BostInnovation published the Klout scores for Boston venture capitalists yesterday. You can read the article here http://bit.ly/lHnhNL
Klout has limitations but will be important:
Klout is theoretically a measure of someone’s online influence. It looks at your Twitter activity (# of links clicked, followers, retweets, etc.) and assigns a score from 1 (coma) to 100 (you d’ man). Don’t think of it as a grading scale where an ‘A’ would be 90+ because the Wall Street Journal which clearly is authoritative is only an ‘83’. While the article is interesting and thought provoking, there are some serious drawbacks to Klout which is still in Beta. First, Klout is highly Twitter-centric. They just recently added Facebook and plan to add LinkedIn and Foursquare soon. Those social networks are not all created equal. I predominantly (although not exclusively) use Facebook for personal connections and LinkedIn for business. If someone has more Klout on LinkedIn, I would heavily weight their influence there, much more so than Twitter. When Klout adds LinkedIn, the relevance of the rating system will become more meaningful.
My Twitter experiment:
I just started using Twitter in earnest a few weeks ago. It began as a bit of an experiment and I’m now getting access to some high quality information – mostly blog posts by VC’s and links to industry articles. Twitter and Facebook are replacing RSS Feeds for many of us including me. Here is my traffic analysis: 50% of my readers originate from a post on LinkedIn; 25% from Facebook and 25% from Twitter. The LinkedIn concentration isn’t surprising as I mostly write about business and most of my 1,034 connections are business connections. The Twitter concentration was a surprise to me given my short tenure on the social network. Twitter is no longer an experiment for me and I’ll bet most business people will find it a valuable channel of information and ultimately influence as measured by Klout or someone like them. As the information available on Twitter goes through a curation process, the more valuable bits of information will be brought to the forefront instead of a random time-based stream.
Why most VC’s don’t care about their Klout scores today but will in the future:
A quick scan of the list in the article shows that many VC’s are not active in social networking. Clearly these are men and women of influence, regardless of the Klout scores. Many of them blog and have information that they want to share with the entrepreneurial community. Some just don’t want to be found and shun any sort of social network – that’s pretty clear looking at the list. Social networking influence will become increasingly important. Technology has a way of dragging most people along, reluctant or not. I still remember the CIO at Silicon Valley Bank not wanting to install email because he was afraid of viruses – like it or not, technology prevails.
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Eastward Capital Partners – providing $1 – 10 million venture debt, growth capital and equipment financing to venture-backed, emerging growth companies since 1994. We also provide expansion capital to non venture backed companies.