Tag Archives for klout
If you have not heard about Wahooly yet, you will. It is the first “social” incubator to use the registering of quality followers as a strategy to help startups build brand value and equity. The company launches its initiative tomorrow at midnight.
What does it do? Users trade their social influence to act like beta users for new startups. At exit, there is a conversion strategy that will convert that particpation and influence-sharing into equity that is paid out at the company’s exit. An example from the Wahooly web site.
Let’s say that a new socially-driven photo sharing service is in need of initial users. They would contact Wahooly. We would ask them a series of questions, determine their potential in the marketplace and negotiate a percentage of equity that they’ll provide to these initial users.
Once the details have been ironed out, we send the opportunity for you to check out. If you like it, you signup. If you don’t like it, you do nothing and wait for the next one.
For the sake of the example, let’s say you liked it.
Now, this new startup offered up 5% equity for 5,000 users. That means that you, along with 4,999 other users all own an equal share of that 5%. Not too shabby for simply signing up.
What if you wanted a bigger piece of that pie?
As a shareholder, you hold the key to how much of that 5% you own. These startups are looking for active users, but more importantly, users that are willing to become advocates for their brand. So, using our secret formula (aka: a real geeked-out algorithm), we track how big of a brand advocate you are. This is real-time tracking that you can monitor at any time by accessing your personal dashboard on Wahooly.com.
Your dashboard will provide you with the latest information on all of the startups you have a share of, along with your piece of pie. (Tracking it will be your new addiction.)
How did the team at Wahooly come to this conclusion and what did they do to shift the company’s offering to do this? The story line is interesting. We pick this journey up at the Wahooly Google+ page. Through trial and error, the Wahooly team learns, or decides, that “numbers of users” is really not that useful to a new company. It’s actually the quality of the users.
Version two came together about the time that a Minnesota business plan competition (MN Cup) was accepting entries. We submitted a plan that essentially did the same thing as version one, however we incorporated the notion of social sharing. In other words, if you signed up, you became part of an equity pool. But, you could increase your portion of the equity by sharing it online. Again, there was a problem with the idea. The notion that sharing is valuable is based on the assumption that influence can truly be measured by RTs and follows. We’re not convinced. By the way, we never made it past round one of the competition. What a shame.
It wasn’t until a bit later that we realized that we weren’t actually proposing to deliver users at all, in fact, that really isn’t all that valuable to companies. I mean, ultimately, that’s what they become, but our value proposition is that we’re delivering acceleration via advocates. It’s a quality not quantity equation. We needed to build a system to bring the best out of influencers, which is what most companies struggle with. The key was the power of combined influence, which is how trends begin.
Most worthwhile companies get a fair amount of tweets, mentions, posts, etc., but the tipping point is when those actions can occur concurrently and repetitively. In general, there is little sustainability when it comes to brand advocacy in users, attention is fleeting. Just like in traditional advertising, messages need to be repeated before actions are taken. What we’re talking about is delivering 1,000 mentions over a single day rather than over a year. And then repeating that behavior.
In the end, we decided that, we’re not delivering users, we’re delivering acceleration in the market.
The Wahooly post doesn’t say how they got to this idea. That’s the thing we would want to know, since that would tell us something about how their values found a sweet spot in the market, in a place where there was non-consumption. we know the place of non-consumption. It’s in the place where they realize there is a quality vs. quantity differential that is not being taken advantage of. But what was the feedback?
We’re not into guessing here, but understanding this will tell us something about the value that went into this equation to come up with this ingenious idea.
This conversation on recent privacy concerns about Klout is one of the edgier and sometimes loopy discussions about the topic of how people use Klout in their everyday social media use. After submitting a comment two weeks ago, I must have received over four dozen new comments in my inbox, and they keep coming. So, I know how people use Klout is an important discussion, and it’s not just because people are vain, which has always seemed to me a throwaway answer to the question.
Klout recently changed its scoring algorithm, causing on average a drop of about 12 points for people with high influence scores. The reaction has been, typically, to pan Klout as just another piece of broken social software.
I sit on an advisory board called the Klout Squad, so I just want to get that out of the way, because that needs to be evaluated to judge my bias in my commentary on Klout. I wanted to link to this recent discussion about privacy on Klout because gems, like this one quoted below, always pop up when people discuss how they use Klout.
The issue is not really about privacy.
Here’s two reasons, from a recent commenter calling himself Dylan_LW:
I used Klout for two reasons but after the big “make-over” and migrating to the “new” klout I read up on what the controversy was all about and found the disadadvantages by far outweigh the advantages (as to how used it). Was unaware of these privacy issues (esp minors).
Primary reason to use Klout, to me anyway, was to be able to give a/o receive +k, even though this did not at all influence anyone’s score. Giving +k to someone was a nice way of (unexpectedly) giving someone a compliment. It also offered others an option like an ice-breaker, opening/pick-up line. That’s all.
A secondary reason to use Klout, or rather stats in general: check back if scores/stats plummeted. If so that mighta been an indicator that (unintentionally) I may have pissed a lot of people of. Let’s say I have a change in topics or use more tongue-in-cheek and the score plummets, it would tell me: “people don’t get that.”
As to actual Klout score itself. I found Klout was rather quirky to say the least in the month prior to the big change. But I just thought, well heye, these guys are working on something new so I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Either way in my opinion the actual graphs were buggy and did not at all represent actual influence values.
The issue, I think, is that people are learning that all of these online systems are very open, and that eventually, any algorithm that measures our back and forth between people, or our conversations and our personal reflections, is going to to be able to reach into the darkest crevices of our online life and measure it completely. I think we are uncomfortable.
How we do that will have to change, once we begin to realize that anyone, at anytime, outside the conversations or context in question can find out how we do what we do. How we use Klout says as much about our interest in social media as it does about our awareness of how people perceive us. What we call privacy concern is really an anxiety about how people see us for who we are. There is always a conflict between who we say we are, who we want to be and how we want people to consume us.
So, this is not about how we consume Klout. This is about how Klout consumes us, andhow that relationship is extremely symbiotic.
Are we prepared to work and socialize on an online environment that does not allow us to segment our personalities as much as we like to do IRL?