I’d like to start out with a framing story by Dr. Seuss: The Sneetches. This story is not as popular as some of Dr. Seuss’s other books so I am going to give you a summary, although I highly recommend reading the whole book.
The Sneetches are a society that lives on the beach. Some Sneetches have stars on their bellies and some do not have stars upon thars. (Seussism) The Sneetches with the stars on their bellies have frankfurter roasts on the beach and if you don’t have a star, you are not invited to the party.
One day Sylvester McMonkey McBean, the fix it up chappie, came to town with a machine that could put stars on your belly – for a fee of course. The Sneetches without stars lined up to go through the machine and popped out at the end of the conveyor with stars on their bellies. This made the original star belly Sneetches very upset, how could they tell who to invite to their exclusive parties?
Well, of course Sylvester McMonkey McBean had a solution, the machine could take OFF the stars as well. Soon the Sneetches spent all their money putting stars on and off their bellies. No one knew who was who but Sylvester McMonkeyMcBean, amused at the folly of the Sneetches, said “you can’t teach a Sneetch” and left town with all of the Sneetches money.
The Sneetches is an allegory for discrimination and I have been thinking about it for months as the Klout score discussions and debates have gotten hotter and hotter. Why are we so fixated on our social scores and mentions? As people are leaving Klout and switching to Kred I wonder, is this going to end up the same? Are people now going to post their Kred score everywhere? Will there be a Chrome extension so that you can view Kred Scores and decide if you should talk to people?
I, for one, don’t want to be judged on a score, a floating algorithm or any arbitrary number. Do I check Klout? Sure, I look at my topics, score and other things but I don’t use it to gauge who to talk to or any of other social decisions. Are you giving away your own clout or cred by letting yourself believe Klout or Kred?
I urge you to think twice before taking all the social media influencing scores, grades and number too seriously. Think independently and be aware of your thinking. Don’t behave like a star belly Sneetch and think that you are better than someone else based on your number of followers, score or grade. It is a very slippery slope.
“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Albert Einstein
Many posts have been written about Klout in the past few weeks, here are a few that stuck out to me:
Liz Strauss: Klout, My Story & Why Opting Out Was My Only Choice
Pam Moore: Why I Deleted My Klout Profile
I’m sure you have an opinion about social influence and this hot topic….let’s hear it.
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