Whether you loved it or loathed it, the Influencers in Travel website was extremely popular within the travel community and generated a great deal of buzz (and debate) about the most influential people in the industry. Klout has categorised social media users by topics of influence since last year, but a few months ago they introduced a +K voting mechanism, allowing users to vote for their influential peers based on topic and contribute to Klout’s scoring algorithm.
Introducing Klout Topic Pages
Yesterday, Klout introduced their latest feature: Topic Pages. Effectively, Topic Pages are a way of browsing the most influential users on Klout by the topics which they’re associated with. Curiously, however, Klout doesn’t actually rank users based on their Klout scores – opting instead to create three separate lists for each Topic Page: Top Influencers, Top +K Recipients and Best Content.
While “Top +K Recipients” is fairly self-explanatory and “Best Content” seems to be based on tweets/statuses which have been shared the most, “Top Influencers” list remains somewhat of a mystery. That being said, we did get one very interesting insight into its mechanic from Klout Marketing Manager, Megan Berry – who told us:
[The Topic Pages are] all using the same metrics but to be on a topic page requires you to get engagement from other influencers in that topic. I.e. to be a top political influencer you need to get engagement from other top political influencers so what it takes to get that engagement may vary by vertical.
It’s refreshing to see that peer-review is part of the ranking algorithm for the influencers list in a system where everybody wants to be on top. But will this method lead to a fair and accurate ranking system? Or will it simply become a clique of Klout aficionados who spend all day voting for each other to stay at the top? On the subject of “gaming the system”, Megan told Travelllll.com the following:
We’re watching +K carefully but since we limit people to 5 +K a day we haven’t seen issues as of yet.
The new Topic Pages are currently only available to a select few users, with full rollout happening over the course of the next few weeks. If you’re one of the lucky ones with early access, you should be able to view the new influencers in travel list on Klout.
Big Improvement? Or Room for Improvement?
Competition is hard to avoid in any community or industry and no matter how irrelevant it can often be, we simply love to compare ourselves to others. Klout, it would seem, have filled this void in our hearts and minds perfectly and created the ultimate replacement for the original Influencers in Travel website. What do you think? Is this an accurate way to measure who the most important people in the digital travel market are? Do you think that this is an improvement over Klout score based ranking lists? How could they make it better? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!