KLOUT: Rhymes With “Shout”. What Meaning Does A Klout Score Have, Anyway?

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People are still talking about Klout scores. In theory, the higher your Klout score (scores range from zero to 100), the greater your “influence” in networked society, and amongst your peers. I frankly think that it’s simply a measure of how good you are, or how much time you invest, in using social media for self-promotion, regardless of the quality of  your words and their wisdom content. When I receive notices from Klout, I have mixed feelings. Here’s one for example:

KLOUT SCORE IMAGE - Douglas E. Castle

Ironically, this happens whenever I am particularly active at “gaming” my social media. And the more time that I invest in gaming my social media, the less time that I am spending accomplishing other tasks which add value to my asset portfolio or profitability to my businesses. It’s an inverse relationship: the more time I spend raising my “social influence,” and my personal brand (which is, admittedly of some importance in obtaining client opportunities) the less time I spend working.

Here’s how I see it:

Klout Score Versus Productivity -Illustrative Example - Douglas E. Castle

Yes. I may be a harsh, crude judge, but social influence is not exactly the same as true branding, name recognition, or visitor conversion. It is just another metric by which we attempt to quantify qualitative characteristics. We are a metrically-obsessive society.

I would rather invest more of my time on directly productive activities than on indirectly, remotely reputation-building activities. The higher my Klout score, the poorer my optimization of time. I would rather selectively influence a small group of important persons than spread my seed all over social media society.

Want to laugh? I’ll bet that my Klout score will go up a bit higher just because I spent some idle time composing this blog article. That’s ironic. I would rather see my profits go up, and hire a more effective publicist. In the unforgettable words of a forgettable Millennial philosopher, “Meh.” I think that there are far better ways to gauge meaningful (i.e., targeted) social influence than by elevating my Klout score.

I prefer polling and other more parametrically-defined methods of measuring opinion or sentiment. Nielsen ratings used to be hot stuff. The average number of  times that your name is googled might be a better indicator of how much gravity and magnetism you have. I could go on, but I’d better get back to work — that means having meaningful conversations and interactions with other people.

To me (and I am neither opinionated nor sarcastic), bragging about my Klout score is rather like the fellow who used to clean my septic tanks bragging about his IQ and showing me his (somewhat cloudy-looking) MENSA ring. Heck — he probably did well on his SAT scores as well. How do you measure success? How do you quantify personality? Klout is a measure of your social Shout activity. Now get back to work, esteemed colleagues!

Douglas E. Castle

 
Klout scores tell far too little about an individual to use as a means of determining that person’s influence in the focus areas where Influence Matters.
 

 

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This site is the Management Consultants' and Chief Reconstruction Officers' best all-industry guide to analyzing, diagnosing, devising a strategy, creating either an Action Plan or an Emergence Plan and overseeing and monitoring the successful implementation of either in order to ensure the client organization's optimal, sustainable profitability. These plans are always made scalable to accommodate the size and needs of the client, whether it is fast-growing young company with an aggressive and ambitious agenda, or whether it is an older, larger, well-established business which is experiencing problems or which is at a crucial decision making point in its evolution as an entity, and which requires sound advice (and often implementation oversight and assertive "hands-on" assistance in the form of a powerful third-party representative agent or a an expert in the art of negotiation as its appointed "point person") regarding its next steps. In the alternative, Douglas E. Castle is expert at helping fast-track, rapidly emerging companies to growth through acquisitions, mergers, licensing, branding and both domestic and international strategic joint ventures to access better, more efficient supply chain sourcing and to open up wider global markets to dramatically increase the scope of possible new revenue opportunities.


Objectivity And The Business Turnaround

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Can You Identify The Turnaround Consultant - Douglas E. Castle

 

Evaluating a business’ situation and what should be done to further its best interests requires dedicated time, objectivity, emotional detachment (those latter two are different  — objectivity comes from clear vision, and a grand, experienced perspective while emotional detachment comes from not being emotionally constrained from sacrificing any sacred cows, or offending anyone), and the experience and expertise of someone who has lived through a large number of these types of situations previously.

You need a tactical and strategic specialist upon whom you can truly rely. And you are already frightened that a stranger will compromise or destroy things which you have emotionally invested in. Interestingly, this very fear and attachment are the factors that keep leaders from leading the great businesses which they’ve built in moments of either crisis or critical decision.

Your business is in dire straits. You don’t know quite when it happened but your business is hurting: cash flow is very then, both fixed and variable costs seem to be on the rise, and your regional managers no longer seem motivated beyond their biweekly paycheck. You wish that you could stop everything that you’re doing and spend a few weeks examining the business in detail, but you are 1) too busy and involved in the business process and 2) not at all objective. You lack time and objectivity — and to top it off you are too emotionally involved with the business to make the changes that might have to be made. You and your attorney conferred with me, and came to the conclusion that you needed a Turnaround Consultant, and asked if I had an interest in the engagement. I am at your offices this morning, because as good a visionary, leader and hands-on manager as you are, you lack time, objectivity and the emotional detachment necessary to be effective in doing what must be done.

It requires time, objectivity and emotional detachment to do what has to be done for a business at any critical point in its evolution: whether that is averting financial disaster; contemplating adding a new product or service; thinking about outsourcing or using virtual office services to cut your staffing requirements (and the expense which comes along with having a full-time employee — now close to 37% on average of the employee’s base salary in most corporate cases); contemplating developing a virtual export or import division; evaluating a merger opportunity with a competitor in your industry who is significantly larger than you are; evaluating combining your business with you largest supplier; thinking of recapitalizing through either a private placement of equity interests, a public offering of securities, a deal with a private equity firm; a “guaranteed” public offering of your company‘s common shares through an investment banking firm; or, signing on for a large line of credit at seemingly good terms with an overseas firm out of the Middle East which only wants a 7% equity stake in your company.

When a business is at a critical inflection point in its evolution, life cycle or critical path, the key individual cannot necessarily trust or confide in anybody except for his or her lawyer or his or her accountants — but these professionals are limited in their scope of practice and expertise.  The person whom you seek is usually referred to you by your legal counsel or perhaps by your independent accounting and auditing firm — and he will have those attributes necessary to guide you past that inflection point that we spoke of earlier:

It’s at these times, whether the decision involves avoiding a disaster or acquiring another firm in order to make a giant step in your business volume and diversification (not to mention the increase) in revenue sources that I feel delighted to be needed.

Thank you for reading me, and for circulating my posts through your ever-growing social media channels.

Douglas E. Castle


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This site is the Management Consultants' and Chief Reconstruction Officers' best all-industry guide to analyzing, diagnosing, devising a strategy, creating either an Action Plan or an Emergence Plan and overseeing and monitoring the successful implementation of either in order to ensure the client organization's optimal, sustainable profitability. These plans are always made scalable to accommodate the size and needs of the client, whether it is fast-growing young company with an aggressive and ambitious agenda, or whether it is an older, larger, well-established business which is experiencing problems or which is at a crucial decision making point in its evolution as an entity, and which requires sound advice (and often implementation oversight and assertive "hands-on" assistance in the form of a powerful third-party representative agent or a an expert in the art of negotiation as its appointed "point person") regarding its next steps. In the alternative, Douglas E. Castle is expert at helping fast-track, rapidly emerging companies to growth through acquisitions, mergers, licensing, branding and both domestic and international strategic joint ventures to access better, more efficient supply chain sourcing and to open up wider global markets to dramatically increase the scope of possible new revenue opportunities.


Main Syracuse ambulance company files for bankruptcy; change won’t likely … – SU The Daily Orange (subscription)

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Main Syracuse ambulance company files for bankruptcy; change won’t likely …


Douglas E. Castle‘s insight:

After reading the article, it struck me as fascinating how the Economic Times was callng this Chapter 13 abankruptcy (as if it were a death knell for the ambulance company), and that the ambulance company spokesman, out of political training, or out of ignorance, called the proceeding "a routine reorganization….the company’s service will not be affected." The reason for the publication taking a more fatalistic view is that most companies of small to medium size ultimately wind up transitioning [atrophying] into Chapter 7 (a liquidation of asets, usually by auction), with a complete cessation of activities, The "reorganization" is basically a court intervention which just forestall (in most cases) a liquidation.

 

This fatalistic perception has permeated all of society because of the sad fact that those companies which are not "too big to fail" do not do anything constructive during the Chapter 13 reorganization period in terms of formulating and implementing an Emergence Plan to leave Chapter 13 and emerge as a streamlined, smarter, better-run enterprise. It takes an expert with a great deal of knowlege to get into the company, correct its trajectory objectively and candidly, in order to navigate through the "reorganization" into a newer, better way of doing business.

 

Lamentably, most businesses tend to just use Chapter 13 as an excuse to continue making the mistakes that brought them to the courthouse in the first place. That’s very foolish. They need to be turned around by a visionary from the outside with an objective view and a firm hand regarding suggestions and implementation.

 

Douglas E. Castle http://DouglasECastleBlog.com

@DEAdvisor.


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This site is the Management Consultants' and Chief Reconstruction Officers' best all-industry guide to analyzing, diagnosing, devising a strategy, creating either an Action Plan or an Emergence Plan and overseeing and monitoring the successful implementation of either in order to ensure the client organization's optimal, sustainable profitability. These plans are always made scalable to accommodate the size and needs of the client, whether it is fast-growing young company with an aggressive and ambitious agenda, or whether it is an older, larger, well-established business which is experiencing problems or which is at a crucial decision making point in its evolution as an entity, and which requires sound advice (and often implementation oversight and assertive "hands-on" assistance in the form of a powerful third-party representative agent or a an expert in the art of negotiation as its appointed "point person") regarding its next steps. In the alternative, Douglas E. Castle is expert at helping fast-track, rapidly emerging companies to growth through acquisitions, mergers, licensing, branding and both domestic and international strategic joint ventures to access better, more efficient supply chain sourcing and to open up wider global markets to dramatically increase the scope of possible new revenue opportunities.


Established Companies As StartUp Incubators.

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Established Businesses As Incubators For Startups - Mutually Advantageous - Douglas E. Castle - DouglasECastleBlog

 

Established companies with existing infrastructure, whether doing extraordinarily well or due for a restructuring or a turnaround, generally have some additional capacity, knowledge, personnel and perhaps some available cash sufficient to incubate and assist in accelerating the growth of a start up or seedling enterprise, if properly inspired and advised of the incentives, i.e., possible rewards, which can make the symbiosis powerfully rewarding for both parties. In many cases, established companies may make the best startup incubators of all.

In the illustration above, a large, established company is merely investing some of its extra capacity (and perhaps some significant expertise and mentoring) in the seedling which it has fully absorbed. While the benefits to the seedling are obvious, the benefits to the established host may not be. In summary, these may include: equity or profit-sharing; a new revenue stream, an influx of unbridled, undampened creativity; a possible product line from the guest or license relating to the same; a hedge against the very real risk of displacement of their market position due to disruptions in technology, consumerism and other variables.

In Example A, the incubatee is embedded within the very body (womb) or the incubator. This gives the incubating entity more control, but a greater scope of responsibility. In Example B, the incubatee is further removed as more of a joint venturer with the incubating entity, sharing in only some of the obligations and rewards. This gives the incubatee significantly more independence and control.

One of the reasons for the failure of established business to remain profitable can be (aside from mismanagement, poor product profitability analysis, high culturally-embedded fixed costs, supply-chain problems, and the like) the growing or radical technological obsolescence of a service or product [think of the printing industry]. Part of a defense against being squeezed out of your traditional market is to expand and diversify the demographics of your market/s and your offerings.

It is my strong belief that these alliances, and their potential reciprocal benefits might work well for both the CrowdFunding and venture realm, and for the established but less-than-vigilant established business who would otherwise be in need or a radical restructuring or a turnaround.

To carry this analysis one step further, think of the the jobs saved and new jobs created by uniting the established (but suffering from a paucity of creativity and market vigilance) with the up-and-coming visionaries who will create disruptions and sea changes.

Established companies acting as start up incubators might be a culturally-enriching means of stimulating our difficult economy. Young start ups might have some tremendous advantages over new market entrants who were sustained through the impetus of crowdfunding, and their respective “real world” incubators might just get an overdue infusion of flexibility and creativity at only a nominal expense.

Thank you for reading me, and for sharing my articles with your colleagues, connections and contacts across your broad new band of social media.

Douglas E. Castle


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Perspective Is Wisdom - Large
D.E.Castle's Daily Business Advisory Wrap-Up.
Skim It. But DON'T MISS It.
This site is the Management Consultants' and Chief Reconstruction Officers' best all-industry guide to analyzing, diagnosing, devising a strategy, creating either an Action Plan or an Emergence Plan and overseeing and monitoring the successful implementation of either in order to ensure the client organization's optimal, sustainable profitability. These plans are always made scalable to accommodate the size and needs of the client, whether it is fast-growing young company with an aggressive and ambitious agenda, or whether it is an older, larger, well-established business which is experiencing problems or which is at a crucial decision making point in its evolution as an entity, and which requires sound advice (and often implementation oversight and assertive "hands-on" assistance in the form of a powerful third-party representative agent or a an expert in the art of negotiation as its appointed "point person") regarding its next steps. In the alternative, Douglas E. Castle is expert at helping fast-track, rapidly emerging companies to growth through acquisitions, mergers, licensing, branding and both domestic and international strategic joint ventures to access better, more efficient supply chain sourcing and to open up wider global markets to dramatically increase the scope of possible new revenue opportunities.