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A New Project to Score Politicians With Klout

BY Becky Kazansky | Thursday, July 28 2011

This week, Timothy Hathaway – CEO of political technology firm Activist Manager – pointed me to his company's nascent project to comprehensively track Klout scores for advocacy groups, senators, presidential candidates, consultants, and other political actors.

I recently brought up Klout, a social media metrics service, when I asked “Do Facebook and Twitter Followers Reflect a President's Popularity?” Klout charts "network influence" and "amplification probability" with markers like amounts of retweets and mentions, and can be used as an aid in assessing levels of Twitter engagement between political leaders' Twitter accounts and their followers.

The winners of the Klout contest, according to a consolidated report that's updated nightly, are President Barack Obama (87.53), Speaker John Boehner (80.44), and Senator Bernie Sanders (79.67). The three advocacy groups topping the list are Human Rights Campaign (71.92), the Republican National Committee (68.05), and AFL-CIO (67.73). Speaking to the fact that Twitter accounts are rarely manned by the politicians they represent, the Scorecard includes a category for the managers of the Twitter accounts – like Dan Kotman, the man behind Newt Ginrich's avatar.

Anyone can get onto Klout to find scores for themselves, but it's a nice idea to pull it all into one genre-specific place. The Political Social Media Scorecard is sortable, with pull down filters and an option to download the data as an Excel .csv file, for those who want to work with the data further. Via email, Timothy told me he and his team will add charts as they accumulate data.

Hathaway writes that he's looking for feedback as Activist Manager develops the Scorecard further, adding: “I’d be willing to work with anyone that has some interesting visualization ideas.”


Blogger Josh Shpayher tweets in to note that he's been tracking presidential candidates and members of Congress with Klout for several months over at GovSM.