Recently a sister writer asked me about Klout, since I had gone there and given her a rating, which I then, sent as a tweet. What is Klout, you ask? And, yes, there are still some of us who are unaware of these….oh, let’s call them on-line tracking services, but I guess you could also consider them applications. According to Wikipedia, the definition for Klout is, “…. company that provides social media analytics to measure a user’s influence across his or her social network.” I remember when I first found out about this automatic trap, I’ll call it. I went on-line and Googled my name. I got a sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach when I found me tied to this entrapment. But, as I searched further, Klout didn’t appear as the only connection. Here is a short list of what I found:
- Retweet Rank – Measures and tracks your retweets;
- Tweet Meme – Aggregates all the popular links on Twitter to determine which links are popular;
- Moby Picture – Directly shares your photos, videos and audio friends on favorite social sites like facebook, twitter, flickr, youtube, and more. (This one took me by total surprise, since it’s dressed up as a photo sharer. I only needed to post a picture on Twitter);
- Topsy – A realtime search engine powered by the social Web;
- Favstar – An online service which tracks twitter and Twitter usage;
- Twello – A search directory of people by area of expertise, profession or other attribute listed in personal profiles on twitter. This one I did sign up for;
- Twply – This app if fairly new, but it supposedly sends your twitter replies to your e-mail inbox. The good thing here is that you are given a choice; you can allow it to post to your e-mails or you can just say no thank you.
Now, like I said this is a short list, but these go on and on. Go to any one, and simply type in your name – it will come up. It outraged me somewhat, but if you want to be in this social networking game, you really do need to pick your battles. As I’m writing this, I’m recalling another writer who refused to join one of these social giants, but is on twitter. Did they not join that particular networking tool because of a privacy issue? If that is the reason, then, huh, they need to think again. You’ve heard me mention before, that I kicked and screamed for quite awhile, since I too am a very private person. Well, I hate to bring this to light, but I think I would have done just fine as long as I stayed away from twitter – maybe. Has anyone noticed that is the key social device in this article. Everywhere I look, everything I read is tied to it. So, what? Would that mean, get yourself a facebook page, a facebook fan page, a website, a blog, but under any circumstances, stay away from twitter?
I’m not sure if that is the correct answer of the day, but it does make one think. What seriously outrages me is that I only signed up for one of these things. The key is once you send that first tweet, you’re on the radar. And, I think the only way around it is to drop out of sight. But, remember in that case you cannot use Google either. Do you know what they store in their computer banks? I do hope you know that every single time you use that search engine, it goes in to some giant filing system. And, lastly, I almost forgot. The other day, I noticed a tweet in my “mention” column from someone I don’t even follow, and I’m actually still doing research on this, so I can’t define it at the moment. In any event, the title read “Authors and Readers Digest is out – top stories today via @mauied92,” (my Twitter username) and one other person. What!? of course this piqued my curiosity, so I went there. I had to search a bit, but there, right under something I tweeted, my picture. I don’t remember what it involved, and now I can’t find it any longer. But, it appears as some type of on-line catch all newspaper run by an “anybody,” then, building it, promoting it, and publishing it on-line. There is, at the very bottom of the link to Authors and Readers Digest an option to “stop mentions.” You gotta know I’ve already done so.
Would the act of catching tweets and using them as news in an on-line publication be a compliment to a writer or a true invasion? Wouldn’t the person running the publication have to ask me if I wanted my tweet picked up as a story? And, yes, I found some of my twitter followers on this long list as well. Have you checked your @mention column? I’m sorry, I don’t find this complimentary. In the old days, before all these computer applications; when the publisher/agent did all the promoting, a person had some sense of privacy still. But, today, is this the price we have to pay for popularity? It definitely is making me give it all a second thought. What do you think?