What's Your "Klout" On The Internet?

Authors are a strange lot. When we're not writing, we're trying to figure out if we're getting new readers. Of course that translates into book sales, which can technically keep an author from starving to death. I haven't figured out how authors that have free books find food. Do they live in a Salvation Army Center? “Buy my book, and I'll contribute a portion of it to the center that I live in.”

Recently, I started using HootSuite.com to follow my stuff and it has a "klout" (“klout” is German for “klout”) factor that it displays. Twitter allows me to take the pulse of reader interest in my book (soon to be books). Now, take the following with a grain of salt, I may not know what I'm talking about here (even more than usual!).

There are software tools that Klout.com, which HootSuite uses to follow my Twitter account, which uses, oh never mind, it gets really convoluted. Anyway, Klout.com measures how much activity an individual "creates" on the Internet. I suspect they're measuring such things as Google hits, Facebook views/hits, Twitter hits/re-Tweets, RBI's, pork belly futures, etc. Who knows, I wouldn't be surprised they track how many toilet paper rolls I use, and how much my followers use. Watch out folks, 1-ply vs. 2-ply could really screw up your “klout!” When I was hiking the Appalachian Trail it may have been a leaf count.

On a 0-100 scale (that Klout.com actually uses) you'd think that an average person would have a score of 50. But nnnnoooooooo, not these guys. That would be too logical, an average person is, you guessed it, 20. Twenty is the new fifty. Man, I could have used that grading system in my school days, I would have been a genius! I'm certain I broke 25 a few times. Those kinds of scores I did obtain, although it was a struggle.

Anyway, they roll (excuse the pun) all that data up and come up with some magic number that shows how much "klout" you wield on the Internet. If you use Internet steroids, can they tell? This could open up a whole new field, Internet Drug Testing. Will my hard drive turn state's evidence? I wonder what Osama bin Laden's numbers looked like?

In the old days of DOS we called people with clout "Power users." According to the Klout website, there are places that use these numbers and mix them in a vat with bat wings, newt toes, goat entrails and come up with some potion that is consumed in a corporate board room during a full moon, along with tequila.

As far as I'm concerned it is one more thing that I'm not going to worry about. Oh look, I just posted this and my Klout has jumped to 31! Maybe if I Tweet this....hmmm.

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