Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kloutscore - A Consultant's Speel on Social Network Measures

I did not pay much attention to Kloutscore because I always knew it was a based on a bunch of consultant speak.  Eventually, I went to their website and looked at their measures for network influence and I ROTFL :)

Their measure of reach - is simply called degree centrality in network parlance and was first proposed back in 1973.  Similarly, the measure they say is network-centric is a modified measure of eigenvector centrality used in network analysis. I am sure the founders will tout their scores around as if they came up with it, but again, what else can you expect ? Academia is often blamed for nto making the extra effort to connect with the real world, but hey,  that is not academia's only role!  

Researchers in Social Network Analysis have been using and testing these measures and their limitations in a variety of contexts for decades.  But, when a company just knocks of these concepts from a research paper and fashionably uses them to convince clients without telling them the basis for when these scores work and when they don't we have media salivating over Klout :)

At the end of the day, I am happy that at least some academic findings have found their way to real application and for that, Klout deserves to get credit!