Quantifying online influence, and, more specifically, social media influence, has become a hot area. There are a number of companies in the space, including Twitalyzer and Twitter Grader but the one that's getting the most attention right now is Klout.
Klout has gained more, ummm, clout, recently. This widely linked to WSJ article, focused on how the Canadian government and cabinet minister Tony Clement, in particular, references his Klout score:
During the past two weeks, his Klout score — a measure of Twitter influence — has shot up 10 points to around 72, only a few points behind Sarah Palin.
And yesterday, Klout introduced a new feature, designed to integrate it into users' workflow. The Chrome browser extension for Klout automatically displays a user's klout score next to their name. It's particularly useful when looking at Twitter lists, where you may not know everyone on the list as well as you might those you follow directly.
Klout seems well-positioned to be the dominant player in measuring social influence. They were smart in keeping their brand generic, rather than a platform-specific name like Twitalyzer. Now, with the Chrome extension, they can begin to insert themselves into the every day workflow of users. And with a little luck it won't be too long before we hear people asking "did you check their Klout?" when doing research on someone.