This week’s Social Media Matters column (originally published July 15, 2011)

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, July 15, 2011
Metro section

Klout measures your online influence

Those of you who wonder how influential you are online may want to check out Klout. By registering your social networks with the service, Klout then analyzes your activity, including comments on your posts, retweets, numbers of friends and followers, etc., and assigns you a Klout score between 0 and 100. Social networks scanned are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

While Klout may give you a general overview of how influential you are, it’s certainly not perfect. For instance, it assumes that one popular post means you’re pretty much “permanently” influential in that area. As an example, I posted a comment about circumcision last year that happened to get retweeted by a few people. According to Klout, I was now influential about circumcision. Really? I hardly think so – and it’s certainly nothing that I would put on a resume, let’s just say.

I also tweeted recently about wanting the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup and the subsequent riots after they lost to the Boston Bruins. All of a sudden, I’m influential about Vancouver. I’ve never even been to Vancouver. Luckily, you have the ability to edit these lists on Klout to make them more accurately reflect what you think you’re influential on. It goes without saying that circumcision and Vancouver got deleted.

Another weakness is the fact that your Klout score drops if you’re away from the computer for as little as a day. Your influence in the world doesn’t drop if you’re sick for a day. Your Klout score shouldn’t either!

For an interesting take on Klout, check out social web consultant Dave Gallant’s article Why Klout Would Make a Terrible Boss.

Hoax overview

Who says summer is downtime for many people? Tricksters are certainly out in full force this month with hoaxes – old and new – spreading like wildfire.

If you hear that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been charges with child molestation, the vicious story is false. The made-up item was submitted to a “news” website that is maintained by users, not mainstream media. It has since been removed. With that said, I’m sure I’ll be seeing this posted to Facebook at some point.

Should you receive a link to a video reportedly of Casey Anthony confessing to killing her daughter, just delete it and move on. Another hoax. If it were true, don’t you think you would have heard it on the news?

Has a worried and well-meaning friend sent you an urgent message telling you not to open an e-mail message from Simon Ashton (simon_25_@hotmail.co.uk) because your e-mail will be hacked simply by “accepting” the message? (E-mail messages aren’t “accepted”. Perhaps the hoax should have read “clicking on”?) Again, don’t worry about it. Hoax!

You won’t be receiving an e-mail from him and – even if you did – simply receiving an e-mail won’t infect your computer. This is just another version of a hoax that’s been around for years, i.e. opening an e-mail from a certain person will basically make your computer melt down or explode like an angry volcano.

If you’re on Facebook and receive a message that you’ve been made an administrator on the “iPad 2 Market Research” page, don’t get too excited. The fact is, you probably have been an administrator, but only long enough for you to receive the notification from the scammers who want to entice you to provide personal information.

By the time you visit the page to find out what’s going on, the scammers have removed you as an administrator and are hoping you’ll fill out their surveys and provide your cell telephone number and e-mail address, both of which will lead to a deluge of scam e-mails and – possibly – suspicious charges on your telephone bill. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. If you want an iPad 2, it’s best to simply go out and purchase one.

And finally for this week, if you receive an e-mail supposedly from McDonald’s telling you that you’ve won a free meal, delete the e-mail or risk having your computer infected with malware. The e-mail asks you to print a “card” to present to your local McDonald’s manager to redeem your free meal. Clicking on the attachment is not a good idea. Just say no! The latest version stated that the free meals would be given out on June 26, but it’s bound to make a resurgence, so be on the lookout!

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Kevjumba (1.7 million subscribers): Kevjumba is really Kevin Wu, an American college student who’s become one of YouTube’s most popular vloggers (vlogger = video blogger). His father appears in many of his videos and usually ends up stealing the show. Kevin and his father appeared on the 17th season of The Amazing Race and placed seventh in a field of 11 teams.

The Philip DeFranco Show (1.7 million subscribers): DeFranco offers blunt and often sarcastic commentaries on popular news items from Monday to Friday. More often than not, he’s pretty much bang on.

The Rick Mercer Report (16,300 subscribers): Popular Canadian comedian Rick Mercer’s official YouTube channel. There aren’t many updates during the show’s hiatus, but if you’re looking for your Rick Mercer fix this summer, this is a good place to start!

2 Responses to This week’s Social Media Matters column (originally published July 15, 2011)

  1. Thanks for turning me on to The Philip DeFranco Show. I wasn’t suffering enough from ADHD! ;-)

    And so what if your Klout score’s way bigger than mine? It’s what you do with it, right? I’m right, right?

    Oh, dammit. Cancel the cottage at Caissie Cape, I got me some tweetin’ to do!

    Great post.