Charles Stross has a post this morning, “Evil social networks” taking aim at Klout.com that you should read.
Some time ago, I signed up for Klout. I forget exactly how I came across it. I know that someone mentioned it and I took a look at it. The idea behind it is that it is supposed to show the level of your influence (klout) on the Internet based on numerous metrics. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, which I understand well both in terms of how to use them and how their privacy works, I was always a little dubious about Klout. After all, with a name like Klout, it is clearly there to feed the egos of people like me.
After reading Charles post, I decided to opt out of Klout’s service. I did so not so much of my concern over my own privacy (if someone wants to mine my browsing habits, I don’t have a particular problem with that, so long as I am aware of it) but because of the viral nature of the service.
You do have to jump through a couple of hurdles to opt out. Here are two screen shots from my opt out process:
And the second screen shot:
In addition, I went into Twitter and disallowed Klout from using Twitter information to help speed up the process.
So I no longer have Klout, but I have also rid myself of the malaise that I felt all along after signing up with the service.