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Free drinks. Great people. Dazzling mixes from @Boskabout and co. Fab food. Excellent location. Nothing better to do that day. But still, I will send my cat (lovely Flemish expression) to the #SMC03 Klout Party from Social Media Club Antwerp.

I have nothing against the SMC. I have a card, the T-shirt, the stickers, the works. I do dig @ransbottyn and his agency,  and… it has been ages since I saw @goudket live. But, if I want to be consistent and true to my deeper believes, I cannot possibly  attend a party where a Klout score is needed to enter, and determines your party-experience level. I do realize it’s all tongue in cheek, and meant to be big fun,  but I just can’t.

It sends a wrong message to the market, a wrong message to people who do not have the necessary background to put a Klout score in a very subjective context. I teach my clients to take influencer marketing very very seriously. And determining whether someone is influential or not is way more complicated than looking at

I’ve said no to Klout based invitations all over the planet since refusing to go to the Bal Harbour in Florida in September 2011 (read below). I won’t go on the 27th of August.

Have fun, I’ll miss you all….

Nope, I still could not care less about your Klout score

(sept 2011)

I still could not care less about your Klout score. Really. It’s just a number, that needs to be put in more context than I can handle right now.

Fashion brand Bal Harbour rattled my belief in social humanity as it re-defined VIP status. Someone thought it was a very good idea to go for a social-score based on Klout to determine who could attend… or not. For its Fashion’s Night Out party in Florida, you needed a Klout score of 40 or higher to get in. Now wait a minute: traditional journalists, people who did not rate their Klout score were refrained from attending? Surely that propels Bal Harbour high in the social likability charts!

What happened to the old-fashioned press-room, where a local beginning journalist could sip coffee brotherly next to a Pulitzer winning heavy weight? Or to a blogger lounge where a starting tech blogger can shake hands with @guykawasaki?

How did Klout become the official VIP rating anyway? Because their website says it can? Let me get this straight: I have nothing against Klout. I do have a Klout score, and apparently it is high enough to get me Champagne and Caviar at the Bal Harbour Shops Fashion Night Out, thank you very much! I would have been welcome there… except, I’m not influential in fashion. Not credible. No role model. No fashion kudos what-so-ever.  The whole Klout craziness is a bit tiring, and extremely worrying. If agencies and brands are using this score to determine who is important, influential and thought leading, we are far far away from home.

It’s already starting: every single day I get multiple requests on Twitter, Facebook and mail from bloggers, twitterati, Google+-ers and tutti quanti to ask me to give them a +K score on Klout. “can you please give me a +K on Klout for my blog”?  A system that can be heavily influenced by simply begging people to vote-you-up, seems a shabby standard anyway. So no, I will not +K you because you ask. Maybe I will if you deserve it.

So please, leave me now… I’ll bash in the luxurious glow of having a Klout score way higher than 40. That gives me VIP status in Florida. I made it. My star is shining…

(you can +K me on writing, blogging, social media, etc…. some of my light might shine upon you, so it’s totally worth it)


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