Guys, Klout was making profiles for minors, and The New York Times is ON IT. “In the days just before Halloween, Ms. McGary got the fright of her life when she checked her Klout profile,” the Times says. “Hovering above her score were the faces and names of those over whom she had influence, as calculated by Klout. They included her 13-year-old son, Matthew.” Accompanied by a melodramatic photo of a mother gazing anxiously out the window, as if waiting for Klout agents to come for her son.
Yesterday we reported that Klout, a service that measures users social media influence and reach, had signed a term sheet to raise a big new round of capital.
Today, Klout released a new scoring model, and the impact on some loyal users was dramatic:
A person’s status on social network is fast becoming an important part of their resume for many tech sector jobs. Mayor Bloomberg never fails to mention the Twitter-savvy—and sizeable following—of his chief digital officer Rachel Sterne.
So it didn’t surprise Betabeat to learn that Klout has signed a term sheet on a big new round of venture funding.
Betabeat has a new internet bank to dote on now that BankSimple has abandoned us for the City of Roses. Movenbank is a New York-based personal banking service that uses near field communication–the same technology as Google Wallet–to remove the cards and the wallet from banking transactions and replace them with your phone. Founder Brett King, an Aussie based in New York and London, rode the success of his book, Bank 2.0, and his experience with his boutique consultancy firm User Strategy, to start up a bank with “No paper. No plastic. No hidden fees.” The bank is launching its first product, a Mint-esque personal finance profile based on social data, on October 1 and plans to roll out the financial services over the summer.
Betabeat is a close observer of our Klout score, which we measure weekly along with our blood pressure and credit card debt. Recently we noticed a very nice spike into the 60+ territory. One reason might be that we added our Foursquare account to our Klout profile a few weeks back and the tips we have been leaving around New York are now contributing to our social media influence.
PEOPLE OF KLOUT. Obnoxious Twitter pyramid scheme Klout–the “social score-keeping” company that moved into Twitter’s building in order to spam its platform in real life–was blessed with the opportunity to pass out Spotify invites, which brought so much traffic that the site was up and down throughout the morning. But the start-up botched the partnership further by failing to test the usability of the process it forced Spotify wannabes to go through in order to get the coveted Spotify invite code. Instead of continuing to Spotify’s chipper Hello America page, users were dropped into Klout’s wormhole of “perks” and demands that you give the company more of your data; other users found their invite codes failed to work. Poor Klout had to spend the day doing damage control–“Apologies for the inconvenience!” “We’re aware of this issue!” “Investigating now!”–on its Twitter feed.
NATION OF BITCOIN. It’s been two weeks since Bitcoin Show host Bruce Wagner was startstruck by a phone call. “Wait till you guys HEAR who just now called me!” he wrote to the Bitcoin People Google Group. “We are all in shock and can barely breathe right now! I’ve called Ed to tell him. I’ll be able to tell you all soon.” Guesses ranged from Mark Zuckerberg to Lady Gaga, but Mr. Wagner shot them all down. “Bigger,” he said. Who could it be? Some users in the group are convinced it’s Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto, but we’re under the impression it’s someone else who has a talk show.
DUMBO MIGHT BE TURNING INTO MARIO WORLD. There’s a crepe place on Front St. next to techie hangout reBar that has a sign saying “cash or Bitcoin,” according to Etsy-er Cemre Güngör, although he’s “not sure if serious.” Betabeat could go for a crepe, but crepe, we’re in #$^% Midtown. Someone! Go try!
I used to pay $14.99 a month for Rhapsody. I dug the catalog and being able to create a playlist at home and then throw it on at a party with my phone, but it was buggy in the browser and streaming over my phone was spotty. I quit after about a year.
This morning I got on Spotify and so far the experience has been, as promised, very slick and enjoyable. The catalog seems fairly deep–I tested it with indie bands like Atlas Sound and, at the suggestion of Andy Weissman, Bardo Pond. Spotify nailed both of them. It had my favorite track from the deep soul group The Falcons, but no albums.
The interface is intuitive to anyone who’s used iTunes and after a slight hiccup I got the Facebook integration working. This was a big deal, because suddenly Spotify changed from being a great way to listen to music to a discovery tool. I saw an old college buddy on the service, browsed through his recent plays, and found some interesting new tracks.
We’ve entered a world in which prominent venture capitalists encourage their children to tweet earlier and often in order to build up their personal brand online.
Betabeat is no stranger to this game. Having a great social strat and being active on the Facebook and Tumblr is key to getting more eyeballs on our stories, which is how we earn the big bucks.