This past Monday and Tuesday I was pleased to be attending the Jewish Outreach Institute's Judaism 2030 conference. It was mostly a fantastic event, full of great networking and thoughtful, exciting presentations. I was tweeting madly the whole time.
After getting back, my head buzzing with big ideas and the thrill of new connections, I decided, what the heck, I'll check my Klout score. Turns out two days of non-stop Twitter chatter had bumped me up six points.
Klout is a site that measures a person's influence online. They've developed an impressive array of graphs, charts, and other visual paraphernalia to help you break down and analyze your influence, and compare it with others'. Once you've seen your score, you also have the option of sharing it through your social networks.
I, apparently, am "effertively using social media to influence my network across a variety of topics." I am a Networker. It made me proud to hear that - this ridiculous bit of digital validation was kinda cool. Being someone who actively tries to connect cool people, it was nice to see the interwebs recognize and reward those efforts with a tidy little score.
Humans love to measure things. We love to compare. When we have those numbers, those qualifiers, it helps us make sense of the world. We can put things in categories and extract them as needed. But do these measurements really mean anything?
But networking is not about numbers. It's about people, about connections, about making meaning and building enduring, mutually beneficial relationships.
So, what's the relationship between the numbers and the people behind them? Do you tout your Klout? To what end?