Back in April, the New York Times ran an article by Alina Tugend titled “In a Data-Heavy Society, Being Defined by the Numbers.” It was a great piece, and is worth seeking out and reading as people all around us go to pieces over declining Klout scores. I’ve probably said more than enough about it already, but I truly do find it disturbing that these numbers are being used for anything more than marketing or advertising. From the article, a particularly important point to remember:
“And we often do need to find ways to measure and evaluate people and products in as objective a way as possible.
The trouble, though, is when we mindlessly and blindly rely on those numbers to tell us everything, said Sherry Turkle, a professor of social studies of science and technology and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Intitiative on Technology and Self.
Numbers become not just part of the way we judge and assess, but the only way.”
In the spirit of the recent flap about Klout, I propose the following new influence ranking system. In the interest of transparency, I’m including all of the factors that go into the equation:
70 – My TweetLevel Score (as of 11/1)
43 – My PeerIndex Score (as of 10/31)
42 – My Klout Score (as of 10/31)
42 – My age (as of 10/19)
182 – Number of Facebook Friends (as of 11/1)
85 – Average Target Wine Spectator Score of rated wines I purchase
25 – Number of books I have read since Jan. 1
5 – Number of years I have worked in/with social media
10 – Years of Public Affairs/PR experience
This equals 504. Divide by 3 (my lucky number)=168. Then divide that by 4 (number of years I’ve been on Twitter)=42
I guess 42 really is the answer to everything.