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

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. 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. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. HighJive says:

    Here are some things Edelman says about MultiCultClassics:

    Your influence score – Your score is impressive and your blog is truly influential in your sector. Where focussed conversations have become more important your blog has shown itself to be a leader. To improve your score try and address issues quickly so that
    people come to your site to understand how topical news is interpreted. Your
    site may not be TechCrunch but you are doing what it takes to be an important
    source of information in your field. Not only have you become an authoritative
    source of information but recognised leading sites are listening and linking to
    what you say.

    Your trust score – Congratulations – your trust score is
    something to be admired. The Edelman Trust Barometer states that 77% of people
    refused to buy products or services from a company they distrusted. It is trust
    that makes someone act – for this reason alone, having a high trust score is
    considered by many to be more important than any other category. One of the
    simplest measures of trust is if someone voluntarily listens to what you say or
    pushes other people to read what you have written. The number of subscribers
    you have and inbound links from Twitter and other sites make up a large
    weighting in deciding your trust score. Your posts are interesting, credible
    and informative and probably spread far around the world. Well done and keep it

    OK, this service is total bullshit. First of all, “Edelman Trust Barometer” sounds like an oxymoron. What the hell would a PR firm know about trust? It all feels like a Magic 8 Ball or astrology entry. And to put it all into perspective, you have to consider Edelman’s own forays into the Internet – i.e., Edelman doesn’t know shit about social media.