I’ve been experimenting on and off with various audience measurement and influence measurement tools.  Klout, Crowd Source, Peer Index- you name it.  Some experiments have been short term.  Others have been subtle changes is when and how I participate on various social networks.

Interestingly enough, the more I use the networks as a way to share what’s of most interest to me, and engage with friends and colleagues without any concern for their rank or alleged influence, the more satisfied I am with my engagement with social media.  And as it turns out, this less prolific method of using social media has had beneficial effects.

At one point, it looked like many of the influence measures were taking volume into consideration more than any other factor in rating your ‘importance” online.  But now that I am overall, less prolific through channels, picking which channels to share things out on, and varying the channels, the greater the increase in my measures.  My first thought seeing this, was “weird.”

Now, I’m thinking that the measures may actually be starting to look more at quality over quantity, spread of the information, but also cross-channel participation.  Measuring influence is a tricky business at any level, and even harder when the data points you look at are your own and subject to internal bias.  The message I feel comfortable in sharing at this point is that authentic engagement seems to carry more value than volume.  I think all of us with a lot of experience on digital channels have known this at our core for a long time, but it seems as if the “rating agencies” are starting to pick this up as well, and that may be a good thing for the space as a whole.

What do you think?  Do you see any value in these “rating agencies”?  Why?  What do you get out of it?  Do you care what your klout or peer index are?  Or is it truly just a side benefit of what you do already?