Oh, Klout.  I want to love you, but you just won’t let me.

Let me begin this post by saying that Klout, the web site that claims to measure social media influence, isn’t a terrible idea.  There’s a really good reason to want a decent methodology for determining influence online.  After all, if you’re going to be spending time and effort to reach out to your audiences through social media, it makes sense to try to target the audience members who are most influential, and most likely to use their influence to talk up your product or service.

The idea is solid.  But Klout’s implementation is terrible, for one simple reason.  Their algorithm is ridiculously bad.

I’m not the first person to point this out.  But until today, I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt; maybe it works, mostly, with little problems here and there.  But in fact, their ratings just don’t bear any resemblance to reality.

To demonstrate, have a look at the screen caps after the jump.  These were all taken today.

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Media theorist and author of many influential books on advertising, corporate influence on culture, and too many more to name, weighs in on the future of the publishing business on Publishers’s Weekly.  Conclusion: The publishing business’s woes are short-term; good things are coming:

Behind the bad news, there is much to look forward to. Our industry has for too long favored those skilled at negotiating the corporate ladder and punished those who simply publish great books. Now that publishing has revealed itself to be a bad growth industry, it is free to rebuild itself as the vibrant, scaled and sustainable business the reading public can support.

via Soapbox: Well Be Back – 8/24/2009 – Publishers Weekly.

Is there anything more jaded than to use the financial meltdown as a cheesy sales gimmick?

I hereby pledge not to do any business with any company that uses the words stimulus, bail-out, or the mainstreet/Wall St. dichotomy as part of their advertising.