Why does Klout think I'm "influential in paranoia"?
May 15, 2012 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Why does Klout think I'm "influential in paranoia"?

I've been using Twitter to share cool links with friends--mainly media files and journal articles related to literary criticism, contemporary music and the arts. However, when I checked my Klout profile, it said I was "influential in paranoia". WTF? Where on earth did that come from, and what does it even mean?

I honestly can't figure it out: I'm an atheist, never tweeted anything remotely resembling a conspiracy theory, hardly ever talk about myself--much less anyone "being out to get me"; I stay away from political discussion of all kinds, and my psychology links haven't referenced it at all. It doesn't look like anyone proposed the topic and gave me K for laughs, so I'm really, really curious what I'm doing wrong to cause Klout to list this as my #2 "topic of influence", right after music.

Can anyone help me understand what's going on? My profile is @synaesthete99...thanks!
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
it's probably a catchall term for general spookiness/surrealist tendencies

I bet there's often an overlap in those who take an interest in some of the more out-there artists/theorists you link, and those who are into weird political conspiracy theories. I mean, I like and appreciate most of your sources and I also like weird political conspiracy theories. Not because I believe a word of them, but because they're weird.
posted by citron at 9:12 PM on May 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Klout ignores the vast majority of what you write.

Influential topics are determined by semantic analysis of only your posts people responded to, and their responses. So, if other people are responding to your posts with words that Klout thinks reference paranoia, you become influential in "Paranoia."

Klout isn't about who you think you are; it's about what it thinks other people think you are.

Fun, isn't it?
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 9:14 PM on May 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

For example, according to Klout, I am influential in Islam, Pizza, and Ocean. I'm not a Muslim. I like pizza but I haven't talked about it in months. And I live 6 hours from the ocean and haven't gone in over a year. Yet those are the topics I'm influential in.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:39 PM on May 15, 2012

Klout says I'm influential in bacon and veganism...
posted by melissam at 10:17 PM on May 15, 2012 [6 favorites]

Nthing that Klout makes no sense. It thinks I'm influential in Pudding, Conservative Politics, and, for a while, Ramadan. Although I like pudding, I can't recall ever having tweeted about it. I make run of Romney occasionally, and I have Muslim friends, but that's it. Really, as a real live social media professional type person, don't stress. It's all nonsense.
posted by mostlymartha at 10:30 PM on May 15, 2012 [3 favorites]

Conversely, my facebook posts are primarily about my work or work-related topics, and klout can't seem to figure out what I'm "influential" in. So no connection, really, between what you do or don't post about and what klout thinks about you.

Isn't there a mefite who showed at a meetup who actually works at klout?
posted by gingerbeer at 10:57 PM on May 15, 2012

I see that you're signed up for Klout. If it bothers you to have the topic displayed there, you can always remove it yourself. Nthing the previous comments about how Klout's analysis can be pretty vague and does not necessarily reflect what you care about.

My SO works at Klout, but I'm answering this as a regular user, not with any insider knowledge.
posted by tantivy at 11:03 PM on May 15, 2012

Apparently you once tweeted:
Jacques Lacan Speaks (1972) great lecture on death, language, psychoanalysis, love, alienation, paranoia & life itself http://t.co/ZIrEePZU
It probably comes from there. Possibly since you got favorited for it, it ranks higher.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:00 AM on May 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

Klout, last I checked, said I was influential about McDonald's; I think I've tweeted about it once or twice? I wouldn't put a lot of stock in what Klout says at this point. Especially don't let yourself get paranoid about what you post, just because Klout thinks you're into paranoia!
posted by limeonaire at 5:19 AM on May 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

TheophileEscargot has it. A single word in a single tweet is enough to make you influential if that particular tweet becomes popular.

While I kind of like the grid Klout uses to show the different types of tweeter, I've never found their "influential in" topics to be anything other than hilariously off-base. Last year it kept accusing me of being influential on the topic of Colorado. Since I'd never posted about Colorado in my life, I was racking my brains for ages before I worked out why.

(It was because all my urls were being shortened to http://t.co addresses and Klout was mistaking 'co' the tld for 'CO' the state.)
posted by the latin mouse at 7:08 AM on May 16, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'm pretty sure it's based on what other people respond to or retweet. Currently, my top three are GEO, Photography, and Leopard. I tweet a lot about geography and many of my followers are mapgeeks who retweet my stuff. Photography is probably my tumblr stuff that's being reblogged. Leopard sounds strange at first (nothing to do with the Mac OS) but a few weeks ago I tweeted a couple videos of cute baby leopards at play and people couldn't resist the RT.

Mostly my topics have been GEO, Wisconsin, and maps, which are dead on for me. I'm guessing that the higher your score is, the more accurate it is. Mine is not super high at 48, but seems to be above average for my circle of friends.
posted by desjardins at 8:54 AM on May 16, 2012

Klout thinks my girlfriend is influential about Time Machine. She has no idea why. It also thinks I'm influential about tea, which is only true if you consider my saying that coffee is superior "influence". A bit more seriously, it says I am influential about Seth Godin, which is only because one particular tweet I made linking to something he wrote gets retweeted a lot. So it seems like they're looking not just at what you say, but at what people say about what you say.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:11 AM on May 16, 2012

I would also like to observe that Martha is influential about pudding, in that I think about it occasionally because she goes on about how she's influential about it. So there's this weird meta quality where people talking about klout actually makes them influential about what klout says they're influential about.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:14 AM on May 16, 2012

Klout has a lot of bad data for a lot of users. The Internet is full of people commenting on this, a particularly lulzy one is "influential about homosexuality". You have the option to remove topics or opt out of Klout entirely.
posted by Nelson at 10:37 AM on May 16, 2012

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