Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rolling in #KloutBoogers

'He's too tiny to measure up.' photo (c) 2006, Patty O'Hearn Kickham - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I joke regularly about Klout. Of all of the ways that we measure our online influence, it is, by far, the most ridiculous. One tweet about a terrible product from JCPenney somehow translated into me being influential about Justin Bieber. My latest obsession has been to become influential about boogers (and after a discussion with my friends Joy and Tamara, more specifically, #kloutboogers).

For the most part, I can look at things like this and understand that it's all ridiculous. That my influence has nothing to do with how many retweets I get or how many Facebook likes I have.

The fact is, I care about those things way more than I should. And if it were just my own need to know, that would be one thing. It might be crazy, but at least it would be the kind of crazy that is mostly harmless.

But it's not.

My caring is heavily tied to comparison. How do I measure up, positively or negatively, to others? How are my stats? How are my comments? Who is retweeting me? How many shares on Facebook? How do I become as popular as him? How do I stay more popular than her?

But the problem is, it will never be enough. Never enough subscriptions or comments or hits or shares. Never enough book sales or interviews or guest posts. There will always be someone who has more #kloutboogers than I have (you know, if that ever becomes a thing).

One of the dangers of all of this comparison is the risk of watering down my story. Of only showing the parts that make out to be the hero (or the victim, if that serves my purpose better). Of writing things that I think other people want to hear rather than what I know I should be sharing. Of chasing numbers instead of relationships.

In the Revised Alise Standard Version, Mark 8:36 could read, "What does it profit a blogger, if she be rolling in #kloutboogers, but lose her own soul?"

I think maybe my soul is worth more than some #kloutboogers.

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Where is a place where you feel like you don't measure up? And if you could invent a category to be influential in on Klout, what would it be?

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I'm linking up today with Joy in this Journey for Life: Unmasked. You can read more submissions and add your own here.

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