Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Measure your cyber-fame

There are no introverts online. A few comments, a few likes, a few followers -- you gain a strange sense of accomplishment and self-confidence. Yet, some remain cocooned in cyberspace, using it as an eternal refuge from real-life claustrophobia. For others, it’s a launch pad for many a real-life venture.

Most cyber-beings are bitten by the self-promotion bug at one point or another. It manifests in various ways (filling up an elaborate profile, putting up photos of oneself and family) and for various reasons (letting oneself known to others, making friends or for business promotion). Cyber-fame is key to leveraging the full potential of one’s online existence, be it on blogs or networking sites.

You need to work your way to it, though arguably it’s easier than in real-life.
One, make sure you blog on topical issues; two, regularly post updates; three, network by visiting blogs, liking updates, and leaving comments; four, link your blog to networking sites so that each time you have fresh post, your friends see it on their timeline; and five, revive contacts by messaging.

No of hits, friends and comments fair indicators of your online popularity. Blogger, Wordpress, YouTube etc have an in-built device to let you know the number of visitors. Or else, you can let sites like Blog Counter or Sitemeter do that by signing up and placing an HTML code on your blog.

The credibility of the number of comments depends on the nature of comments, because not all could be relevant, and there could be spams.

Now, you have sites that combine your presence, activity and contacts on various platforms and calculate your influence. One of the popular sites is Klout. Another one is Peer Index. Both work on similar lines, though Klout assesses your influence on a broader scale. Sign in with your Twitter or Facebook login and password; and add to it all your networking sites.

Klout Score measures your influence on a scale of 1 to 100, and takes into consideration Comments, Wall Posts, Likes, Mentions, Reshares etc. It measures your Reach (number of people you influence within your network and across extended networks), Amplification (how likely your audience will respond to your actions) and Impact (the influence of your audience).

Klout also will tell your style from among 16 possibilities -- a Conversationalist, Networker, Observer, Pundit etc. The score can be tweeted and shared on networks to publicize your fame and influence.

The authenticity and credibility of such online indices are debatable, but recently, a matchmaking site Tawkify announced that it would consider members’ Klout score when pairing them with each other for dates.

(This article appeared in Wireless World column of The Times of India, Bangalore, today)

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