This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Digital Skeptic: Klout, Even With Microsoft, Scores Zero in Social Media

Stocks in this article: FB LNKD MSFT

There is Hollis Tibbets, an independent software marketing and technology consultant who wrote a hilarious post about how he created a fake social-media persona with minimal Facebook and Twitter presences yet still earned a Klout score of 37 -- enough to get that Salesforce job posted to LinkedIn. There is a robot called Curiosity Rover -- you know, the space thingie driving around on Mars -- that has a score of 84, just 6 points less than Mitt Romney's 91 and double the 49 assigned to the misspelled "Mitt Romeny," who also claims to be a robot.

A 49, incidentally, that is equal to an another account named Warren Buffett who has to be one of the most influential people on the planet.

But wait, there is another Klout profile, again for Warren Buffett, that shows a score of 77. Of course, there is no way to confirm any of these scores, so who knows what's actually happening here.

Which is, of course, the point.

Even more interesting, even though the company does not comment officially on its calculations, if you listen carefully to its public statements you'll hear execs quietly acknowledge that Klout is very much a work in progress. Take a look at this fascinating video of CEO Joe Fernandez as an interviewer asks him what a 35 score actually means.

"Is there a best practice?" Fernandez said to TechCrunch's Drew Olanoff, referring to things the company could do to better define how a score is derived. "That is probably something we should be working on."

Not enough investor clout
All this leads to a rank investor ranking for Klout. What makes Klout not just another dubious social media parlor trick is, of course, its deal with Microsoft, but to these tired eyes Redmond is yet again dabbling in a dangerous digital distraction just as it begins what is the most critical product launch in a decade -- the rollout to Windows 8.

If Klout could explain how it does its thing, that would be one thing. But considering the company's reticence, the dubious results and what lies ahead for Microsoft, my take from testing Klout is that it simply should not rank with investors.

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.
3 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,651.86 +294.99 1.70%
S&P 500 2,043.16 +30.27 1.50%
NASDAQ 4,723.4150 +79.1030 1.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs