Join us for GroundHacks Day!

Come celebrate Groundhacks day with the Klout team in San Francisco! We’re joining bit.ly’s hackabit to put together their first ever bi-coastal hackathon. Bring your computer over to our new office to hack away with Klout and get caffeinated while skyping with the NYC side of Groundhacks day. Mashery will be joining us and bring pizza to keep you fueled!

Wednesday February 2nd (AKA Groundhacks Day)

3pm – 9pm PT (San Francisco, Klout HQ) RSVP

6pm – Midnight ET (New York, bit.ly HQ) RSVP

Basically, we’re looking to provide two awesome spaces for hackers to come bring their projects and work together. Klout and bit.ly will be available for questions on our APIs, but your projects don’t have to involve them.

Btw, if you haven’t been convinced yet, check out this picture of our new office. It’s big, awesome, and in need of more hackers.

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The Most Influential Colleges on Twitter

Watch out US News and World Report, there’s a new ranking system in town. Does your college have Klout?

In all seriousness, Twitter influence is a revealing metric for colleges.The most influential ones must be both tech-savvy enough to have a well managed Twitter account and have the most influential professors, alums, and others engaging with them.

So who tops the list? I’m proud to say my own alma mater, Stanford, is number one! Check out the top ten:

1.  Stanford University tops the list

2.  Syracuse University comes in second.

3. Harvard University comes in a very close third (we took the numbers out a decimal place to determine this).

4.  The University of Wisconsin-Madison is just behind Harvard.

5.  Baylor University

6. The University of Arizona

5. University of California, Berkeley comes in fifth.

6. Butler University makes sixth with the Twitter account for its official mascot.

7.  Tufts University

8. The University of Oklahoma

9. Temple University

10.  University of Minnesota comes in ninth with their news account.

(11). The University of Texas at Austin is right behind UM.

(12).  Marquette University, also very close, barely missing the 10th spot.

(13). Boston College

(14). The Bloomington Campus of Indiana University

How does your school stack up? Feel free to look up their account on klout.com

UPDATE: We’ve had two updates, adding in @CAL and @TempleUniv, the list has been adjusted accordingly. Thanks!


Taking Klout to the Next Level

Every day here at Klout HQ we are humbled by the passion people have for their Klout Scores, the amazing ways our API is being utilized and the innovative brands that leverage Klout to connect with influencers. We can’t thank you enough for your support. We are obsessed with helping the world understand the power of influence and I am proud to announce that we have added some key partners that are as passionate about this mission as we are. We have closed an $8.5m round of funding with Kleiner Perkins leading as part of the sFund and with participation from Greycroft Partners.

Measuring influence across the social web is a monumental task. Kleiner Perkins is the firm you turn to when your goal is to change the world. As part of the sFund, we look forward to working closely with many of the companies that define the social web. The team here at Klout is thrilled to have Bing Gordon from Kleiner Perkins joining our board of directors.

Greycroft Partners is also a critical new partner for us. Greycroft offers unique insight and connections with the media and advertising world. As we continue to experiment with connecting brands and influencers this will be a big help. We are also proud to have many of our angel investors participating including ff Asset Management, Tom McInerney, Paige Craig, Bobby Yazdani, Shervin Pishevar and Howard Lindzon.

This new funding will be used to continue to expand our engineering team (if you want to build something awesome, come join us!). Providing accurate, understandable and actionable data about influence is the kind of challenge we love, but we have a lot of work to do here still. With this money we will be adding even more services beyond Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to the Klout algorithm. We are also investing heavily in the Klout consumer experience to help the people who influence us the most, our users, better understand and leverage their social capital.

Personally, I look forward to devoting more time to our community. The Klout Score is quickly becoming the standard measurement for online influence. We love the passionate debate that influence invokes. To us, influence is the ability to drive actions. The way influence is measured and applied is going to continue to evolve at an ever-increasing pace. Fundamentally, we believe in the power of the individual and I think it’s critical for us to continue to offer transparency and open communication with the community as Klout evolves.

Thank you again for your support! There is a lot of hard work still to come but we are incredibly excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Press Release:
Klout Raises $8.5 Million to Enable Everyone to Understand and Leverage their Influence

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, January 10, 2011 – Klout, the leader in online influence measurement, announced today that it has raised $8.5 million in a funding round led by the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer (KPCB) sFund™ and participation from Greycroft Partners. Prominent angel investors, including ff Asset Management, Paige Craig, Howard Lindzon, Thomas McInerney, Bobby Yazdani, and others, also participated in the round, which brings Klout’s funding to more than $10 million to date.

“It’s been amazing seeing the passion the social media community has for their Klout Scores,” says Joe Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Klout. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, though. We intend to invest heavily in increasing the performance of our system to deliver the accuracy, clarity and actionability commensurate with being the standard for influence. To do so, we will need to greatly expand the number of services that are analyzed in calculating the Klout Score and provide a much richer consumer experience.

KPCB partner William “Bing” Gordon, a preeminent visionary on the future of the social web, will join Joe Fernandez, John Frankel and Allen Morgan as a member of Klout’s board of directors.

“People are hungry to get even more meaning from their daily social media use, and Klout is creating an important and new standard measure of relevance.” Says Gordon. “I hope everyone who reads this shares this message so my Klout score goes up!”

“In a very short period, Klout has established itself as a generic noun in the lexicon of the web,” says Alan Patricof, managing director and founder of Greycroft. “We believe Klout will continue to grow and be the standard measurement of influence.”

About Klout

Klout measures influence across the social web. Using its core technology, Klout analyzes social network user data and identifies influential individuals based on the impact of their opinions, links, recommendations and other online content. Klout makes this data available in a variety of ways. The Klout.com consumer site is a popular consumer destination while the Klout API powers over 1000 comapanies. Klout also provides innovative tools to allow companies, including major brands such as Disney, Audi and Fox, to interact with interpret this valuable influencer data. Klout is a privately held company based in San Francisco, Calif.

About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 ventures, including AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq Computer, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Lotus, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Verisign, and Xilinx. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 150 of the firm’s portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions.

About Greycroft

Greycroft Partners is a venture capital partnership formed to invest in promising digital media companies, including both business and consumer-focused ventures. The firm’s $130.7 million fund includes participation from leading corporate executives around the world.
Greycroft invests between $500,000 and $5 million at inception, increasing on a staged basis to double that amount over time. We invest alone or alongside other firms, and will accept a board seat when appropriate, although this is not a prerequisite when syndicating with others.
Our portfolio companies benefit from active, hands-on assistance in all phases of expansion, including marketing, financing, and management development. With offices in New York and Los Angeles, we also leverage an extensive network of media and technology industry connections to help our investees gain visibility, build strategic relationships, and successfully bring their products to market.


Is Justin Bieber really more influential than Barack Obama?

A lot has been made recently about Klout proclaiming that Justin Bieber is more influential than Barack Obama. For the hope of western civilization this can’t possibly be true, right?

The answer is yes and no. Obviously Justin Bieber can’t repeal “don’t ask don’t tell”, change the American health care system or order drone attacks in far off lands (though I have a young cousin who would argue Bieber’s ability to accomplish these things if he put his mind to it). In the scope of the world, Barack Obama clearly has more influence than Justin Bieber and probably anyone else.

At Klout we measure influence across the social web. The point isn’t that Justin Bieber is more influential in the world than Obama, but that he is using social media more effectively to drive more actions from his network than anyone else right now. The fact that almost no one had heard of this kid a year ago and he is now a world wide star is impressive. Need more proof of Biebers ability to drive actions through social media? In the last 24 hours both Obama and Bieber have tweeted links to Youtube videos:

http://twitter.com/#!/BarackObama/status/21214017833930752
http://twitter.com/#!/justinbieber/status/21273389234659328

The video shared by Bieber has generated nearly 10x the number of views the Obama video has.

The natural question here is “so what”? Justin Bieber influences a bunch of 14 year old girls and the half life of a teen idol is notoriously short. Yet, anyone with kids knows how influential they are on the disposable income of a family and I am sure Bieber’s bank account proves this over the last year. Justin Bieber is one of the first worldwide pop stars to figure out how to influence his fan base efficiently through social media and he has done it at a level we have never seen happen before.

If Barack Obama and his team wanted to be more influential than Justin Bieber online I am sure they could be.  However, given the level of engagement of each of their networks and the actions they drive, that just isn’t the case right now. We measure how influential the people are that engage with a given account are so it wouldn’t take much for Obama to overtake Bieber given the level of influence across Obama’s network.

I would love to see this happen so that we here at Klout never have to discuss Justin Bieber again 🙂