Click here to close now.

Welcome!

MICROSERVICES Authors: Andy Jonak, ScriptRock Blog, Pat Romanski, XebiaLabs Blog, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Web 2.0, MICROSERVICES

Web 2.0: Article

Klout.com: When Messing with People’s Lives, You’d Better Be Transparent

Did Klout "Pull a Netflix"? No, Worse. What You Need to Know

Klout Who??
Not familiar with Klout.com? Not all that many people are - I only signed up for it this week, more out of curiosity than anything else after I read an article on it on Engadget - curious about Klout giving away Windows phones that I didn't want anyways.

And Why Should You Care?
Klout is sure to spook privacy-conscious people, but everyone should be aware of Klout.com or at least be aware of this growing phenomenon and how it might impact them.

Klout creates publicly accessible "Klout Scores" for people who use Twitter, Facebook, etc. It's like the credit reporting agencies - but for "social media" influence, rather than creditworthiness. Oh, and ANYBODY can see your Klout Score. That's what makes it a bit spooky. And its workings are secret. YOU CANNOT OPT OUT OF KLOUT. Over 100 million people have already been rated, graded, assessed and have a Klout Score.

Envision a day where the Maitre-D' snubs you on your anniversary because your Klout Score is only a 12. Or you get denied interviews or even fired because your Klout Score went down. Or you get dumped just as a romantic situation is looking promising when the other person finds out you're a social media loser. Or someone else gets the airplane seat upgrade or hotel room suite even though you're a more loyal customer.

My Experience
So I sign up this week on Tuesday to find out that my Klout Score is a 54. Turns out that's pretty respectably good. I'm pleased. I look up @RWang0's score, his is up in the 60's, which makes sense - he's hypersmart and lots of people listen to him. Then I look up @ZUrlocker. His is a 53. That made no sense - Zack is a "bad-ass" in the industry. So I know the algorithm is flawed. And then @Struckhoff tweets me to tell me that @Qwikster has a higher Klout Score than me. @Qwikster's last tweet was weeks ago and was "well I mean she coud atleast let me watch my show but no she has to hogg it".  #FAIL.

And Then Everything Changed
The next day, I sign on to twitter, and behold, my score has dropped about 20% to 44. HUH? I sign on to Klout's Dashboard and it congratulates me because my score has risen +4 this week and some fraction of a point in the last 24 hours. What?

Then I Google Klout and see the news - they've redesigned the algorithm for Klout Scores, and people are up in arms in open revolt, it seems. It would have been nice it Klout had bothered to email me and tell me (as a member) about this. Or maybe put something on their website.  Or maybe not rewrite historical graphs as if the change had never happened.

What's the Big Deal?
Yeah, I'm annoyed. Am I annoyed because I'm suddenly 18.4% less important? No, that's not it. And that's not the reason other people are irritated.

1) Klout.com pretended like nothing happened at all.  I wasted time trying to figure out what had happened. All the graphs on Klout all showed that my score had remained constantly increasing over the week. No mention of a 10 point drop. I would have attributed it to faulty memory if I hadn't tweeted something to someone about it. They re-write history.

2) They lied to their members and to the public, saying that "very few people would experience changes in score". In fact it appears that a huge majority of people experienced massive drops. Don't lie to me if you are measuring me and possibly impacting my life.

3) The algorithm they use is shrouded in mystery. Klout CEO Fernandez arrogantly poo-poos that concern stating "Google doesn't tell you how its algorithm works". Yeah, but Google doesn't have the potential to directly impact your personal ability to earn a living. So Klout needs to hold itself to a higher standard and be accountable unless it truly wants to face an angry mob of fire-brand carrying people at some point down the road.

4) Klout.com promised to launch something today vaguely called "insights" that "give users a bit of an explanation when their score goes up or down". Well, I don't see any insights. And any company that could someday impact my ability to provide for myself and my family had BETTER provide more than a "bit of insight".

5) Klout promises continual tweaks to its algorithm. If people's Klout Scores were so far off earlier this week, why would I trust the new algorithms? What new surprises do I need to look forward to? Will those new changes impact whether my resume makes it on to some future short list or goes into the shredder?

With Power Comes Responsibility and Accountability
Klout is on a mission to change your economic, career and social future. But they won't accept responsibility and accountability for their actions. And they won't offer transparency. Or explanations.

CEO @JoeFernandez tweeted "Not exactly fun having the internet want to punch me in the face but I belive the product is in a much better place" - clearly missing the point.

Earth to Fernandez: Nobody gives a crap about your stupid product.  People care about the impact that your product has on them personally.

The fact that Fernandez doesn't get that is truly troubling -  perhaps he's just some geek hiding in a basement with all that data.  But he needs to accept responsibility for the fact that his products impact lives.

As reported on GigaOM, " One of the most popular comments said that Klout was used by some companies for job searches, as well as employee performance reviews and other similar purposes, and that the company's changes could affect people's livelihood: By changing the entire scoring system for the basic Klout score, you have damaged many people's employment viability and impacted their earning potential - particularly in the nascent field of Social Media roles."

What to Do About It?
If you're irritated about the situation, let people know.

[email protected] (Joe Fernandez) or [email protected]

Their largest VC is Kleiner Perkins - @ChChien is the board member. Other notable contacts - @klout and @joefernandez

There's also a new popular hashtag all over Twitter #OccupyKlout and a user @OccupyClout

Have You Heard About the New Invention in Social Media?
It's called the telephone.  It allows you to talk to other people voice-to-voice.  It's pretty cool.

411.com lists Klout's phone number as (213) 590-3268. It's decidedly un-modern, but you could always call and give them your opinion the old fashioned way.

Go bang on their door and tell them in person:77 Stillman St., San Francisco, CA 94107

More Stories By Hollis Tibbetts

Hollis Tibbetts, or @SoftwareHollis as his 50,000+ followers know him on Twitter, is listed on various “top 100 expert lists” for a variety of topics – ranging from Cloud to Technology Marketing, Hollis is by day Evangelist & Software Technology Director at Dell Software. By night and weekends he is a commentator, speaker and all-round communicator about Software, Data and Cloud in their myriad aspects. You can also reach Hollis on LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/SoftwareHollis. His latest online venture is OnlineBackupNews - a free reference site to help organizations protect their data, applications and systems from threats. Every year IT Downtime Costs $26.5 Billion In Lost Revenue. Even with such high costs, 56% of enterprises in North America and 30% in Europe don’t have a good disaster recovery plan. Online Backup News aims to make sure you all have the news and tips needed to keep your IT Costs down and your information safe by providing best practices, technology insights, strategies, real-world examples and various tips and techniques from a variety of industry experts.

Hollis is a regularly featured blogger at ebizQ, a venue focused on enterprise technologies, with over 100,000 subscribers. He is also an author on Social Media Today "The World's Best Thinkers on Social Media", and maintains a blog focused on protecting data: Online Backup News.
He tweets actively as @SoftwareHollis

Additional information is available at HollisTibbetts.com

All opinions expressed in the author's articles are his own personal opinions vs. those of his employer.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
This month I want to revisit supporting infrastructure and datacenter environments. I have touched (some would say rant) upon this topic since my post in April 2014 called "Take a Holistic View of Support". My thoughts and views on this topic have not changed at all: it's critical for any organization to have a holistic, comprehensive strategy and view of how they support their IT infrastructure and datacenter environments. In fact, I believe it's even more critical today then it was a year ago ...
Modern Systems announced completion of a successful project with its new Rapid Program Modernization (eavRPMa"c) software. The eavRPMa"c technology architecturally transforms legacy applications, enabling faster feature development and reducing time-to-market for critical software updates. Working with Modern Systems, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) leveraged eavRPMa"c to transform its Student Information System from Software AG's Natural syntax to a modern application lev...
As a group of concepts, DevOps has converged on several prominent themes including continuous software delivery, automation, and configuration management (CM). These integral pieces often form the pillars of an organization’s DevOps efforts, even as other bigger pieces like overarching best practices and guidelines are still being tried and tested. Being that DevOps is a relatively new paradigm - movement - methodology - [insert your own label here], standards around it have yet to be codified a...
When it comes to microservices there are myths and uncertainty about the journey ahead. Deploying a “Hello World” app on Docker is a long way from making microservices work in real enterprises with large applications, complex environments and existing organizational structures. February 19, 2015 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET → 45 Minutes Join our four experts: Special host Gene Kim, Gary Gruver, Randy Shoup and XebiaLabs’ Andrew Phillips as they explore the realities of microservices in today’s IT worl...
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on T...
It's 2:15pm on a Friday, and I'm sitting in the keynote hall at PyCon 2013 fidgeting through a succession of lightning talks that have very little relevance to my life. Topics like "Python code coverage techniques" (ho-hum) and "Controlling Christmas lights with Python” (yawn - I wonder if there's anything new on Hacker News)...when Solomon Hykes takes the stage, unveils Docker, and the world shifts. If you haven't seen it yet, you should watch the video of Solomon's Pycon The Future of Linux C...
OmniTI has expanded its services to help customers automate their processes to deliver high quality applications to market faster. Consistent with its focus on IT agility and quality, OmniTI operates under DevOps principles, exploring the flow of value through the IT delivery process, identifying opportunities to eliminate waste, realign misaligned incentives, and open bottlenecks. OmniTI takes a unique, value-centric approach by plotting each opportunity in an effort-payoff quadrant, then work...
For those of us that have been practicing SOA for over a decade, it's surprising that there's so much interest in microservices. In fairness microservices don't look like the vendor play that was early SOA in the early noughties. But experienced SOA practitioners everywhere will be wondering if microservices is actually a good thing. You see microservices is basically an SOA pattern that inherits all the well-known SOA principles and adds characteristics that address the use of SOA for distribut...
Microservice architectures are the new hotness, even though they aren't really all that different (in principle) from the paradigm described by SOA (which is dead, or not dead, depending on whom you ask). One of the things this decompositional approach to application architecture does is encourage developers and operations (some might even say DevOps) to re-evaluate scaling strategies. In particular, the notion is forwarded that an application should be built to scale and then infrastructure sho...
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Ras...
Microservices are the result of decomposing applications. That may sound a lot like SOA, but SOA was based on an object-oriented (noun) premise; that is, services were built around an object - like a customer - with all the necessary operations (functions) that go along with it. SOA was also founded on a variety of standards (most of them coming out of OASIS) like SOAP, WSDL, XML and UDDI. Microservices have no standards (at least none deriving from a standards body or organization) and can be b...
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today's cloud world, we're revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place. Listen in to learn why following "the book" doesn't necessarily mean that you're solving key business problems.
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Microservices, for the uninitiated, are essentially the decomposition of applications into multiple services. This decomposition is often based on functional lines, with related functions being grouped together into a service. While this may sound a like SOA, it really isn't, especially given that SOA was an object-centered methodology that focused on creating services around "nouns" like customer and product. Microservices, while certainly capable of being noun-based, are just as likely to be v...
SYS-CON Events announced today the DevOps Foundation Certification Course, being held June ?, 2015, in conjunction with DevOps Summit and 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. This sixteen (16) hour course provides an introduction to DevOps – the cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, integration and automation in order to improve the flow of work between software developers and IT operations professionals. Improved workflows will res...
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are ...
You hear the terms “subscription economy” and “subscription commerce” all the time. And with good reason. Subscription-based monetization is transforming business as we know it. But what about usage? Where’s the “consumption economy”? Turns out, it’s all around us. When most people think of usage-based billing, the example that probably comes to mind first is metered public utilities — water, gas and electric. Phone services, especially mobile, might come next. Then maybe taxis. And that’s ab...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch ...
An explosive combination of technology trends will be where ‘microservices’ and the IoT Internet of Things intersect, a concept we can describe by comparing it with a previous theme, the ‘X Internet.' The idea of using small self-contained application components has been popular since XML Web services began and a distributed computing future of smart fridges and kettles was imagined long back in the early Internet years.