I’ve spent a lot of time working on my mashup codebase, more than I intended. I’m not a software developer anymore but I can fool people online if I can keep my distaste for PHP under control. I’ve made changes to just about every class and added support for more APIs, not just film and music ones. I added support for searching the Wikipedia and for Topsy and Klout.
Klout is much more well known in the corner of the Twitterverse that is Vancouver. People here know their Klout scores, at least those that use Twitter a lot. I still think Klout needs to include other services and measures to determine authority and expertise. Even then real people reading what you actually say will never be replaced. One thing Klout’s API doesn’t support is telling you who is an expert on a given subject. This is a bit odd because they do that all the time on their own home page. They have the capability, but don’t want others to have it. Some people have undoubtedly made their own rankings as you can get the Klout Score for any Twitter account.
Topsy also has an API, it doesn’t even need a key to be used. They have no problem telling you who they consider to be the number one online expert in a given subject, or at least the person who tweets the most about it.
I ended up using both services in my random film mashup. It isn’t a core feature to the mashup, more just another API to check off at least limited support for. I’ll have to get around to making the code available, it is already running on Muschamp.ca all the mashups use the same class or subclasses of it. I’m an OOP guy or I was one. In the mean time here are the two best articles I found on Topsy and Klout. Most seem to consider PeerIndex as Klout’s number one competitor. Topsy is more of a search engine, putting it into competition with IceRocket, Technorati, and whatever Google Labs cooks up next for indexing the blogosphere and social web.
This came across my Twitter feeds a few days ago, but I was tardy in reading it. I don’t repost as many links as I used to anyway. Apparently there is another free tool that finds experts and key influencers online. It is called mPact and the company is called mBlast. It is aimed at marketers. I haven’t used it personally, but it seems people interested in Topsy and Klout might also want to try mBlast. They too will give you a score if you login with your Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn account, just like Klout.
Topsy wants to charge all users of their API for the privilege, since I’m #unemployed, I have no money to pay to use APIs. As someone who has written a lot of code to access and use APIs it probably wasn’t the best move to keep someone like me from experimenting with your API. I might eventually code up something useful, stranger things have happened.
I keep reading and collecting ‘expert’ advice and another company that will rank your online influence is Kred, so I finally broke down and signed up for that service. There are things I like better about Kred than Klout and I haven’t heard mBlast or TweetLevel mentioned again since I blogged about them. All these algorithms are still flawed as they don’t measure influence outside of the easy to measure social networks for the most part aka: Twitter, Facebook, and probably Google+ likes to fancy themselves as in third, but some statisticians think Pinterest may actually be in third. I use Pinterest a 1000 times more than I use Google+.
Klout and Kred are probably waiting for Pinterest to release an official API. Advertisers and corporations who want to exploit the popularity of some of the newer more specialized social networks are also waiting.