Whatever You Do, Don’t Mention Justin Bieber To This Entrepreneur

Klout CEO Joe Fernandez

[credit provider=”Courtesy of Klout”]

Klout, the social network service that ranks people based on their influence, is getting two major changes.It revamped the way it ranks people and it redesigned its site to become much more useful as an online crib sheet to what your contacts are up to online.

Klout CEO Joe Fernandez is hoping all this will change the minds of people who have written off his startup as a joke.

Klout’s ranking system previously relied heavily on activity on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Klout is now taking in data from sites like Wikipedia, which reflect “real-world influence,” says Klout CEO Joe Fernandez.

As a result, Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber are down. Bill Gates and Barack Obama are up.

What does Klout have against Bieber, the treacly pop star?

Nothing per se, Fernandez says. The Bieb has gone from having a perfect 99 score to a mere 92.

There was a time when Klout embraced Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. The startup even named meeting room after the stars who, because of their enormous fan followings, soared to the top of Klout’s online rankings.

But Fernandez realised that Klout scores just weren’t telling the story he’d set out to tell.

“There was a point where I was like, ‘The next person who asks me about Justin Bieber I’m punching in the face,'” he told Business Insider.

The leader of the free world now has the top score—an increase largely driven by activity on his Wikipedia entry.

By fixing the scoring system, which always seemed a little goofy, Fernandez hopes people will take his site more seriously.

Besides changing the scoring system, Fernandez has also added a lot of features to Klout’s website. Previously, you could check out your own score and others’ scores, and give them “+K”—points—as experts on a particular topic.

In addition to the new scores, Klout will soon display “moments”—tweets, Facebook posts, and other updates, sorted by how well they connected with audiences online.

Just as you might go to LinkedIn to check out a professional contact’s background and recent activity, you can now go to Klout and get a useful summary of the things they’ve shared online recently.

Fernandez calls it a “social resume.”

We call it a reason to visit Klout’s website.