my “style,” but not the kind you wear

I joined Klout a few months ago. Like most things on the Internet, it has the effect of making you spend more time on the Internet doing Internet things to improve your Internet. So obviously I love it. My score generally hovers in the low fifties, and that seems fine considering that I am a complete nobody who just writes her blog, publishes in magazines sometimes, and makes comments on news websites when she’s moved to do so.

What I find most interesting about Klout is not that they’re beastly good at making you want to Internet your Internet, but that underneath it all, they actually have a very interesting algorithm and theory behind the types of people in the (virtual) world. I love that stuff, even if I don’t actually live by it. Every few years I have some reason to take the Myers-Brigg, and whether or not I try to Jedi mind trick it or be honest, I always get the same INFJ result. And every midmorning I happily open my three daily horoscope emails from Astrology.com, read them, delete them, and promptly forget them as I go about my day.

So Klout aggregates a bunch of data and decides what kind of social personality you have. Given the proliferation of social media sites but the vast differences between the types of people who blog, people who pin, people who follow and lurk, etc etc, I think it really is interesting on a sociological level (though for Klout and their advertisers and sponsors, it’s more for on a business perspective, but isn’t that the same?) to consider how and why people gravitate towards certain types of media and habits. Also, since I’m always surprising myself with how little I know about my likes, dislikes, and interests (apparently I surprise others, too–nobody believes me when I say I’m shy, for example), I was just curious as to what box Klout would put me in.

I am really curious as to whom they hired to come up with these types, and whether this is a proprietary table for them or if social science and business researchers use it, too, because it’s rather brilliant:

(Click on the image to see a bigger version at the website I sourced it from, since the Klout website itself kept hiding it from me.)

So according to them, I am a Specialist:

You may not be a celebrity, but within your area of expertise your opinion is second to none. Your content is likely focused around a specific topic or industry with a focused, highly-engaged audience.

This surprised me a bit, since I like to think I have a lot of interests and that I know a lot of different kinds of stuff, but considering that no matter what I talk about, engage with, eat, do, whatever, it pretty much all leads back to books, reading, and media, that sort of makes sense. Also, I just noticed it says “likely,” which I think might have been a new draft when Klout unrolled its new scoring system earlier this week.

What doesn’t surprise me, but does tend to surprise others, is my Myers-Brigg personality type: INFJ. Though it might not seem like it, I think that actually fits in with my Klout style (and my astrological sign, I suppose, though I’m not even going to go there because then this post will get really long and probably veer towards New Age-y, and I hate that). If INFJs

are generally “doers” as well as dreamers…often result[ing] in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn,

it makes sense that I would be super attracted to the Internets I love, namely blogs, Twitter, and GoodReads, and, as of this week, Tumblr. It also makes sense that I would tell myself that I am interested in a ton of other causes and fields and disciplines while my actions would speak to my unconscious hierarchical designation of these things as more or less important to me. Also, like the personality type says, “INFJs can be exceptionally difficult to pigeonhole.”

Does it seem like I am saying that things are in agreement by presenting ways in which they are not, and vice versa? Or is it just me? But seriously, I love it when people tell me who I am without ever meeting me in person and just by compiling data. It makes me think about myself a little bit more.

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29 thoughts on “my “style,” but not the kind you wear

  1. Great post! I’m also addicted to the cyber status that Klout doles out based on some kind of theorem or whatever to tell you your status on the net. I was a Specialist for ages, then suddenly I became a (drum roll here) Broadcaster (cymbal crash). I definitely fall into the ‘nobody special’ category and besides being a bit nonplussed I was quite amused by their scoring system. But your analysis of the internet is spot on I think. Congratulations on getting Freshly Pressed. You most definitely deserve it, you specialist you! 😀

    • Hey, thanks! Much as I like being a Specialist, I wish there were a way to be that but also more celebrity-like, you know? I have trouble thinking that, for example, Cornel West is anything but a specialist in the lowercase sense of the word, but because his Klout score is in the 80s, he’s a celebrity. Maybe I’ll have to do a followup post in a few months when I start getting really famous, or when Klout changes itself again. :-p

  2. Very interesting…I also have the problem of surprising myself and others. No one believes that I am introverted…which then makes me wonder if I truly am.

  3. I am also a mid 50s specialist, and am slightly addicted to my klout score. Even after school is over, we all seem to be driven by points and grades.

  4. Pingback: Klout Style! « the BIG PLAN

  5. I love it when people tell me who I am without ever meeting me in person and just by compiling data, too. 🙂 I’m a Pisces and ENFP, which are me to a T. Have you discovered Enneagram yet?

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