Social Dynamics 102: Klout & Quora

As we enter 2011, there are two new brands on the social scene who are starting to have major impact – these are Klout and Quora. The first of these is a measure of our social influence, there are many such sites out there who have developed their own proprietary algorithm to monitor your presence and rank you, but Klout seems to be coming out on top (at least for the moment) as the industry standard; the second of these is Quora who on a more qualitative level are giving people the real opportunity to share their knowledge and allowing the social graph to comment, interact and rank the content being shared. So two tools, one quantitative and the other qualitative to monitor the input that is being shared by individuals online. As the social revolution takes hold and we start to see an explosion in user content online, it will be more than ever critical to be able to rate the quality of the content – where once we knew there were brands that we could trust, and then a few online personalities, today anyone and everyone is a content creator and a publisher – as Clay Shirky (@cshirky) puts it, we are not in an era of information overload, but one of filter failure – and these tools will help us get closer to filters we can have confidence in.

Beware, this post is definitely social dynamics 102, because if you haven’t got a first grasp of what has happened on the social scene during 2010, not least of which is Facebook and Twitter – then the knowledge of these two services will be out of context.

Rather than try to describe them in great detail, below a few links to find out more.

Klout at is a measure of your influence, the dashboard shows both an overall klout score and then breaks it down into different criteria including the reach of your own tweets and content, the evolution of followers and who you might be influenced by. It also plots your score on a chart characterising the type of social maven you might be and how you compare to others around you.

Further reading:

Quora at is the ultimate combination of the social graph and question & answer service, it takes what we have been really looking for in social media which is the cross-section of those we trust and the topics we are interested in, and gives us an interface to get at this content. And as and when you do join, take head of this post by Lucretia Pruitt (@LucretiaPruitt) which gives us some guidelines of how to approach it – Welcome to Quora, do yourself a favor and slow down.

Further reading:

Of course as with everything online today, it is changing by the second and reading this and the above can never be enough, you need to be part of the revolution – so logon, signup and start measuring yourself.

By Lex Bradshaw-Zanger

A digital native and integrated brand marketer with a passion for marketing-communications and product design, Lex has a truly international outlook and experience, having worked both in major marketing agencies and client-side brands across Europe, the US and the Middle East.

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