We haven’t talked about the sites that offer social media “scores” in a while such as Klout, Peer Index, and now Kred. We mostly stopped talking about them because we all basically threw our hands up in the air when we realized that these scores were both wildly inaccurate and likely could be gamed.
Apparently, Gizmodo wants to know for SURE that they can be gamed, so they’ve set out to do a grand experiment to turn a “a drunken 20-something blogger into the Internet’s Most Respected Mom.”
Targeting well-known mom blogger Andrea Fellman of Savvy Sassy Moms to “take out”, they plan to use Gizmodo blogger (and self proclaimed “peon”) Kyle Wagner to test their theories. Unfortunately, Gizmodo failed to let Andrea know of this plan so you can imagine her surprise when the above article was forwarded to her.
Gizmodo states in their article:
We’re hoping to make Kyle the most important Mom on Klout, not just because it’s funny, but because we want to see what’s possible, and make a point about crowd-sourced authority.
Andrea wrote on her blog:
To prove that Klout has no social measurement merit Gizmodo has decided to take me out. Why me? Because according to Klout I am the #1 Influential Mom. And while I do not know how they even come to this conclusion, I hear there is a lot of math involved, who am I to question it?
Wow. It’s really kind of dickish for Gizmodo to target a mom blogger that is working hard on her craft and doing her best to be a professional, isn’t it? Andrea has decided to not take it lying down.
Let’s see if we can use OUR influence to help me become “influential” about Johnny Depp. It will be fun. Maybe Johnny will even play along.
Of course, I do understand that if I do succeed and actually become most influential person on the subject of Johnny Depp and if (highly unlikely) Kyle becomes most influential about Moms, they will have made their point about Klout. But remember, I will have also proven that I do have social media influence.
Momfluential wrote a great piece in response to this odd experiment.
Andrea … didn’t get to the top of that Moms list just because of the votes. She got to the top of the list because she earned it. She is not only an influential Mom, she is an expert on Motherhood. As reporter foriVillage and contributor to Baby Center’s Momformation, a Mom Blogger, Event planner, and mom of two adorable kids, she’s got her finger on the pulse of modern mom-hood. You want authenticity and expertise from the Klout influencer charts? You got it right there. People not only amplify her voice, they take her advice. They respect her. This is the “Dumb Social Media Tool” doing it’s job. Perfectly.
I understand the motivation for the experiment, and frankly, I strongly suspect that if Gizmodo had taken the time to reach out to Andrea BEFORE going live with this article and this experiment she would have been game to participate. But without reaching out first, this just comes off as a seriously douchey move on Gizmodo’s part. Of course, it’s also entirely possible that they chose a mom blogger specifically because they knew we’d get outraged and draw traffic to the contest; of course that’s just as much of a douche move.
What do you think? Is this a worthwhile experiment, or just a foolish boy’s game?