I often take time to think about the value of the time I spend using social media, as I am sure many of you do.  I have enjoyed my time incredibly using Twitter, discovering blogs, sharing information and learning from others, not to mention accessing news about many things in education and beyond.

I recognize that a few followers of my blog do not use Twitter, but I hope you will bear with me for this post!

I am amazed at how many different ways people use Twitter.  I enjoy the mix of people in my education network/PLN and the mix of information and conversation they bring to my timeline feed.  It may seem like some “strange going-ons” from people on the outside looking in, but the more I use social media spaces, the more the interactions seem like “real life”.

Regardless of the purpose for using such spaces and tools, our “human-ness” still comes through.  As I have written on other blogs, these are social spaces and we are social beings, so….there is always learning, sharing, and growing going on.  You can be as aloof as you want, or as personable as you want.  Sometimes you connect better with some, but not others.  Sometimes things get personal, or get taken personally.  Expect every emotion in social media!  To me, it is all still good.  We often enter these spaces with few clear social norms and etiquette rules.  It’s people here, and it won’t always be neat and tidy using the spaces as you wish.  One space might work for you, or you may use one or more in different ways.  It all has to feel personally relevant and authentic to be motivating, in my opinion.

However, there has been one thing recently that has concerned me the most since starting Twitter — This thing called Klout.  It just seemed to creep up into my timeline feed without any warning.  Easy to ignore at first, and then tolerate and try to accept that others had a purpose for using the “influence” data from this service.  Each to their own, right?  But because I value the connections I have made with many people through Twitter, I am going to remain critical and “protective” :).  After reading a blog post today that suggested that ones engagement with someone with a low Klout score might negatively affect their own score….well, I’m sorry, this changes how I feel about this space if that might be what guides our dialogue, connecting, and sharing.  Our interactions and networks can get complicated enough.  Are we really okay with letting Klout data into these spaces we value and use to learn and connect?  Will this affect these broader conversations we are trying to create?

I can always rely on one of my Twitter friends, Elaine Morgan (@elaineorrmorgan), to spell it out in my Twitter timeline. “Think it’s time to remove Klout access to all my accounts.  Tired of the ‘we decide who’s cool’ nonsense.”

Am I being too hard on Klout?  Can we all continue to believe our time spent ahead on Twitter and social media is of the same value, especially if we don’t pay attention to the Klout strategies?  One last question:  Are we comfortable explaining this aspect of social media to the children in our lives?