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Klout is broken – Adriaan Pelzer →

Adriaan Pelzer of Raak created someTwitter bots, that spewed interesting things at different periodicity, and discovered that Klout is broken.

The Klout Scores (the ugly)

For all practical purposes though, no matter how I look at it, Klout seems to be broken.

Consider the following Klout scores, for the four bots:

Klout Score: Bot 1

Klout score for ‘once a minute’ bot

Klout Score: Bot 2

Klout Score for ‘once every 5 minutes’ bot

Klout Score: Bot 3

Klout Score for ‘once every 15 minutes’ bot

Klout Score: Bot 4

Klout Score for ‘once every 30 minutes’ bot

What’s wrong with this picture? To start off with, it should not really be possible for a bot to reach a Klout Score of 50 within 80 days merely by Tweeting random (yet entertaining) rubbish every minute, should it?

24 hours after the above klout scores were sampled, I took another set of samples, just to be sure:

Klout Score 2: Bot 1

Klout Score for ‘once every minute’ bot

Klout Score 2: Bot 2

Klout Score for ‘once every 5 minutes’ bot

Klout Score 2: Bot 3

Klout Score for ‘once every 15 minutes’ bot

Klout Score 2: Bot 4

Klout Score for ‘once every 30 minutes’ bot

Roughly the same result, except for huge fluctuations in transient metrics (see True Reach for Bot 1), which also seems a bit suspect. We can’t say for sure without knowledge of Klout’s exact algorithm.

The fact is, though, no matter how you look at it, unless Klout updates this aspect of their algorithm, in another 80 days Bot 1 could very well have the same Klout Score as @scobleizer!

Taking into account that many Twitter clients (like Hootsuite) and filter applications (like Datasift) are using Klout as a trusted way of filtering tweets, it means Klout will have to up their game on this one to stay in the game.

Yes, and the solution to fixing Klout is not just to figure out how to detect bots, but to discover a true metric of influence (see more on influence).


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