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Klout, the most popular online influence measurement tool, has finally released their long awaited topic pages to the enjoyment of, well, me. I love Klout. But I haven’t talked to anyone else about the new feature yet so for now it’s just me being happy.
For awhile users on Klout have been able to award +K’s to their connections who are influential in certain topics or categories. For example, I’ve been +K’d in categories like Social Media, Facebook, Beer, Burritos, Chipotle (typical 23 year old Community Manager things). This feature didn’t do too much other than allow people to say that others are influential about things. If it increased one’s chances at earning Klout Perks then it wasn’t advertised as such (from what I have seen), but would have been a fantastic incentive to help increase engagement on the site. But until today there wasn’t much you could do with those topics.
Now Klout has finally rolled out their topic pages that promise to make these topics a little more interesting within the site. Topic pages allows users to see the Top Influencers, Top +K Recipients, and influential buzz about specific topics. In the image above you can see the three sections of topic pages on the left side of the page.
What does this mean for users? Users who are influential about a topic tend to talk A LOT about a topic. Now all that chatter is resulting in visibility for the user. You can see that I am the second person listed in the Top +K Recipients section for Chipotle (something I am way too proud of myself for). Now, anybody who views the topic page for Chipotle sees me. While I am relatively insignificant in the only world right now (just you wait) I can only imagine that if I was a company or bigger online presence this would help increase both my reach and number of connections. If I go onto the page for a topic I am passionate about (social media or beer, for example) and I see people or companies rated as the Top Influencers or Top +K Recipients, I will probably follow them on Twitter, or at least do some research on who they are. This is a big deal.
The “Best Content” section displays some of the recent influential buzz on a specific topic. For now it appears to be only tweets, but there is no distinction so I may be wrong. This content shows what people are saying about a topic, and who it has influenced. How the content is chosen is ambiguous at best right now. On the Klout Blog they do give us this: “we curate topical content based on the engaging influencers, and their interaction with the topical content.” Not the most precise explanation, but their algorithms and formulas have always been a tight secret.
Klout also says that these pages will eventually have information on trends and related content, as well as some form of analytics. All of these changes are great in my opinion. If I was a company or leader in a product category, I would utilize everything Klout has to offer to really reward the people who love what I do. If those people happen to be great influencers then even better. Hopefully brands start embracing the influence “factor” and understanding what it can bring to the table.
The word characteristic is defined as “a distinguishing feature or quality.”
The word productivity is defined as “the quality…of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services.”
I have a problem with the above definitions because they imply that productivity is indeed a quality, or characteristic, of an individual. I disagree with that. Rather, I believe that it is a result of a combination of four factors: motivation, focus, organization, and knowledge.
What makes you productive? Do you have a process or are you looking for one?
A coworker and friend of mine, @drewhawkins, tweeted out a link to an article on why freakonomics trumps logic when it comes to marketing. For those of you unfamiliar with that term, freakonomics is essentially the law of unintended consequences. A broad definition, sure, but when applied to business it makes a lot of sense. A hypothetical example would be something like a high national crime rate being the result of McDonald’s releasing a new McFlurry flavor. Two seemingly unrelated things now have a relationship.
In short, the article linked above talks about how businesses that take the logical approach, like adding additional menu items (Burger King), to grow business actually end up diluting the market and result in a decrease in business. An illogical result, unless you use experiential logic to understand it.
What do I mean by experiential logic? It is a term that may very well exist and have a meaning but I’ve made up my own meaning for it right now. What I mean by experiential logic is: apply your own experiences to expectations instead of what typical practices call for. For a personal example…
When I have had a lot of work to do, and I mean A LOT, I get overwhelmed and try to finish everything at the same time. When I do this only two things can occur: 1) I will pull everything together very quickly, but not do as well as I could have on any single thing, or 2) I will jump around and finish nothing on time. So what’s the solution? Pick one thing. ONE. Get that done, and make it good. Then go on to the next thing and do that with the same quality. And so on.
Now let’s back up and apply this to real businesses. The Burger King example from the AdAge article continued on and compared BK to Five Guys. BK tries to experiment with a ton of new menu items and their business decreases. Five Guys sticks to the nuts and bolts: burgers and fries, with some extras like grilled cheese and hot dogs. They don’t try to serve smoothies and salads. Five Guys’ business increases in the same time frame.
The second of two points I brought up in this post is something I’ve observed for a while now, and the AdAge article gives yet another point of view in support of it. If you try to make everyone happy, it’s going to hurt you in the long run. Let’s change that a bit for this example: Less is more. Yes, in this case that cliche works perfectly. Five Guys is a burger joint. And it embraces that. They aren’t adding menu items to feed people who want smoothies and salads. They are going to serve a small number of items, but makes sure those items are of a very high quality. And it helps them succeed.
Focus is what it comes down to. There is a limit to what you can focus on without it decreasing the quality of your work (or product, or business). Stick within your limits and you will succeed. The chances of failure doing what you do well (Burger King making burgers, for example) are slim. The chances of failure doing what you’ve never done to appease others (Burger King making…smoothies) are much higher. Become #1 in one thing before trying to be #1 in everything. Otherwise, you’ll never get there.
(Cue the “Real Men of Genius” music)
Thank you Mr. I’m-cool-so-I-back-into-parking-spots-guy for making my morning even more enjoyable. Everyone wants to be that guy who is super savvy at driving so they swing by an open spot, pass it, and coolly places his arm on the back of the passenger seat and looks back with a “damn, I’m cool” smirk as you glide your way backwards into the parking spot. I’ve done it, every guy has done it (or tried to). Except you don’t know how to. Cars have doors. And these doors must be opened in order to exit the vehicle. You also took the time to line up your car so that the side mirror got in the way of the door. Thank you. Now please forgive me Mr. I’m-cool-so-I-back-into-parking-spots-guy if you are skinny enough to make Kate Moss look like the Michelin Man, if you are able to squeeze through the gap in your door that is the size of my foot, please go ahead and do so. Most people are not capable of such a feat, unless you happen to be this guy. But you are not that guy.
I’m sure you had your reasons. You may have been bringing that special lady home after a great Wednesday night college shit show and wanted to show her just how cool you really are. After all, what girl doesn’t want a guy who can back into a parking spot? You also left her enough room between the passenger side of the car and the car in the next spot for her to lay down in and take a post-party nap. And of course she ignored the grunting, twisting, and contorting you must have done to exit your side because you are such a gentleman.
Or maybe you are the car-driving brother of Mr. I-see-nothing-wrong-with-standing-on-the-same-escalator-step-as-you that my boss had the pleasure of meeting last week. I may never know.
What I do know is that I had the fortune of climbing through the passenger side of my car this morning in order to being my drive to work. And I owe it all to you Mr. I’m-cool-so-I-back-into-parking-spots-guy. And I thank you. It changed my outlook on how to enter a car. I may never be the same again. One day I may return the favor by parking right next to the driver’s side door of your gray Jetta with the FAMU front license plate. However, I am not nearly as cool as you Mr. I’m-cool-so-I-back-into-parking-spots-guy, so I may park normally. I hope that does not offend you.
So thank you, Mr. I’m-cool-so-I-back-into-parking-spots-guy, for making what was looking like any ordinary morning, extraordinary. Thank you so very much.