Posts Tagged tools

How accurate are online reputation tools?

Last week, we were introduced to PeerIndex, Klout and Kred. I decided to check out what scores I had on each, and see if the information they hold about me is accurate or not.

Klout

Klout score

Klout has scored me 39 out of 100 for online influence.

It’s highlighted my topics as Journalism, Twitter, Photography, Feminism, and Activism. So far, so good. When I go to manage my topics it then suggests London, Dubai, Art, Police, and Social Media. I understand London (live there), Dubai (have friends there, have tweeted about it a lot), and social media (it’s an obvious interest of mine). Art I can also understand – I love street art – but Police? Why?

Then it throws up even weirder suggestions. Greece? The NUS? Final Cut Pro? I have perhaps tweeted about Greece a few times but am no way near expert or especially interested in it beyond the Eurozone crisis, and since starting my account I’ve not tweeted about or been involved in student politics. I haven’t used Final Cut Pro for years (though admittedly I do know how to use it) and I’ve certainly never tweeted about it. That said, it does have my LinkedIn credentials and FCP is listed as a piece of software I can use.

Do I recognise myself in there? Yes, definitely. But I do feel that it’s not wholly representative of how I present myself online or how I actually am, and I think that out of context (ie without knowing why on earth Dubai is in there or my feelings about Dubai), those interests could be misinterpreted somewhat.

Kred

Kred scoreKred has given me 778 influence and an outreach level of 8. Sounds pretty impressive, but I’m not sure how it came to that conclusion.

The communities that I am apparently involved in are quite interesting. Travel, reporters and publishing are all fairly obvious – I’ve tweeted photos etc from my trips abroad, I’m connected to a lot of reporters on Twitter, and I have ‘journalist’ in my Twitter name.

I’m not a parent, but I do follow a great many people who might have children (let’s face it, it’s unusual to find people without children when they are over a certain age, and I tend to follow people who are older than me anyway). Automotive was the one that really made me laugh, though. Aside from having a car, which I barely drive as is, I don’t have any interest in cars or the automotive industry.

PeerIndex

Peer IndexPeerIndex seems to have me down as a bit of a bore. You can see my Top Topics to the right. I wouldn’t say they are particularly wrong, it’s just that the combination of all five paints me as a very different person than the impression you’d get from a) seeing me; b) a full list of my interests.

I’m not sure where Museums came from – when I was in New York, I gushed about how great the Met was, but I don’t actually go to museums that much, nor do I tweet about them. Spirits and cocktails also makes me sound like a connoisseur – I’m flattered, but it’s not in the least true!

PeerIndex has put my ‘benchmark topics’ as arts and entertainment (50), news and society (49) and science and environment (48). It also has sport in there (18) – would that be a remnant from when I sarcastically live-tweeted Euro 2012? I have zero interest in sport!

Lastly, influencers and influenced… According to PeerIndex I’m influenced by people whom, although I like them, have very little impact on my clicking/retweeting behaviour. And, looking at the list of people I supposedly influence, there are some faces I’ve never even seen before on there. I’m pretty good at remembering Twitter names/pictures, so it’s strange that there’s some people I’ve just never heard of. And I’m influencing them? Hm. Ok.

So what now?

Well, I think these tools can be helpful if it isn’t used as the be-all and end-all of your social media strategy, but more as a guideline as to what makes a good Twitter account. The factors that are taken into account are telling as to your ‘social media personality’ – not in a definitive, these-are-your-interests way, but personality in the way that you socialise online. For instance, Kred values ‘outreach’ – that is, how generous you are to other people – replying, mentioning, retweeting or following others. This makes perfect sense and places emphasis on the frankly undervalued and misunderstood ‘social’ part of social media; after all, you wouldn’t turn up to a party empty-handed and without saying hello to anyone!

As for which of these is ‘the best’… At a push, I would probably go with Klout, but they are all hit and miss and I suspect they lack intrinsic value in themselves, only being of genuine use in certain contexts.

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