You stand in front of the crowd. Who stands behind you?

WTH Was THAT Kred?!?

All I Wanted Was An Answer

OK, I am gonna start off this post by saying that, I probably wouldn’t even have written this post if someone at Kred had answered my question directly.  I am just curious what this marketing play by Kred (@Kred) was all about.  Last I was told, when I asked why they “aligned/piggybacked” on Klout, rather than keeping their differentiation was “It’s really busy in the office today. We will craft a response soon.” (As a writer, I noted the word “craft.”  It seemed odd to me) As of this posting, I still don’t have an answer. So, I am going to see if anyone else does. Why? Because it seemed like a very strange move for a company of data specialists to call itself an “alternative” and then “piggyback.”

I’ve seen many a varied marketing tactic over the years…and I was just curious why they went this route.  I really just wanted to understand, maybe even learn something deeper about the new little niche.

The Scientific Study of  Social Influence

 

I have been studying the “Social Influence” utilities for a bit of time now: quietly, in the back ground, just a little geeky project.  A lot of my clients have started to ask me questions about it, and many people I know in the Speaking industry have started using various tools (mostly @Klout). The problem was that everyone was equating social influence metrics to social media “stuff.” I wanted to be able to explain it to them with some knowledge, so I started studying it.

Now, I am NOT a highly influential person…I produce goods for people who are influential. This allows me to just sit and watch. Which, having the data background I do, is cool in a geek way.

Over the last few months, I have had many conversations on the topic of “social influence” tools with knowledgeable peeps. Some people call it phooey, and “nothing more than high-school cliques revisited.” I can see where they are coming from, but I differed in my opinion of it. I found it rather interesting that a new metric was emerging. I wanted to know:

 

  • How will it be measured?
  • Who is gonna get it right?
  • What are people going to do once they know that they are being measured?
  • How is this going to be used in business?
  • Will a high “social influence” score allow a person or brand to charge more for their services?
  • Will persons/brands with high scores start selling their tweets ? (Note: I discounted celebrities, since they openly do this and well, we don’t really care that they do. I was thinking more about powerful mom-bloggers, academics, and the like.)

 

See, I am one of those that does believe the metric can be a good one. Now, how you can announce that you are measuring something and than not have your measurement affected by it is a whole ‘nother story.  Once you say “we are gonna measure this,” there will be those that want to “game” the scoring and get a higher score.  So, the measurement is only valid (or rather, truly pristine and uninfluenced, accurately measured) before people realize they are being scored. After that, the analysis will have to account for people who are “working the system,” so to speak.

Regardless of whether or not it has lost it’s data derived innocence , I believe the metric will be an important one. Or rather, one that might be important IF 1. It gains long-lasting recognition as a valid metric that has meaning (in business, this typically equates to sales) and 2. If solid companies come out and truly seek to measure the influence data and not taint it.  No, I am not saying that they should not PROMOTE it’s use, but there is a line to “education, explanation and promotion” and “creating your own data to measure.”  The line isn’t all that clear yet, but it’s there and we will find it.

Kred – Oh, You Look Really Cool

 

As I studied the various companies entering this space, I was truly enamored with Kred. I liked that they went wide and deep. I liked their mission.  I liked the rep that they sent to our industry mastermind and speaking event last year.  She was ultra cool.   And, truth be told, I completely trusted the data geeks that they are. I love data. And, when I read that Jodee compared this type of data mining and study to the early stages of science of genetics…it made sense to me. Because I am a geek. I was anxious for them to come out and bring the heat. I believed that the would get it “more right.”

And then…..I saw a post explaining that they were giving away “Double the Love” in Kred for people who were tweeting the Klout points (kisses for Valentines Day) for the month of Feb.

To introduce +Kred, we are celebrating with a Valentine’s Day ‘Double The Love’ promotion.
Through February 29, any tweeted +K’s from Klout earns 2 +Kred awards. We’re proud to to help you give some extra recognition to the people who inspire you most.
Participating in ‘Double The Love’ is easy. Kred will detect +K tweets and add double +Kred Influence and Outreach Points to both the influencer and their supporter for the rest of February.
As a little bonus, we have also awarded Influence and Outreach Points worth 1 +Kred to everyone for all tweeted Klout +K’s given between February 1 and 12.

(full article http://blog.kred.ly/2012/02/valentines-day-double-kred/)

What The Hell Was THAT Kred?!?

The Head Scratching Begins

And, I wasn’t the only one scratching my head!

 

 

This is only one of many people asking : What the heck just happened there.

Did Klout and Kred Team Up?

My first thought was this this was a cross-promotion. It didn’t make sense to me. But, maybe there was some business reason that only those who are “in the know” know about. I may have even tweeted something about an oligarchy.  It might have happened before I realized it wasn’t the case.

I REALLY thought this was the case when I found this article and quote from Peoplbrwsr CEO Jodee Rich
(@WingDude ):

“We are delighted to share with Klout in showing the love to influential people,” said Andrew Grill, CEO, Kred. “+Kred is our year-round vehicle for showing appreciation to the people that inspire and influence you, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to tell the world about the ones you love most.”

(full article: http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/kred-doubles-the-klout-love-for-valentines-day-1619110.htm)

Then, I realized the vague nature of the statement. I can “join” a reception.  It doesn’t mean that I was invited to the wedding.  He must have meant join, as in “join the space.” So, I went and looked at what Klout was saying. Now, I didn’t see any bashing. Rather, I found pronouncements of their domination from their CEO.

So, No, That Wasn’t a Joint Effort

So…it wasn’t a joint effort? I went ahead and just asked Kred directly.

As I said at the beginning, they still haven’t answered me. So…I have been looking on-line. And, found articles like this one:

 

Now, these bloggers really seem to favor Klout. For me, I think it’s gonna take a few more years for the best algorithms to be determined. There is a ton of trial and error in front of us in this area. So, I’m not ready to say either is supreme master yet. Huge kudos to Klout for being the first big boy on the block. The first guy on the dance floor always gets his cool moves inspected more closely. I know you are growing and adapting, too!

Kred Marketing Communications Had Me Missing George W Bush

The article was funny and cute, and pointed out the beauty of simplicity. Props to Garth Knutson (@gknutson) and Blake Abel ( @abelmind ) of What the Klout And, well, it featured a Coming to America movie clip – total awesome sauce. But, even that wasn’t what caught my attention. What caught my eye was a comment on the blog post from Shawn from the Kred Team. His answer to the blog’s direct call out?

Hi, it’s Shawn from Kred. Thanks for talking about our Valentine’s Day promotion. Just to clarify, we are giving *2* +Kreds for every tweeted +K through February.

“Our goal is to measure and include influence from everyone & everywhere. Giving a +K or a +Kred is a public positive action that from someone who believes that a person influential.

Our scoring system is totally transparent, assigning 70 Influence Points to the recipient and 30 Outreach Points to the giver.

Shawn Roberts
Director, Marketing Communications”

Happy Valentine’s to you and yours.

(full article: http://emisare.visibli.com/share/A7VYGg )

 

Shawn, the best way I can explain how much your answer disappointed someone who was actually inclined to believe in you, is to say to you – You made me miss George W.

 

Let me explain…I am not a raving fan of George W. Bush (maybe because he does seriously remind me of my Daddy).  Nor, am I a fan of the current administration (that’s a topic for another day).  BUT, there were 2 minutes in May of 2011 that I really wished George W was president again. I would have paid to have him as president JUST for those two minutes. Why?

Because I wanted the George W Bush version of the announcement that Osama bin Laden was dead.

It was a scarce moment where his brash Texas way of being would have been perfect. I wanted to hear his chuckle, and see his half grin.  I wanted to hear his version of “Gotcha bitch!” With the undertones of “word to those who try and shoot down my Daddy’s airplane.” It was a rare moment where the rest of the world would have allowed the American bravado that typically pisses them off (rightfully so in many cases). I missed him. That BS wimpy ass speech Obama gave was so limp, bland, weak.

Not to the same extreme, but in like fashion, that is what your response made me feel like. Please tell me you guys aren’t bringing a butter knife to a gun fight!

Option 1: Hell Yeah We just Made THAT Move!

Anything would have been better:

  • “Yeah, we are totally leveraging them. Gotcha!”

There were many people who appreciated it, and you got your RT buzz. I personally think it’s a weak play when you are trying to assert superiority or engage in competition. But, a lot of people, like Jessica below were made happy by it, and appreciated the love of her peeps.  Many people were happy to get double points.  It just doesn’t seem to make business sense for you to pull a move like that, and then not even own it!

 

Option 2: Stop Talking Smack – We ARE Better

I would have been good with a direct engagement with the blog owners:

  • “No, you are wrong…WE are better and here is why…We needed your attention. We have got it now…choose us, we are better!”

Not just…”Oh, BTW, did you know we are transparent?”

Option 3: Blame an Intern

Or, even

  • “Dude, we have this intern and it was ALL his idea…we were super tired that day, so we decided to roll with it. You are probably right. We will put that one in the #fail category. He is soooo cleaning all the bathrooms for the entire month of February.”

Shawn – any firm stance would have sufficed. But, THAT answer was weak sauce. I expected more fight from you guys. While both Klout and Kred have pros and cons to each. You are data junkies.  I thought you could do it.  And, well, I still want to…but, good grief, I have to believe that you will fight harder than that. You are really going to have to.

So, I ask anyone out there now who might know:

What The Hell Was THAT KRED?!?

This Might Actually Be Important

I think social influence is a very interesting thing to measure.  I think it will play out in branding, marketing, sales, the spread of better content. I think studying it may just teach us about how technology (not just social media has impacted our lives). For any of you who might wonder whether or not a “social influence” score will ever matter. Here is a summary of a conversation I had with my kids last year. It is one of the things that started my interest in social influence metrics. There was a big marketing push from Klout about this time and simultaneously a time during which I was having many discussions about SM based relationship management. It was a topic at the time. And, well, I took a bit of home with me to work after talking with my “user testing group”. And, then, I got all observationist with it.

How that will play out long term in business….well, that’s what I’m waiting to see.  But, to answer the question “Is it even important?,” I shall defer to my children and their answers in the conversation below.  The chat was about their blog, where they wanted to review “cool” new electronics, books, games, toys, etc.  My kids (10 and 11) don’t remember a time before social media, Wikipedia, and YouTube. And, they are members of a great consumer group – the tweens.  So, I do actually listen when they speak. This chat took place about 6 months ago…and is what caused my ears to perk up. The truth always falls from the mouths of children.

Kids: Mommy we need you to talk to your clients and important friends and get them to tweet about us or post on their facebook.
Me: I cannot do that for you. But why?
Kids: Well, because we want companies to send us free stuff.
Me: I don’t even have clients that sell the things you want, guys.
Kids: It doesn’t matter. If important people talk about us, then THEIR friends who are important people will see it. And, if they have stuff that they want us to review, they will think we are cool and send us stuff.
Me: So, you want me to call my friends and ask them to make you guys seem important, so that important toy people will think you can actually influence sales of their toys.
Kids: Exactly.
Me: What if they aren’t actually “important” in the area you want them to talk about?
Kids: It doesn’t matter. If their fans think they are important, then they are important enough for us.
Me: How do I determine who is important for you and who isn’t?
Kids: We can look on Facebook and see who they talk to a lot.
Me: What if they want to be paid for posting for you?
Kids: Depends on how much they want. How much do you think it would cost?

END POST

Shoutout: I want to acknowledge Dave Cole (@heyDaveCole) for enduring my question streams.  I am sure some of the ideas presented here that I remember as being all mine, may have initially come out of your mouth.  But, well, I can never remember which is which.  You are brilliant.  And, I somehow feel myself getting smarter around you; perhaps by proximity or osmosis.

This post was generated by Dashter

 

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2 Responses to “WTH Was THAT Kred?!?”

  1. server dns information February 16, 2012 10:24 am #

    Hi Jennifer,

    First, I would like to thank you for your kind words about Kred. We are thrilled to hear that you are enthusiastic about social influence – we are too. We appreciate your ideas and value you as a Kred user. We are in the early days of influence metrics and as an industry have much to learn. With this said, we strive to be most honest and transparent community focused measurement tool in the market.

    Kred and Klout are not affiliated but we respect the work that they do. We created the “Double the Love” promotion to create awareness around our +Kred influence rewarding system. The main differentiator between +K and +Kred is that we let people recognize others as influencer in specific communities. By awarding +Kred to someone in a particular community, you are expressing that you consider that person influential and encourage others interested in that community to engage in conversation with them. The reward adds influence points to the users score in that community. +Kred along with offline Kred is our way of including personal preferences and real life accomplishments in our score along with social media interactions.

    Thank you so much for your input and please contact us with any future questions or comments.

    Best,

    Joshua

  2. domain server February 16, 2012 12:42 pm #

    Hi Josh,

    Thank you very much for responding. I know that things get busy. I just wanted to understand your positioning move more clearly.

    I get your response, which boils down to “We are going to include all of the data we know is applicable, even if it is our competitions data.” OK, I can see your point there. And, you are very carefully choosing option 1, and acknowledging that there data is relevant. I concur, it is publicly available data that you should grab and include.

    It’s also a respected sales method to sell directly into a competitors market. If you want to sell something, sell to those who have already bought it. They may need a new one, or want a better one. Again, I concur. Please, just send the word up your chains that if you are going to pull a move like that (which CAN be a very bold one when executed right), don’t back away from it.

    Don’t flick your wrist while throwing a punch.

    Have your people say: We are here. We are better. And, we are better because of X (fill in your X).

    “Transparency” isn’t going to cut it. For all the hoo-ha that was raised when Klout changed its algorithm a few months ago and had everyone freaked out because their scores fell…the people who were vested in the importance of the metric, figured out how to get their scores back up pretty quickly. For all the fuss…those who cared, adjusted and moved on.

    You have many other things to fill in the X with. Bring some heat…that’s all I’m saying. Have your people respond with a firm stance. If you are going to call them out, and piggyback on them – fine, I get it. BUT, then just come pit bull style not chihuahua. Your market will listen more intently, when you give them a CLEAR message to listen to.

    I wish you much success. I will keep watching for more big announcements from both of y’all. It’s a rumble in The City. For this San Francisco girl, it’s a great one to be watching.

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