Klout Puzzles: Are undergrads more influential than Gruen panelists?

 mUmBRELLA published Sarah Ballard and my article on the puzzles of Klout, specifically why Klout seems to think that typical Australian undergraduates have as much online social influence as Gruen Transfer panelists.


The research “Are undergrads really more influential than Gruen panelists? Klout thinks so” reports the results of some simple tracking studies that Sarah conducted on the online social influence service Klout.

Online social influence is one of the hottest new marketing metrics, and new companies are springing up claiming to measure combinations of platforms, followers, and sharing. Klout claims that scores of 20 are average, so scores above that should indicate some stronger sense of influence. Sarah wanted to know whether that score of 20 was a true average. She found that Klout scores really start at 10 and that a typical Australian undergraduate on Facebook averages a score in the 40s, well above Klout’s claimed average.

Amusingly, the undergraduates tracked in the study had as much or more apparent social influence than the panelists on the popular ABC marketing and public relations program The Gruen Transfer. The article provides some explanations for these puzzling facts.

Sarah’s achievement in being published was also featured on the School of Journalism and Communication’s website.

This kind of work is part of my ongoing program of establishing highly visible engagement and impact through research-based news stories published and advertised through social media. Students who are professionally-focused gain exposure in their industry and a killer portfolio object/resume line. Students who are research-focused see themselves as knowledge creators and their research has having a life outside academia and encouragement to continue.

Read the full article @

Ballard, S. & Rintel, S. (2012, June 28). Are undergrads really more influential than Gruen panelists? Klout thinks so. mUmBRELLA (Online).