Posts Tagged: chris penn

What Can My Lack of Expertise in Waffle House Tell Us About Lazy Metrics?

Image from Wall Street Journal

As many of you know, I’m writing a book about metrics for John Wiley and Sons Publishing called Social Media Metrics for Dummies. What you may not know is the struggle I’ve had trying to figure out how to address the issue of services offering incomplete metrics that become some kind of standard for folks too lazy (or, to be fair, too pressed for time) to do much deep-diving on their own. Things like Klout, for example.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I know what Klout is trying to do, I think. And they have adjusted their algorithm a number of times. My score was a 79 in the beginning (until I spent less time online, when it dropped to 72). It hovered at 69 through several more algorithm changes until it now is resting in the 56 or 57 range after the latest one. What bugs me about Klout is that it isn’t a complete metric. It doesn’t tell you anything about the person except, conceivably, how noisy they are on various services.

I’ll use myself as an example. This morning I finally “hid” a topic that Klout has dubbed me as “influential” in for two+ months now: Waffle House. I like Waffle House and all, but I don’t live near one, and I don’t go visit them when I travel. How did I get “influential” about it? Doing a little digging, it seems it began when I shared a tweet from a WSJ article several weeks ago about the Waffle House disaster plan and Waffle House trailer offices – how they handle natural disasters and get their stores open quickly with limited menus where possible to be a local source of food and comfort, and also how they use their online presence to spread the word.

By a sheer coincidence of timing, that tweet got re-tweeted a gazillion times and picked up on several Tumblr blogs*, entering the Tumblr share network. Shortly after that, it emerged as a topic I’m influential on in Klout, never having discussed it before or since. Now you tell me: is that an accurate measurement? I should be influential in a variety of things, like hockey, music, food, wine, football, mma, film, politics and other things I discuss and have deep conversations about frequently (none of which show up) or in social media, content marketing and emerging media (which do show up).

*To me, my “influence” in Waffle House was a better measurement of TUMBLR’s influence than mine. I don’t have a Tumblr blog, but those who did caused most of the impact. To not take into account deep conversation and conversions over noise indicates a failing on the part of Klout and narrow metrics like it. I’m sure they are working to address it – it’s plain they want to be the go-to metric source for measuring influence – but they have a long way to go (not to mention other problems with privacy and trust issues and some nefarious practices to solve first).

In the book, Klout gets a relatively positive mention, but with the double caveat of “use with caution” and “not intended as your sole metrics solution”. If the folks at Klout would like to have a conversation with me about this and discuss case studies or what they are working toward, I’d love to. I like to keep an open mind.

Meanwhile, if you want to put understanding your Klout on steroids, have a look at this nifty data set from always-insightful Chris Penn. It will rock your socks. Also, I’d love to hear what goofy thing Klout thinks you are influential in.

Aside: Single focus metrics options that show a more complete picture could include Smarterer, by the way. I really like where they are headed and hope they soon integrate with LinkedIn and other services. Disclosure: I wrote the bulk of their Twitter test and edited it during their private beta phase, though it’s now open to public edit.

PodCamp NH 2011 Wrap Up

Thank you all so, so much for coming to join us at PodCamp NH 2011! It was a wonderful day made all the more fabulous because you were there. We had 73 people sign up, and all but 15 showed – plus 3 extras who signed up at the door. It was the perfect turn out, making each class small enough to really dig in and meet your classmates and learn while creating an event that was full of amazing people to connect with.

I’d like to thank Erika Murphy and Jaime Sax of The Common Man in Ashland for handling our large group of 30 (plus two other groups that showed up at the same time, which meant the staff handled serving roughly 100 people who all came at once!) with grace and cheer. Thank you for the unexpected yet appreciated appetizers and for hosting us. The meatballs and the mac and cheese pizza were a hit.

I’d also like to thank Leia Brigham and the New Hampton School. The campus is lovely and inviting and makes PodCamp NH that much better just by inspiring us to learn. The WiFi held up under the strain, and the food got rave reviews. Having healthy, plentiful options for snacks and lunch for every person there, vegan and vegetarian included, was welcoming and kept us fueled up for the day.

I’ll be pulling links to your content here as I find it, in no particular order. Overall the tweets about PodCamp NH were fun and engaged with everyone learning and having a good time. We even played a (short) game of Quidditch and had a rousing Battledecks session. We had attendees from as far as Canada (Brian Rotsztein), Rhode Island (Bruce Garber) and Massachusetts (Tom and Reiko Beach, Chris Penn, Michelle Wolverton, Amanda Narcisi) as well as far flung parts of NH (Kevin Micalizzi and many, many more, some but not of whom show on this list). I left the day feeling energized, and I hope you all did also.

I’d love it if you chimed in on the comments here to remind people how to reach you, what you do, what you’re interested in and where to find you so we can help keep your connections going long past PodCamp NH.

Do you have photos of PodCamp NH? We have a Flickr Pool for PodCamp NH that you can add your photos to. Need an invite to add your pics, just ask!

Bruce K Garber made a “PodCamp NH in 137 seconds” video for us on his site at

Kirk Membry of Moss Creek Media grabbed a panoramic photo of the PodCamp NH 2011 kick off for us

Diane and Steve Brogan did a nice PCNH recap over on MomPopPow

PodCamp NH attendee (and team member) Sandra Rand talks about Bud Thorpe from SOPHA‘s session on Photography for your Phone

Miriam Wilcox from food blog Sometimes I Veg had lots of great things to say about the wonderful food options for PodCamp NH from New Hampton School.

Special thanks go to Magnitude Media for being the main sponsor this year, and to Awareness Inc for kicking in as well. We also had raffle giveaways sponsored by Diane Vautier (who made gorgeous bags and other items from last year’s shirts – amazing), head sets and speakers from Jabra US, two cards from Eye-Fi, gift certificates from the Tanger Outlets in Tilton, and salsa and chips out from local NH company Mitchell’s Fresh Salsa (if you missed the salsa and chips, you can friend them on Facebook to find out where to try it out). Also, many thanks to the team who helps pull this off each year.

Some of the Twitter Buzz about PodCamp NH: #pcnh had a most awesome day at podcamp nh. Thanks everyone!Sun Aug 14 02:21:09 via HTC Peep



Going to be at my 2:30 #PCNH session, How to Market Your Podcast? Get the “slides” in advance here: Aug 13 17:46:23 via Twitter for Mac



Best content on Facebook according to @AskTheBuilder: photos, ask a photo about it to get dialogue/comments going #pcnhSat Aug 13 19:06:17 via Echofon



@pcnh Thanks for a great day, here’s some robot photos! Aug 13 22:47:42 via web



Thank you for the wealth of ideas and inspiration, @leslie! It was helpful to witness the picking of your brain (& your killer shoes) #pcnhSat Aug 13 22:49:03 via TweetDeck



#PCNH @johnherman forcing us to think of what we’re DOING with SocMed – toppling government, personal growth, education, pop culture, moreSat Aug 13 15:27:19 via HootSuite



The food was unbelieveable. RT @leslie the fixed food of Podcamp NH link #pcnh Aug 14 12:56:26 via Twitterrific



You’re only as strong as your weakest link, sometimes that’s you. Pair up with the right people. @leslie #pcnhSat Aug 13 17:40:51 via TweetDeck



Thanks, @leslie @CMajor @ecc1977 @johnherman et al! Had a great time at #PCNH.Sat Aug 13 20:45:15 via Echofon



Survive by being the most responsive to change. @leslie #pcnhSat Aug 13 17:33:50 via TweetDeck



@ecc1977 @pcnh I want a Quidditch rematch next yearSat Aug 13 17:37:26 via CoTweet



Thank you 🙂 RT @leslie It’s unanimous, folks at #PCNH kind of wanted to adopt @chrisbrogan‘s folks @dianebrogan @stevebrogan 😉Sun Aug 14 12:51:06 via Twitterrific