This post has been swirling around in my head for over a year now. And with the introduction of Google+ recently and the current obsession with Klout, I need to put it down on paper. It is from the gut post… No experts or data presented here.
I’ve become weary of this focus on acquiring large number of followers or coveting a high Klout score. Someone may have 50,000 followers on Twitter or 1000 friends on Facebook, bought and sold at a high price on Empire Avenue, and a Klout score of 79, but what does it all really mean? Does it mean they are a super person or a really good professional? I can’t say. I wouldn’t judge someone by how many followers they have or their Klout score. I know I wouldn’t want to be judged that way. I’m proud to say I have over 1000 followers on Twitter and have an average Klout score. To many that doesn’t seem like a lot and that’s OK. It is all meaningless to me. What matters to me is what they have to say and the interactions we have. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited when I got my first follower or my hundredth or thousandth. It is nice to know that people are interested in what I have to say.
In my opinion, this obsession of large numbers is missing the point about social media. Perhaps I’m still an idealist when it comes to social media remembering when it was all about sharing a common bond over a topic or experience. There was actual social interaction. Now there seems to be more broadcasting then conversation. Perhaps this shows that social media is maturing and how it is evolving from early adopters (small group) to mainstream (the masses.)
Social media has introduced and connected me with some wonderful people. People I would have never have met to do to distance unless we ran into each other at a conference or on a train. Folks I’m glad to call friends and peers now. We need to return back to basics where connections and conversations took place. Where the interactions meant something (and where actual influence is held) instead of now where selling and positioning oneself seems to rule.
Social media is about connecting with people not collecting followers. Ready to talk?
All I have to say is amen. I just tune out the numbers talk, the “top X bloggers” or “top X people to follow on Twitter” and all similar posts. It’s such an echo chamber anyway–as if we need one more company or person to tell us who the top echo-chamberists are.
I think that echo chamber should be dismantled. It stops actual dialogue from taking place.
As @twitter-14246643:disqus mentions, amen, Amanda. Numbers can be gamed – sincerity can’t. Here’s to option two over option one every time. 🙂
Right on, Mr. Brown! Sincerity is so important.
My klout score is 82, AND I’m a super person.
Just kidding. Good post. I’ve always said the numbers are bullshit. It’s about the quality.
Thanks for stopping by, Peter. I believe that too. If there is quality then everything else will fall into place. Or I hope so.
It’s so true. I think a lot of people come from a world of numbers… so much so that I’ve titled things I was selling to seduce by number acquisitions. And coming from that perspective, it’s easy to forget which ones matter. And it’s crazy to see that they matter more to people you think are otherwise really smart.
For example, I had a client whose pending book deal was tied, among other things to their number of Twitter followers. Can’t say what company but it is a major publisher that you’ve heard of – shows me how much I’m inside the bubble at times. I only found out when I tried to explain to the client that among all the things I could do to help her get more business, the raw number of Twitter followers was immaterial.
The ignorance about this is VAST… and I say all that to say that the whole numbers thing isn’t important to us, but it’s also just as important that we leave posts like yours for discovery so that people looking for this information can 1- know that and 2- know WHY.
Thanks so much, Tinu. So very true, ignorance about this topic is vast and it is obligation as professionals to get educating.