How Influential Are You Online? Use Klout…!


Image representing Klout as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

How many times have you come across these buzzwords; “influence and social currency” in your daily digest of blog posts, articles, and tweets? What do these terms mean?

I use Klout to track and measure my influence on the internet.  I believe you have a question for me at this point which would be;

What  is Klout?

Klout is a tool that measures social influence across the web. The higher the Klout score, the higher the social influence.

From their website:

The Klout Score is the measurement of your overall online influence. The scores range from 0 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 25 variables to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score. The size of the sphere is calculated by measuring True Reach (engaged followers and friends vs. spam bots, dead accounts, etc.). Amplification Probability is the likelihood that messages will generate retweets or sparks a conversation. If the user’s engaged followers are highly influential, they’ll have a high Network Score.”

Don’t misunderstand for having more followers because having more followers doesn’t necessarily give you a higher Klout score.  Your ability to interact, create genuine conversation and have conversations with other accounts that are high Klout scorers is key to getting a better number as well.

One would ask me; How do you use Klout?

I use Klout to help determine if I’m positively interacting with my audience or not. I actually use Klout to get a clear perspective of who is directly interacting and exchanging the tweets I send out. It also allows me to ensure that the folks that influence me and that I influence into are all well represented.

According to Klout; I’m “The Standard for Influence” at 48 points (as at June 13, 2010).

Klout Score for @MacJordan

With regards to “True Reach & Amplification”; Klout says, my messages/tweets are more likely to be amplified than the average person.

True Reach & Amplification Score for Mac-Jordan

Very interesting to note; I’m mostly influenced by @Maneno @Karennattiah @GhanaMixtapes @WhiteAfrican @tcktcktck @MangoSyrup & @Nadia870 (**cough**).

I’m proud to be the influencing force behind the following people; @Abocco @Disterics @Neddotcom @Inepdshane & @Ghanablogger.

 

Klout Influence for Mac-Jordan

Most of the topics that brought about my Klout score are; #African #Ghana #Accra #ICT4D #SocialMedia & #MobileTechnology

Hope this blog-post was helpful. If you have any questions for me, kindly send me a reply via Twitter; @MacJordan. Also; to figure out your Klout score simply go to http://www.klout.com and enter in your Twitter name.

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Most of the topics that brought about my Klout score are; #African #Ghana #Accra #ICT4D #SocialMedia & #MobileTechnology

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Will You Ever Quit Facebook?


I stumbled upon this website: http://QuitFaceBookDay.com when I arrived at work this morning. Strucked by its catchy phrase, I decided to read more into what they are actually preaching. According the site;

Facebook Trashed

Facebook is engaging, enjoyable and quite frankly, addictive. Quitting something like Facebook is like quitting smoking.

They’ve actually marked May 31, 2010 as the deadline for those interested to quitting/deleting their accounts from Facebook permanently. As I’m typing at this very moment; about 16129 people have committed to joining this cause/campaign.

Would you join this campaign? Are you likely to quit Facebook soon? What would push you into doing that? Is it because of the privacy issues or other pressing ones?

In recent times, there’s been a lot of talk about Facebook and their privacy issues; as well as their perceived attempts to “take over the web” through their “like” buttons and other integrations with their platform. As a matter of fact, I’m not saying the privacy and other stuffs aren’t important – trust me, it is. In my opinion, the Facebook privacy settings are a usability nightmare, but I do encourage everyone to take a look at theirs and lock them down however tightly you want.

Even though I have been contemplating on the issue of completely deleting my account on Facebook; I have come to realized that, I have nothing to lose if I maintain my account rather than delete it. As a matter of fact, Facebook has been a platform of socializing, re-connecting with old friends, sharing my blog-posts & updating my numerous friends all over the world; from Russia, Ukraine, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, UK, Canada, USA, Kenya and Uganda through to Nigeria about happenings in Ghana and around me…

How do I keep in touch with all this numerous friends/mates and business contacts when MTN’s data services are becoming very expensive by the hour?

Currently, a Google search on my name is definitely going to reveal lot of information [mainly via my blogs] about myself than a couple of years ago. I always dread to think about what info of me is already online even taking Facebook out of the equation. If I decide to leave Facebook entirely for that reason; then surely I would then logically, have to track down all other information that are in other places. I simply cannot summon up the energy to do this… Before I think of starting, I’m already exhausted.

A few years ago, when I finally came to accept the fact that I was addicted to the internet; I made up my mind to use the web into building a career and living my life. I can’t now complain that people I don’t know can find stuff about me. It’s all in the spirit of technology and evolution. I support Digital Activism & Social Media Evolution to the core.

Now to the Sad case: I’m not happy right now because I’m fallen a victim of privacy-abuse on Facebook. There’s this group on Facebook “Chill Out Ghana” by one Kwabena Poku. Even though I’m not a member of this group; I keep receiving spamming messages from this person and his group every time there’s going to be an event in Ghana. Messages range from Silverbird Movies-to-be-shown, Facebook Waakye Party and just this recent one, Vodafone 020 Concert… I have cross-checked to be sure; I’m not his friend and neither part of the group but I keep get spammed… Why???

A week before the Vodafone 020 Concert in Accra, I received about 3 to 5 messages from Chill Out Ghana in a day. All this messages were sent by Kwabena Poku. What kind of nonsense is this? Is it by force to be informed about an event? I just hate cheap advertisement..!

As much as I’m so much into social media right now, I’m not going to make that act of cheap-advertisement stop me from doing what I do best. I will continue to embrace social networking and learn new ways of improving upon blogging and citizen journalism…

I plan to stay on top of Facebook’s ever-changing privacy settings and I’m going to be very cautious about what I post, knowing that any online information easily could be shared beyond friends.

Dear reader; do you plan quitting Facebook for good? What are some of the mishaps you’ve encountered since you signed on Facebook? Will Facebook respond to this and come up with a better and secured Privacy Policy? Are you quitting Facebook or sticking with it? I would be interested in hearing other people’s views!

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My Talk @ TEDxYouthInspire


Growing up in a small trading-town of Keta in the Volta Region, my grand-mother; Madam Doris Degadjor-Deha; a Cereal/Grains  Seller in the Keta Market paid so much attention to Education as the only key to eradicating poverty in our family.

Mac-Jordan @ #TEDxYI

Back in the day, she always makes me write letters to my father by normal dictation of whatever she wants to say and I also try as much as possible to express them on the foolscap sheet from my notebooks…! This was the only mean of communicating between my father and Uncles who were in Accra.

I saw those habits as a means of bridging the communication-gap between myself, my dad, Uncles and my grandmother. Those days of letter writing have really helped in shaping my writing skills till date. I owe my grandmother every bit of my success story. She’s the reason why I’m on this podium sharing my life experiences with you all.

In secondary school; Keta Secondary School. I was a member of the Writer’s & Debaters Club in my first and I later on  became the Editor-In-Chief of the School’s Magazine [The Dzolalian] which was released in time for the 50th Anniversary Celebration.

To some extent, I do believe it’s hard to know sometimes how our life has changed until we stop for a moment and look at how different it is from 10 or even 5 years ago.

In recent year’s social media, likely more than anything else has significantly impacted most of my daily lives. The very first thing I look out for when I open my eyes each morning is my Nokia E71 Mobile Phone…! With this tool, I’m able to communicate, know of the latest trending topics/news and update my followers/friends about happenings around me.

Positive Effects of Social Media

Envisioning the global conversation that has developed over the past few years because of tools like Hi5, MySpace, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter might have been unimaginable for most people at the beginning of this decade. But social media communication tools have profoundly changed my life and how I interact with other people in the world.

Below are the various ways Social Media has revolutionized MY LIFE.

1. Citizen Journalism / Blogging

My friends on social media are increasingly becoming my trusted sources of information, even more than search engines. My Nigerian blogger friend now resident in Ghana, Oluniyi David Ajao recently commented,

“More people are finding my blog from Twitter and Facebook referrals than via Google.com.”

Interestingly, this should tell you how deep people are going with Social Media these days. News (news) is more social than ever.  By getting our news from social media, we know who is recommending and can easily communicate with that person about it.

2. NETWORKING / MEET-UPS

Recently, staying up-to-date with family and friends has been very easy with the coming in of Social Media tools. From writing letters which were either sent by post or hand delivered to today’s modern way of email/SMS has really proven that, Social Media has more positive effects than the negative.

The organizing crew and members of Barcamp-Ghana, Ghana Blogging Group, Maker Faire Africa, Accra Twestival and TEDxYouthInspire all came about as a result of networking via social media tools. By constant staying in touch with each other and working on projects, we know who is available to support any event/project that will be happening and who can play “X-Y-Z” role.

Of course, there isn’t only so much communication that can happen through a social network, but via Tweet-ups and other in-person events, people are expanding these online interactions to face-to-face meetings just like I met RodneyQuarcoo for the very first time even though we’ve been communicating for quite sometimes now.By the way, Rodney Quarcoo was the official photographer at the #TEDxYouthInspire event.

The introductions are initially made through social networks, and then people develop the relationship using phone calls and in-person meetings. In other words, social media is increasingly being used to find and maintain both old and potentially new friendships. There’s been so many instances where friends from Secondary School or University who’ve not been in touch after graduating get to reconnect again via Facebook or Twitter.

3. START-UPS / ENTREPRENEURSHIP

It is easier than ever to start and launch a business today, in great part thanks to social media. We can’t only locate potential collaborators and employees through interest-focused Google Groups, Facebook groups, Twitter searches, and other social networks, but perhaps more importantly, social media gives people who have time, but little money for advertising, the chance to engage with others and promote their business.

While business in the past was generally conducted with those in one’s immediate environment, social media tools, including everything from blogging-tweeting-posting videos on YouTube, has opened new possibilities for both customers and clients. Who we do business with and how we promote that business has moved increasingly online, and for small business especially, social media has proved valuable.

Start-ups using Social Media for advertisement in Ghana.

Start-ups like Meltwater Group, Internet Research, Twists & Locs, DreamOval, Suuch Solutions and some Ghanaian Musicians are a few that are really using Social Media to sell their products and name. A Google search on any of these businesses/Groups/Persons would definitely reveal more information about them today than a couple of years back.

4. SOCIAL ACTIVISM

The practice of using digital technology /social media tools for entertainment, reporting, education, travel and social change is how I define my zeal for activism. Last year, I was part of a few selected bloggers from Africa that participated in the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before my departure, I really experienced the positive side of Social Media from Visa acquisition, accommodation and air-fare package.

Managing Director of GlobalVoicesOnline, Georgia Popplewell visited Ghana sometimes in October 2009 for the African Media Leadership Conference. I happened to take her for a guided tour around some parts of Accra and Cape Coast. She actually convinced me into writing for #GVO from Ghana which I accepted without any comment after hearing of the benefits/opportunities that come with GVO. In my preparation for the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen; I was approved of a stipend

Chip-In Campaign by Georgia Popplewell

which will help me in my participation in the conference and my successful return to my home-country, Ghana. When the stipend was successfully approved, Georgia played a very important role by starting a “CHIP-IN campaign” on twitter which saw people from different parts of the world contributing.

The following 45 Activists supported my going to Copenhagen to report on Climate Change issues been discussed for Global Voices Online & Ghana Blogging Group; and also add my voice to the climate petition been demanded from world leaders. I want to use the medium to say a big “THANK YOU” to all 45 social media activists who saw the importance of my going to Copenhagen and contributed.

Whiles in Copenhagen, I didn’t only focus on reporting and blogging but rather, I took the opportunity to meet other people, exchange contacts and more… I met dignitaries, Heads of States and celebrities from all over the world. Amongst them are; (Please click on the links for the photos)

The Mayor of British Columbia, VancouverGregor Robertson

Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town – The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu.

Pro-Photographer – Kris Krug and the Fresh Air Center Crew.

Daryl Hannah – Movie Star from the movies; “Kill Bill 1 & 2” and “Splash”.

Kumi Naidoo – CEO of Greenpeace International

Currently, I voluntarily reports on the activity of the Ghanaian blogosphere; summarizing on the concerns of bloggers in Ghana. I’m also a key member of Ghana Blogging Group and Future Challenges by the Bertelsmann Foundation in Germany.

5. Conclusion

Before I conclude, the print and electronic media somehow have made a huge impact in positively affecting the lives of people for sometimes now. It is not really a big deal but to some extent it is; because most people read news items and follows stories from MyJoyonline, Peacefmonline, GhanaWeb and other media outlets but with the coming of social media tools; power is increasingly more widespread. So-called mainstream media is no longer always the driving influencer of public opinion.

Bill Gates signed up on Twitter recently and you would be amazed at the number of followers he received within an hour.  About 100.000 people started following including myself. On Twitter, some individuals now have a million or more followers, Facebook Pages of Movies Stars, Musicians and key influential people also have hundreds of thousands of fans, and YouTube videos get millions of views when they go viral. Most of this content is coming from regular people, rather than big, corporate-owned media organizations.

For example, people like Esi Cleland, Ato-Ulzen Appiah, William Kamkwamba, Ameyaw Debrah and few others  who have over 1000 friends/followers on Facebook and Twitter, have used social media to increase their influence beyond what was possible for “regular people” in the past couple of years…

At this juncture, I know some of you sited here won’t agree with me but in every era;

“cultures go through numerous changes, and in recent years ours has been more impacted than anything else by social media.”

Large media houses in Ghana are not likely to go away overnight, nor will the need to communicate by phone or meet people in person, but social media is providing yet one more means of engaging with people on this vast planet of ours, and if used effectively can give all of us greater choice in how we live and what happens in our world.

I’m experiencing the positive effects of social media since I signed up a couple of years ago. I’m calling on all you sited here this evening to take a bold step and make it point to transform people’s lives with social media.

Thank you….! 🙂

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