You’re on Facebook.
You tweet sometime – though you’re still debating whether or not to have a real picture on the DP.
Then, there’s this professional profile you’ve been meaning to update, tucked in on LinkedIn.
Add passing flirtations with the rest of the social media – and the irritating tryst with multiple passwords.
All said, you’re still unsure of whether any of that matters.
Well, it does – if you ask a reluctant believers of ‘klout’ – an aggregator of your activity in all of the above and more.
I pitch as I do, because you’ll be hearing of your klout score more and more.
It isn’t 100 per cent accurate for everyone on the planet, but a fast-emerging currency of digital influence.
So, try it, but promise me that you’re logging in to www.klout.com only to have fun.
For dummies: It’s quite simple to get started. All you need to do is allow klout the access to one or more of your logins on, say, Facebook or Twitter – and in a few hours, be rewarded with your own score!
And the higher your digital influence, the closer you shall be to President Obama. He stands at 99!
Mine’s just 60, by the way. Sigh! It used to be 64 some weeks back (promise!) before I took a break from Facebook.
Now, 60 isn’t all that bad, either – Rajesh Kalra, an editor and columnist for whom I have respect is at 65. So it Dilip Cherian, the image specialist.
Of course, Rajesh and I (so easy to talk of oneself in the same breath if it’s one’s own column!) suffer in comparison to the TV celebs.
The redoubtable BarkhaDutt is at 82, you see! And if you ask klout, a certain MrBachchan isn’t all that ahead of Barkha. 89, is what the legendary actor scores here.
You’re getting there: Klout is silly too.
How can someone claim to measure your "worth" on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and other social media sites, and then give you a score out of a hundred?
It sure is a product for the vain, for the fame balls, the ones who want to measure how cool they are in the Internet's proverbial cafeteria without wanting to be caught giving it all that much importance.
Now, such a measure must be fodder for naysayers.
So, here’s a quick snapshot:
First, klout triggers status anxiety. Absolutely right, it does! I check it once in 15 days…and mine’s invariably slipped a notch or two, as I claimed a minute back!
Next, klout’s a social evil. You don’t need CNNMoney to say that. Goddamn, it is!
Third, it’s a baseline, at best. Sure, but a baseline that more folks are using than they ever did since December 2008 when klout came out of a garage.
If you’ve reached till here – increasing your klout score must be the next thing on your mind.
The internet is littered with “how to” tutorials on that count. Their essence, in 140 characters is to post more pictures, quotes, jokes, and stuff that not just you, but others find engaging too.
And if you get RTs from a Twitter ‘big hitter’ like, say, @janlokpal like I sometimes do for #KejriToons that I post on India’s most self-righteous neta, my klout score stays in the first division!
The website describes what it does quite pithily: “Influence is the ability to drive action. When you share something on social media or in real life and people respond, that’s influence. The more influential you are, the higher your Klout Score.”
So, here’s what it is guys! Your clout (oops klout!) isn’t just about posting 100 status updates every day. It’s whether or not people respond.
So, all the best for your klout scores, wherever they languish at present.
A parting tip. Once you’ve gone past your own measure of digital self-worth – and have hopefully done that while enjoying the journey! – don’t forget to get a life.
Tail Piece: There are seven Warren Buffets who pop up on klout’s search tool bar, six of them looking remarkably like Oracle of Omaha. The klout scores of these Buffets varies from 17 at the worst to just 46 for the highest-rated profile! What will I do to trade my ‘better-looking 60’ with a hundredth of the man’s real-life influence?
The columnist is an alumnus of Harvard Business School. He writes at the intersect of media, regulation and strategy. Follow @therohitbansal