In an email to members today, Klout, everyone’s favorite dubiously scientific social influence analyzer/punching bag announced it would be teaming up with Badgeville, a gamification platform that lets companies like eBay, Samsung, and Dell find and reward engaged customers with badges, tokens and online prizes.
By integrating Klout’s “influence ranking technology,” Badgeville will now, in theory, be able to help those brands figure out which loyal users have more influence and reward them accordingly. Judging by our latest Klout score, this only works for Betabeat if there’s a brand out there interesting in courting someone who influences 2,000 people on topics like “Blogging, Stanford University, Reddit.” That has to at least qualify us for a “Nerd” badge or something, right? What about “People who spend too much time in front of screens”?
Klout has tried to monetize its ranking system with partnerships before, reports Mashable, pointing to deals with the Palms Hotel and Casino’s “Klout Klub” or the three-day loans Chevrolet offered those with Klout scores of 35 or more. But it remains to be seen if that’s enough incentive for the norms to open up their Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and LinkedIn accounts to Klout’s algorithm.
As we learned earlier today, “perks” are merely one of 18 business models the company contemplated. In an interview with TechCrunch that we told you about this morning, ff Venture Capital, a Klout investor, said that early on, other were dubious of the startup’s premise. “A lot of people saw a Twitter analytics company and said, ‘Hey, do I really want to invest in that?’” said ff partner John Frankel. “What we saw was a company that had potential to help people by the middle of this decade to really understand their online footprint, what they’re really doing on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Normalize that data and allow people to understand and then manage their online footprint.”
Perks, Mr. Frankel assured TechCrunch, were just the start, “I sat down with Joe [CEO Joe Fernandez], gosh back in April 2010 and we laid out 18 different business models and we decided perks was the first one to focus on.”
Will users stick around to the mid 2010′s to hear about the rest?