Do you have clout? Do you even know what it means?
According to Webster's dictionary, clout is "the amount of influence or pull a person may have." According to the brave new world of social media, Klout is a website that measures your influence on the worldwide web.
For some, it's a novelty. For others, it may be the difference between getting that new job or not.
The site's CEO, Joe Fernandez, sees his site as a way to empower people, but increasing human resource managers are using applicant's Klout score to determine whether they are employable or not. One company calls it a job-score.
In Toronto, a marketing exec with 15 years of experience found himself in a job interview where his Klout score was looked up. He had no idea what a Klout score was and was embarrassed to find out it was 34. The person who ultimately got the job had a score nearly twice that. The marketing exec decided to increase his score and as he did, he received more job offers.
And it goes beyond the corporate world. Some hotels make room upgrades based on Klout scores. Retailers give away freebies to high scorers.
Even more, whether you have joined the site or not, you have a Klout score. Well, at least if you have a Twitter account, you do. Klout pulls its information from Twitter, but Klout members can also add other social networking pages to their account. You have to have a Klout account to control anything related to your score, to see your score and even to opt out of being listed on the site.
Has Klout gotten out of control? I certainly think so. People shouldn't be listed on a website unless they decide to join it. And their employability should not be based on an online presence. All this does is encourage people to spend their time needlessly posting online when they otherwise would not have for the sake of a score -- a score that could change arbitrarily whenever Klout changes its algorithm like it did in Oct. 2011.
So what do you think? Do you have a Klout account? Do you know, or care, what your score is?