines – but there’s more in my mind – just three quick thoughts :

    1_  social media and online is only part of an individual’s life and impact on others. 
    2_  peer measurement is not taken into account.
    3_  the stem can be and is being gamed – literally – and if all we are measuring is quantity – not quality – then the point is being missed

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