Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

Measures of Influence

I was bummed to miss the conversation this morning between Matt Creamer (formerly of AdAge) and Joe Fernandez of Klout. A few months ago Matt wrote a piece for AdAge that I missed until now. In it he argues against the commonly flouted influence measure that Klout and others use:

Think of Twitter as a game with just a few objectives: earn followers and retweets and clicks on your links. While services like Klout are wonderful at judging the winners on those rules, they’re not as good — even useless — at providing a means of understanding how that particular performance might be extrapolated out to something as broad as influence. Thinking about this reminds me of studying for the SAT and coming across this bit in a Princeton Review book: “We’re not big fans of the SAT. It doesn’t measure intelligence. It can’t possibly measure your future success in college. The SAT measures one thing, and one thing only: how good you are at taking the SAT.”

In the piece Creamer quotes Duncan Watts (whose influential study I found very … influential) as well as talking about reach versus influence, which many seem to get tripped up on.

March 23, 2011