I overheard (couldn’t help it; waiting in line) somebody complaining about social media metrics like the Klout score, a measurement of influence. She said: “What’s up with these people to try to judge and rank people?”
And I thought to myself:
1. You are always being judged and evaluated…
A couple of generations ago we were all judged on appearance, dress, diction, actual resume stuff, and perceived resume stuff. We went from being tracked through dumb class to smart class beginning in first grade through the whole high-school thing with grades and SAT scores, dating and coolness assumptions, athletics, accerated classes, or not. And then there was which college, which degrees, and, finally, for some of us, which grad degrees. And did we marry or not, and if so, kids or not. And then where we lived, what car we drove.
People have been sorting and selecting and evaluating and judging other people for thousands of years. There is nothing new about that.
2. At least it’s objective…
So now it’s almost 2011 and we’re all doing it as much as we ever did. I don’t deny it. I google you if I’m going to meet you, check out your blog if you have one, your website if you have one, look at the “about” page to see what you think is important about yourself, see who you think you are. Don’t you?
So what’s so bad about a ranking system for Twitter and Facebook based on some algorithms, measuring how your self-published items flow to the rest of the world?
(Disclosure: one of my daughters works with klout.com)