Charles Stross has described the klout service as “the internet equivalent of herpes”.
ref: Wikipedia, Evil Social Networks
Charles Stross raises a good point that services like this demonstrate how 3rd parties can data-mine information about an individual without their permission or awareness – amplifying internet privacy issues in general.
Personally I find services like Klout that generate “social media scores” to be yet another passing social media fad with no real value for users other then entertainment.
BTW, my klout score is here
For those interested in related topics:
There was an interesting article published yesterday “Is There Big Money in Big Data?” that talks skeptically about the Big Data “fetish” that has blossomed over the last few years.
Big Data focuses on collecting loads of data on user transactions and behaviours and making a lot of valuable predictions.
I like this quote from the article, which rings true:
Even with infinite knowledge of past behavior, we often won’t have enough information to make meaningful predictions about the future. In fact, the more data we have, the more false confidence we will have. Not only won’t our hit rate be perfect, it will be surprisingly low. The important part, as both scientists and businesspeople, is to understand what our limits are and to use the best possible science to fill in the gaps. All the data in the world will never achieve that goal for us.
Twitter has announced over 200M registered users.
Independent analysis has pegged the actual number of active users at around 21M.
Survey stats as of April 3, 2010 from Purple Forge iPhone applications show that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are the top 3 social networking/media applications used by Purple Forge application users in the United Kingdom, USA and Canada.