Will We Forever Be Playing the Popularity Game?

Ad Age reporter Matthew Creamer takes a good look at Edelman’s entry into the online influence game, currently dominated by Klout.

First, Creamer takes Klout apart:

Why ascribe so much power to a service that isn’t much more than a tabulation of how many followers and retweets you have? The all-too-human explanation goes like this: People like scores, which Klout gives them. People also like gifts, which Klout gives them if they’re good enough at playing Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn. Marketers such as Audi and Starbucks are taking part in its Perks program, and that gives Klout revenue. Everyone’s winning — everyone except people whose vision of influence doesn’t cotton to gamification, swagification or oversimplified math.

Creamer then points to TweetLevel and BlogLevel from Edelman, which he likes, but ultimately Creamer concludes, “something so complex as influence screams for a touch of human judgment.”

I gave Edelman’s sites a spin, and again, I find these type of numbers, or scores, ascribed to my work to be off-putting. In Edelman’s case they solve some of that, by offering up some warm copy:

Your popularity score is incredible – you really have an amazing number of people within your community who listen to what you say. This number is largely based on recent inbound links (from blogs and twitter), good use of SEO and the size of your subscribers base. Many blog measurement tools purely rank people according to the number and authority of recent inbound blog links but BlogLevel also takes into account how your amplification through other social media channels. However, please remember that just because someone is popular doesn’t mean they are influential. With your huge number of followers it is important that you recognise that your reach can be incredibly powerful – take special care on what you post and don’t forget to interact.

Did you hear that? AdPulp’s popularity score is truly amazing!

Hold it, what grade am I in? Seventh?

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.