Know Your Klout: How Active Social Users Can Score Big

Just a few months ago, Justin Bieber was the most powerful person on the planet, according to Klout, with a score of 99. But then Klout changed its algorithm and now the president is the top individual at 98 (but still trails the Los Angeles Dodgers at 99).

"We are always evolving the Klout algorithm, whether it is new data sources we acquire -- for example, we added real-world influence, so Wikipedia, New York Times articles even just LinkedIn what your profession is, is contributing a lot more to your Klout score," Fernandez said.

But wouldn't changing the algorithm all the time be the same as changing the value of currency, or manipulating a credit score, causing a potential massive freak out? Fernandez said while Klout takes its algorithm changes seriously, his company tries to keep their users informed of the changes.

"People care about their score" he said. "They're putting a lot of work to enhance the score, so we put a lot of work into communicating why the score is changing -- and social [media], in general, is changing every month. You have Pinterest coming out, you have Google+, you have mobile, you have millions of people every day joining these networks and new behaviors, so it's not like a credit score. ... The land is shifting really quickly and we need to be ahead of that curve."

Given the ebb and flow of our online lives, it all seems so random and arbitrary. So maybe the shrewdest part of Fernandez's business is the fact that when you put a number next to a person, ego takes over.

"When mine would start falling, I would get anxious," Burton said. "I was one of those people that checked my Klout score every day."

"It's not about putting you on a treadmill or figuring out who's on the A-list," Fernandez said. "It's understanding that every person is influential about something, and giving them credit for that. So, we put the data there. People can obsess about it as much or as little as is appropriate to them."

So if you want to obsess, and even cheat to get your Klout score up, Burton has a great tip.

"Just tweet a really, pretty cute picture of a cat," she said. "If you tweet a video of a cute little baby monkey riding a cat or, like, riding a dog, or you get any kind of cute animal doing anything, back up."

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