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Obama Finally Beats Bieber Fever According To Klout 67

Thanks to a change in the way their algorithm works, Klout says that President Obama is finally more influential the Justin Bieber. The company now examines more "real world" factors such as the information in your LinkedIn profile and data from Wikipedia entries. From the article: "The overhaul, which began in January, was part of the company's effort to address critics who pointed to Bieber as a prime example of why quantifying online influence was, at best, irrelevant. The teenage pop singer, with his army of 26 million Twitter followers who retweet his every word, had a Klout score that dwarfed that of the U.S. president."
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Obama Finally Beats Bieber Fever According To Klout

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    The misspelling in the first link..

    • ... as the embassy storming is cooking up an international storm, I'm afraid that Julian Assange gonna be ahead of both Obama and that young chap who criticized Prince William's hair, or rather, the lack of it

    • a little too excited to get this story out. as soon as "justin bieber" entered his mental typing buffer the whole machinery took a giant crap.
  • by fleeped ( 1945926 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @04:12AM (#41007611)
    What were you *thinking*?
  • by mozumder ( 178398 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @04:19AM (#41007663)

    A generic number is a horrible measure.

    Ultimately, the information Klout is trying to analyze all comes down to marketing, and for that, Klout needs a specific audience to measure influence with.

    If I was running a fashion magazine targeted towards females, I would want to tell advertisers I have influence among women ages 24-45, with a certain amount of income, who are interested in shoes and bags. That's going to be different than the influence I have among male libertarian tech nerds, but unfortunately, Klout doesn't know the influence specific separate audiences (probably a billion combinations of different audience profiles), which is important now that marketers are targeting more specific niches.

  • I think nothing more needs to be said...
  • Statistics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mestar ( 121800 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @04:39AM (#41007761)

    Looks like they already knew the result they wanted, then they changed the algorithm until they got that result.

    • Re:Statistics (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Theophany ( 2519296 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @04:41AM (#41007777)
      Well, in fairness having a millions of tweens hanging on your every word is hardly 'influence' compared to, oh I don't know, being POTUS.

      Influence is as much to do with the nature of your 'followers' as the influential person themselves.
      • by Trepidity ( 597 )

        I assumed Klout was just trying to measure influence on Twitter rather than any kind of "real" influence. The latter isn't even that well-defined, but you could probably use money as a better proxy.

      • by gmack ( 197796 )

        Klout has a very broken algorithm for defining followers on facebook. The one and only time I ever looked at Klout it had my top two "influencers" and one of them was a girl I used to know but had annoyed me so much with her red square student protest (all education should be free) posts that I had disabled her updates from showing up on my news feed. The other was a friend whose posts I don't even pay attention to.

        Meanwhile it ignored the people who I do pay attention to and whose posts I tend to comment

        • Curious - why shouldn't education be free? Right now it is up through High School. Why not extend it to undergraduate degrees or trade school since it has become so hard to get a job without one and getting one saddles people with so much debt that they are struggling to get out from underwater 10 years later. Do you really have that much of an issue with educating people?

          • I'll answer that one. Because education requires educators. Educators have to eat, which means someone has to pay them. Education requires materials, whether of the books and pencils variety, or IT infrastructure and course materials. These also cost money to make. Traditional education requires buildings holding classrooms and dorms. Those cost money, too. As a result, education is not and never will be free.

            Incidentally, public education is also not free. You pay for it through your taxes.

            I have a

            • As long as there's massive demand to get into the big name, high price universities, it won't get cheaper.

              Try not to forget that there are huge subsidies paid to hide the true cost of the education from the consumer.
              This tends to modify consumer behavior and drive costs up as well.

              • I haven't forgotten. My university education was 75% taxpayer funded. Were that not true, my loan payments would have been 4x higher. Still well worth it for me.

          • by gmack ( 197796 )

            I don't have a problem with educating people and, in an ideal world it would be possible to pay for everyone's education but governments need to be more sensible then they have been. Right now the government of Quebec is dealing with the fact that the cost of borrowing has gone up so at some point in the not to distant future they will hit a wall where they simply cannot afford to borrow money anymore so the money must be prioritized or everyone including the students will end up with no services at all.


            • the one concrete suggestion they have come up to save money is to simply ban all university research.

              When I worked for a university, research was not paid for by the university, it was paid for by external grants. The university tacked a hefty percentage on top of that to cover their costs, so overall, university research was a cash cow, not a cost.

      • Stupid algo, stupid topic. Obviously you can't "calculate" influence by your online presence. I am surprised sites like klout even exist. And even more we are comparing Obama with Bieber, I mean come on guys..
      • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

        But this is a democracy/republic. I thought we were supposed to be influencing the President, not the other way around.

      • But Obama follows the every tweet of Bieber.

        So Bieber not only influences Obama (As can be inferred by his handling of issues.) but also has the millions of teens.

    • Or bought enough fake Twitter followers.
    • That's how all AI algorithms work. They all have to be "trained" and then tested using specific sets of training data. There are always limitations in the algorithms used as well as in the sets of training data. When a large short-coming like this is spotted, the algorithm and/or set of training data has to be fixed, and then the system has to be re-trained and tested carefully to make sure the chances didn't cause even bigger problems. I've worked with web site categorization AI routines, and they come up

  • by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @04:40AM (#41007771) Homepage

    I can understand posting important political stories. But Obama vs Bieber on Klout? Are you serious?

    Klout is a terrible company, nothing more than a money machine from extending high school style popularity to the web, based on idiotic metrics and raking profiles without people's consent.

    Charlie Stross called them "the Internet equivalent of herpes [antipope.org]" and that's exactly what they are. Lets not extend their influence further.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      But Obama vs Bieber on Klout? Are you serious?

      Are you serious? Bieber's going to be so pissed that he's now less popular than an irrelevant US President.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Klout is a terrible company, nothing more than a money machine from extending high school style popularity to the web, based on idiotic metrics and raking profiles without people's consent.

      You see, there are quite a few of us who are out of work and completely unemployable in our chosen fields because of the many many reasons that have been stated ad nauseum here on Slashdot.

      Anyway, my point is, seeing horseshit like this may spur one of us to do something like this to make a living and pay off our student loans - yes, folks with CS degrees also have student loans that they are having to live with.

      So, what I'm saying is, if I thought of this myself, I would have done it in a heartbeat. And I

  • WTF (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2012 @04:46AM (#41007805)

    I feel like I am an alien from another planet trying to understand this strange human society.
    1. I had no idea who "Bieber" was until I read this article. (He seems only to be popular in primarily English speaking Countries, I guess mainly only the US. This is supposed to be an international site, I thought, so they should at least put his first and last name together.)
    2. I never heard of Klout, and I guess even most people in the US never have, even slashdot visitors, so maybe perhaps someone should explain that in the summary.
    3. I know who Obama is, but I don't know how or why he would beat "Bieber" and since I didn't know what Klout was, I didn't know if "According to" meant "as announced by..." or "following the rules of...", etc. Assuming it was sports, I would assume the second one and be wrong.
    4. Trying to sound cool by using words like "fever" in the headline just makes it more confusing. "Beiber Fever" could be a disease, for all I know. It sounds like it is. But Obama beat it, so I guess he's in recovery now.

    So at best, this header read to me as:
    Obama finally beats xxxxxx Fever according to yyyyyy.

    Jesus christ. Back to Slashdot.jp for me! At least the headers make sense...

    • Re:WTF (Score:4, Informative)

      by Beyond_GoodandEvil ( 769135 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @08:39AM (#41009053) Homepage
      This is supposed to be an international site, I thought, so they should at least put his first and last name together
      Just b/c they dropped this from the faq "Slashdot is U.S.-centric. We readily admit this, and really don't see it as a problem. Slashdot is run by Americans, after all, and the vast majority of our readership is in the U.S. We're certainly not opposed to doing more international stories, but we don't have any formal plans for making that happen. " Doesn't mean this site is all of the sudden an international site.
    • I got a really good laugh out of this post because I imagine the AI program Klout uses to try to figure us out would say the same thing if it could talk. Maybe it's because I'm a programmer who's worked with AI a bit, but that struck me as hilarious. When humans can't understand each other without context, how can you expect programs written by humans to understand us? ;-)

    • by na1led ( 1030470 )
      There is one thing in common with Beiber, Klout, and Obamah, they all mean nothing to me.
  • Some teeny popularity contest site (because, frankly, the internet and "popularity" on the internet has much of a highschool) thinks that some pop singer is more influential than the leader of the pretty much single superpower in the world, and how said leader (who may or may not have the "hearts" of some people but sure has the firepower to break some of them or convince them, depending on what happens first...) is "finally" more popular than said whistle buoy.

    This is news?

    Well, this just in: Matt goes out

  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/More_popular_than_Jesus [wikipedia.org]

    Popular culture is a lot more pervasive than some things we think are more important. Get over it.

  • by cupantae ( 1304123 ) <maroneill&gmail,com> on Thursday August 16, 2012 @07:08AM (#41008385)
  • Id like to apply for a job as edtior of Slashdot. Ive pissed primary school english so im perfectly qualified.

    Or maybe I should apply as a continuous improvement specialist. I'll join Slashdot and fire all the editors. It's not like we were paying them to do anything anyway.

  • The Bible left out the annoying twerp horseman but the rise of Justin Bieber just proves the Mayans were right and it's the end of times. How that boy band reject could be considered more popular than the President is a sign of how decadent we have become. Come on even Bush Jr and our current Congress should be thought of higher and our Congress is rated lower than the guys that club baby seals. We should all be afraid, I'm not talking zombie apocalypse afraid, much, much worse. At least zombies just make y
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The social media analytics company now sucks in 12 billion bits of data every day from social networks including Facebook, Google Plus and Tumblr, up from 1 billion just months ago.

    What a bad place to use 'bits'. So either they only collect 1430.51 MB of data per day, up from 120 MB...or they actually collect several billion pieces of information.

  • It's downright sad what passes for a /. story these days. Klout is bullshit. Nobody on this site cares about Beiber. This is little more then an online pissing contest.

    Slow news day has been taken to new epic highs with this garbage.

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:00AM (#41009283) Homepage Journal
    No one defeats the Beiber! Unleash... The Bieberconda!
  • It will be a sad day when politicians pander Bieber for a political endorsement. It will be even a sadder day Bieber endorsement makes a difference.
  • who gives a shit about Klout except Klout?

    This is plain an simple marketing, and it is below the former editorial standards of Slashdot.

    Boo! Hiss!

    • This is plain an simple marketing, and it is below the former editorial standards of Slashdot.

      Standards? There are standards? Where?

  • qualifications (Score:3, Insightful)

    by codepunk ( 167897 ) on Thursday August 16, 2012 @09:31AM (#41009671)

    Both are equally prepared to run the country.

  • The first thing we do around here, when we get a new resume, is to check the klout score. The closer it is to 0, the more likely we are to keep the darn thing. If this wanker spends the time needed to improve his internet influence, then he is can go waste someone else's time.

  • I will not live in a country where the president has more moxy than a random mop-headed stage performer.

    Oh wait, no... never mind.


"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin