KLOUT seem to have done a fairly good job (certainly from a marketing perspective) of getting themselves known as one of the places to check for a high level view of someone’s “Online Influence”.
There are many sophisticated online tools which can analyse, report and evaluate influence within your own social networks or even outwith your network. Each system has its own approach and algorithm for measuring Influence and they all vary in the way they report back on Influence metrics. I think part of the reasons for KLOUT’s success is the way they have simplified Influence down to a single score.
While it’s a useful and fast check to get a very broad picture of Influence I would never use KLOUT score in isolation when evaluating a site or individual’s Influence. I guess the problem is that many people are using this score when making assessments about your online authority and reach and (short sighted as this view may be) it is in your best interest to understand how KLOUT works and take some steps to increase your score.
The Infographic below gives some interesting detail on KLOUT such as how it measures influence and reach. It also shows a quick 5 point guide on how to increase your KLOUT score