TIME launched their list of 2012 100 Most Influential People in the World. In addition to political power that people like Barack Obama wield and celebrity influence that people like Rihanna have, TIME has also included people like Manal al-Sarif, the woman in Saudi Arabia who was arrested for driving (it is illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia) and Samira Ibrahim, who rebelled in Egyptian courts over forced virginity tests. However, a considerable number of people in the list have a large social media presence and have significant amounts of influence on the social networks. Klout writes in a blog post that 53% of the people on the list have Klout scores. In order to have a Klout score, you have to have an online presence, so 53% of the people on the list have an active online presence.
Some have been Klouted (image courtesy: TIME.com)
In an opening letter, TIME editor, Rick Stengel writes, “Before microphones and television were invented, a leader had to stand in front of a crowd and bellow. Now she can tweet a phrase that reaches millions in a flash. Influence was never easier — or more ephemeral.” This statement is indicative of just how much power can be wielded through a simple tweet, as even seen in several movements of the Arab Spring.
The only person in the world with a perfect Klout score of 100 is Justin Bieber and while the Canadian pop star made last year's TIME list, he has been replaced this year. Barack Obama, on the other hand, who is on the list has a Klout score of 92. So while Obama might have considerable power in the real world, online, Justin Bieber whizzes past the President of the country with the biggest military in the world.
The average Klout score of the TIME list is 62. On the list are people like Rihanna, who has a Klout score of 95, Lady Gaga, who has a score of 94 and MIT scholar, Donald Sadoway who has a score of 23. A new entry on the TIME list, Jeremy Lin, previously had a Klout score of 57 but after his performance in the NBA as well as his ethnicity, his Klout score rose to 84. Russian watchdog, Alexei Navalni, who made the TIME list has a score of 81 which is higher than the average Klout score of all the US politicians on the list. Brazilian tycoon, Eike Batista also made the list with a score of 77, making him the biggest 'mogul' on the list. Other 'moguls' on the list are Chelsea Handler, who has a score of 73, Sheryl Sandberg, with a score of 52 and Warren Buffet with a score of 54.
Klout says that its main person is to understand the power that they have online and unlock their influence. While Twitter especially is a tool where multiple movements and outcries can be heard, does a Klout score really matter? Would Justin Bieber be able to overthrow governments on Twitter? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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