How Not to Write a Job Ad
For some users, Twitter looks different again for inexplicable reasons. [Fast Company]
Reported real company Lithium Technologies is spending $100 million to buy Klout. [CNN]
Get excited: Google’s $3.2 billion deal for fancy thermostat maker Nest has officially closed. [Recode]
Yahoo has plopped down $10 million for New York-based “social diary” app Wander. [TechCrunch]
FBI will pay you $10,000 “for information leading to the arrest of any individual who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft.” [Ars Technica]
Klout Me Over the Head
It’s been building for a while now. Klout, a social media power user index that is totally based on science and not at all on meaningless, imaginary metrics, has officially nudged its way into the competitive job market.
Last November, we told you that you might soon be able to get a credit line based on your Klout score (no word on if that ever actually became a thing). Then in April, we reported on someone whose interview was stopped short as soon as his boss discovered his Klout score was an abysmal 34. And if this Salesforce job ad is any indication, now the floodgates have finally opened: having a passable Klout score is creeping into “desired skills.” How long before it’s a job requirement?
Today Klout debuted a sweeping revamp, meant to make that pesky social media score more accurate and their methods of calculation more transparent. That’s right: No more excuses for your underwhelming score, pal.
The new and improved Klout Score now factors in 300 new signals (as opposed to 100, previously). New metrics include various actions on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other sites. Wikipedia has also been incorporated into the score, which is important, because it allows someone like Barack Obama to rank higher than Justin Bieber, thereby making us all feel much better about the state of social media and America more generally.
Another new feature, aptly dubbed “moments,” allows you to track the most important incidents in your social media history, so maybe now you can figure out just what you did to become so influential on Fiber-Rich Vegetables and Humidifiers. That’ll also enable you to keep track of what your friends are up to, you cyberstalker.
It's Who You Know
Earlier this week, the Internet was alarmed and disheartened to learn that a piddling Klout score can now cost you a job. (At least in certain segments of the marketing business, anyway.) But it’s no secret that the service favors a tendency to self-promotion, and therefore driving up that number often has an invisible social cost. Digital jokester Tom Scott has now quantified that cost with Klouchebag, the self-proclaimed “standard for asshattery.” Finally, the index Twitter has needed all along.
People who care too much about social media will argue that a low Klout score is an embarrassing blight on your Internet presence, but apparently a subpar number derived from a startup’s questionable algorithm can now also ruin your life.
It's Who You Know
Are you big on the Internet? Klout, the online influence measurement system, helps you determine just that. “We measure your influence based on your ability to drive action in social networks,” explains the Klout page. But aside from providing you with an over-inflated sense of self-importance, Klout also mines your Twitter page for popular terms, and determines a list of topics you’re especially influential about. This reporter, for example, is influential about blogging and cats, which is pretty much dead on.
It's Who You Know
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”?
It's Who You Know
Open secrets have a way of getting out eventually. Betabeat first reported the scuttlebutt that Klout was closing in on a round of funding in October and now AllThingsD has confirmation from Klout. The social influence measuring service admits that Series C round everyone had an inkling about did indeed close in November.
CEO Joe Fernandez said Kleiner Perkins, which lead the startup’s $8.5 million Series B round in January, also lead this round with KPCB partner Chi-Hua Chien joining the board. Although Mr. Fernandez wouldn’t comment on the price or valuation, multiple sources, including Business Insider, are reporting that it was a $30 million round, which put the company at a $200 million valuation.
It's Who You Know
PeerIndex, a London-based startup that scores social authority on a 1 to 100 scale, just released its “most influential non-celeb voices this year” list. Top of the heap? Kara Swisher, London blogger Umair Haque, technoblogger Robert Scoble and Brooklyn’s very own creative curator, Maria Popova.
Betabeat caught up with PeerIndex CTO Sanford Dickert, an occasional New Yorker, to ask about PI’s take on the trend of banks experimenting with the social graph as a metric for determining creditworthiness.
It’s something PI is aware of and has looked into, Mr. Dickert said, although it’s not necessarily on the startup’s roadmap. “Klout and PeerIndex and everyone, we’re just starting out. We’re about a year in right now but there’s been research in this area for now over five years,” the jetsetting Mr. Dickert told Betabeat over the phone from Barcelona.
Let’s take a trip with the Ghost of Christmas Future. The year is 2016, and George Bailey, a former banker, now a part-time consultant, is looking for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for a co-op in the super-hot neighborhood of Bedford Falls (BeFa). He has never missed a loan payment and has zero credit card debt. He submits his information to the online-only PotterBank.com, but halfway through the application process, the website asks for his Facebook login. Then his Twitter. Then LinkedIn. The cartoon loan officer avatar begins to frown as the algorithm discovers Mr. Bailey’s taxi-driving buddy Ernie was once turned down by PotterBank for a loan; then it starts browsing his daughter Zuzu’s photo album, “Saturday Nite!” And what was this tweet from a few years back: “FML, about to jump off a goddamn bridge”?