So I just bought a house in West Philly. I’m VERY excited, and I’ll write an entire blog post about it later. I just have a few minutes now, so I’ll relate to you a brief story of how the internet translates buying a house into getting a free $5 McDonalds gift card.
This morning I updated my Facebook with the following status:
Immediately people started ‘liking’ and commenting, so I added a couple of pictures in the hopes that I could bask in the glory of sweet Facebook popularity for the full 15 minutes of fame that a killer status update deserves.
Every time I checked Facebook there were more likes and comments. Somewhere around 3 o’clock I had over 70 likes, which easily made it my most popular Facebook status ever. At around 3:30, I started rooting for 100+ and I got my wish sometime around 4:30.
Sometime during the day, I got an email from Klout.com, which is a free service that assigns you a score between 1 and 100 based on how much influence you wield on the internet through social networks. The emails subject line was “your score went up”, and the contents were basically just a link to my profile. I’d signed up for Klout about a year ago and hadn’t checked it since, so out of curiosity I clicked the link.
As you can see, I’d experienced a significant increase in popularity. I immediately wanted to look up how ‘good’ a score of 50.14 was. It turns out I went from a below average score (20) to the the 95th percentile with a single Facebook post.
What I didn’t know about Klout is that people besides the users themselves are paying attention to the scores. After a quick news search, I learned that some jobs are using Klout scores as a metric for whether or not to hire certain candidates, and that some hotels, car rental agencies, and even airlines are targeting individuals with high Klout scores for free upgrades in the hopes that the socially connected individuals will tweet and/or Facebook their gratitude.
There is a whole world of free and discounted products and services available to the socially influential crowd, and that the cutoff for free perks and rewards happens to be a score of approximately 50. Just when I was wondering when I’d get my reward, I got an email offering me a free $5 gift card to McDonalds, and I figured, “Hey, Helen might want a free salad”, so I had them ship it to our apartment. That, my friends, is how you go from buying a house to getting free McDonalds.