Last August in this space, I spent some time ranting about Klout, the service that ostensibly measures your influence online and while I still occasionally check my score (partially to try to understand what's behind the seemingly random yo-yoing of my number ... As high as 56! As low as 53!), a recent feature in Wired seems to indicate that companies are actually taking Klout seriously.
It's already a little strange that people are getting free stuff based on their score (apparently, if you keep up with the site, you can get test drives of fancy new cars, although the best thing I've been offered is some free samples of tea, I think), but the lede of the Wired story talks about a marketing guy who didn't get a job because his score was too low. He ended up working feverishly to increase his score over a six-month period, eventually bringing it from 34 to 67, which lead to him getting a series of speaking engagements and job offers. Here's the quote that scared the crap out of me: "Fifteen years of accomplishments weren't as important as that score."
There's nothing wrong with Klout per se, but it's encouraging a shift from actually being interesting and productive to a game of trying to achieve some sort of virality to bring up an arbitrary number. A few particularly retweetable messages can raise your score significantly, but is that really a good thing for the Internet as a whole? However, if you want to get hired in this terrible job market, you might not have a choice.
The week on The Range
We braced ourselves for an onslaught of ads in the CD 8 special election; tried to understand what Jesse Kelly was talking about; scratched our heads over a plan to pay Russell Pearce for his recall election loss; wondered if Arizona would be a battleground in the upcoming presidential election or if Mitt Romney has a chance with Hispanic voters; tried to make heads or tails of the proposed Arizona budget; kept up with the latest in the battle over privately-run prisons; and discussed the highlights of the week's political events with Trent Humphries and Jeff Rogers on Arizona Illustrated's Political Roundtable, with your host, Jim Nintzel.
We let you know what it was like in the judging tent at the Tucson Taco Festival; alerted you to Hotel Congress' Agave Fest; freaked out over the attack of giant shrimp; and shed a tear over the forthcoming closings of Janos and J-BAR.
We enjoyed an advertisement for a Reno roller rink; looked at photos of pretty butterflies; warned you that a particularly terrible band is trying to get your attention; poured bleach in our eyes to forget ever seeing Bon Iver Erotic Stories; wondered if KVOA's new cameras are a sign of the forthcoming takeover of an intelligent form of artificial intelligence; watched a video of Danish people destroying things that should have been made in America; shared a pitch by two Arizona bands on Kickstarter; gave you a chance to win tickets to see Gabriel Iglesias; introduced you to Chloe, our critter of the week; rocked out to a Black Keys cover played on a set of spoons; grimaced at particularly crappy new debt collecting techniques; popped open a bottle (or two) of moscato; and suggested you check out a soccer game at Playground downtown.
Comment of the week
"Who ever came up with the name either are too young to remember the Terminator movies or has been in a bubble for a bunch of years! Or maybe just not a scifi fan." - TucsonWeekly.com commenter Rebecca Babcock noticed the connection between a new local news feature and the "bad guy" from a prominent movie franchise ("KVOA's New Camera Gimmick Will Lead to Our Certain Doom," The Range, April 27).
Best of WWW
Despite the oppressive heat and the general desire to lie underneath an air-conditioning vent and sleep until October temperatures come around, the summer is actually a busy time here at Weekly World Headquarters, believe it or not. We're in the midst of not one, but two of our big balloting exercises on our website, the Best of Tucson® 2012 vote and the nomination round for this year's TAMMIES. We have to read your complaints every year after the awards are given out, so this is your golden opportunity to have your voice heard. Pass the links on to your social media friends, get out the vote and have the peace of mind that you tried.