Internet hype ain’t no thing but a chicken wing
Inventing your own holiday does wonders for your Klout score.
Stripey Sweater Day was Feb. 12 (I put the wrong day in my column in the paper on Feb. 9; my knack for forgetting all occasions even applies to made-up ones). All day, I sent and received pictures friends and strangers in their striped sweaters, posting them under the official Stripey Sweater Day event page on Facebook, reposting to Twitter and Instagram, etc. Editing OCD even applies to hashtags.
It was all lots of fun, even if it wore my texting fingers down to nubs. I thank everyone who took part, and am glad people enjoyed themselves.
The next day, I logged into Klout, an app that tells you the approximate value of your Internet presence, based on Twitter and Facebook activity (and, of course, from the direct feed from your brain into the giant virtual data vacuum).
I’d seen the Klout-score card thrown down in threads of people battling for ultimate Internet supremacy. I wasn’t happy this was a thing I should know about, but I wanted to see how it worked.
Since I am decidedly less plugged-in than some, having only an aging desktop and no time to harangue cyberspace about the proposed rules of a made-up universe, I figured my Klout score would be embarrassing, something that would get me laughed off 4chan. Anyway, since I knew about it, it was already irrelevant.
Color me confused when I logged in and saw my Klout score was 62. Apparently, that’s not bad. People who lose sleep over categorizing Viking metal as Celtic metal online would be satisfied with 62. TIME magazine says Warren Buffet has 64. He got that by being a bazillionaire business genius (in real money, not Bitcoin); I got almost as high with … sweaters. Huh? Does not compute.
But 62 what? Percent? I wonder who has 100% – probably Sir Ian McKellen, or Grumpy Cat. Is it 62 cheezburgers? I don’t has any cheezburgers (in lolcat-ese), but I received an email saying I received my first Klout perk: A $5 gift card toward an order of McDonald’s Mighty Wings. I can taste the relevance!
Using the eternal struggle for stature in an meaningless landscape in order to sell even more meaningless stuff; this marketing ploy is so sinfully obvious I almost have to respect it.
The last time my online fame spiked was when readers of a Nine Inch Nails fan forum caught wind of a photo of me with lead singer Trent Reznor taken during his annual holiday trip to Eastwood Mall with his family (he was always very nice). It was included in the Hot Topic company newsletter since I worked there (don’t hate), and some guy saw it and went ballistic, posting all over how I was another jerk fan bothering Trent.
I was glad when it blew over. Lesson learned:You should leave famous people alone – but not because of fear of fanboy backlash.
I read last week about Kelly (keyword bait) Blazek, the head of a Cleveland job bank group who held her job contacts list as tight as Gollum to his precious. When LinkedIn users dared message her for some advice, she replied with a scathing dressing-down of their lowly online stature, high from her LinkedIn connection (she has more than 960! BOW DOWN) throne. The story went viral, as opportunities for public shaming are wont to do.
Online stat-dropping is the first sign that you aren’t half as important as your number of Twitter followers (or inanimate update-bots) make you seem.
Touting stats is fine and good if you’re, say, a band, a business, a podast, a box of Totino’s Pizza Rolls.
But for mere unmarketed mortals with nothing to sell, you can be the king of the invisible magic land of 1s and 0s, or you can buy your Mighty Wings Klout-free like everybody else (News flash: Nobody is buying Mighty Wings).
Be web-famous in a good way – by getting out the word on charities, posting something cute that brightens someone’s day, or by helping others. Good deeds deserve a high-five from every meme Doge.
The Internet is like Drew Carey said on “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”: The rules are made up, and the points don’t matter. Don’t take the stats so seriously. Now, who wants to let me invest their Bitcoin in Mighty Wings stock? I’m totally qualified.
—- Is there any prestige to web-fame? Want some Mighty Wings? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.