Silicon Crossroads Technopolis

Posted by Chris on September 8th, 2012

The Silicon Crossroads Technopolis is a private High Tech. facility that supports Silicon Crossroads VCT investee companies globally. It also supports companies advised by M & A Rainmaker and the Silicon Crossroads VCT.

The Technopolis is currently supporting companies in ( for example ) London, San Francisco, Israel, New York, Costa Rica and India. the list is continually changing and evolving so this is just a sample of cities and countries supported.

The Silicon Crossroads VCT does not invest in all the companies it supports, it may simply provide advice and guidance. It is particularly interested in assisting startup and growth companies who want to expand from the U.K. to, for example, the U.S.A. and vice versa and also from other countries around the world into the U.K. and Europe. It is one of very few companies in the U.K. to provide these sort of services.

Lichfield Cathedral at night across Stowe Pool.

Managing Partner, Chris Windley, has established global networks via social media networks like Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook and Chris is regarded as one of the most influential people in the world by Internet Influence measurement companies like Klout, Kred and Peer Index. These companies operate mainly from e.g. London, New York and San Francisco. Since his days at Optical Fibre Network company Fibernet, Chris noted that U.S. companies tended to lead the European market by between 6 and 18 months and therefore it is vital to maintain contacts with High Tech. industry leaders there; especially the West Coast ( Silicon Valley etc. ) which remains the frontrunner when it comes to angel and venture capital support.

It is no surprise that some of the most important High Tech. companies in the world have emerged from the Silicon Valley/San Francisco area.

Chris maintains contact with Angels, Venture Capitalists and Founders via Internet networks like Linkedin, Google + and AngelList.

Shock Horror !! I am actually happy with my new Klout score

Posted by Chris on August 16th, 2012

As you may know Klout just updated the way that it calculates your Klout score. Those of us that care about Internet Influence scores ( and there are a lot of people who a) Don’t know anything about Internet Influence scores and b) Don’t care about them ) were not looking forward to this day as all previous updates have resulted in a ( sometimes ) dramatic fall in Klout score.

Mashable describes the change in the way that Klout is now grading you here:

The essentials are that “Klout now  puts more weight on who your followers are and how you’re engaging with them.  Klout also now takes into account more of your real-world influence.”

So, given the above and the fact that my Klout score rose from 62 to 70 I have to be pleased with this because it appears to be saying that I am connected with influential people and that we are communicating with one another which is actually what I think is happening. The ” real-world influence ” also appears to have been positive.

I also like the fact that Klout is offering  ”  a look back at your most influential tweets and posts over the past 90 days. ” This provides a summary of who engaged with me and why.

Klout is now saying that ” You’re not influential because of a number. You’re influential because of what you say ( and perhaps do ) .” This is a great way of measuring influence. Klout’s objective now is ( apparently )  “ to make you feel important, and make you feel listened to.”

If you are trying to get your Klout score up then Mashable offers a rundown of some of the factors that play into your ultimate score below:

Mentions via tag from other people
Subscriber count
Posts on your wall
Overall friend count

List memberships
Replies from you to your network
Number of followers

Comments on your content
Reshares of your content

Your job title on LinkedIn
Your connections

Tips completed – the number of suggestions you’ve left at venues that people have actually completed.

+K from your friends now also plays a role in your score. Previously it only influenced what categories you were thought to be influential in, not how influential you were in general.

Page Importance
Inlinks to Outlinks ratio
Number of Inlinks

Apart from Wikipedia ( should I write something about myself 😉 I have a substantial presence on all of these networks ( and more ) and I always felt that this was not being taken into account. ( My Klout summary seemed to indicate that only my Twitter and Facebook networks were being analysed ).

This may all be a PR exercise but I have to declare myself  ” satisfied ” with the new measurement and also it seems to me to be taking the right factors into account.

Klout is losing Kred and dropping down the Peer Index

Posted by Chris on July 22nd, 2012

Klout is a bit like Marmite – you either love it ( work with it ) or you hate it. My Klout was falling over the last few days despite my networks growing on Twitter, Facebook, Google + and Linkedin; despite masses of meaningful, productive engagement and despite my Kred and Peer Index scores INCREASING !!

I just checked my Klout score before writing this and suddenly it is going North ( up ) again which may ( at last ) be a reflection of what has been happening recently and a trend which Kred and Peer Index have more  accurately recorded.

While I was beginning to get annoyed with Klout’s failure to recognise what was actually happening in my networks I started seeing other people Tweeting that their Klout scores were falling ( inexplicably ) aswell.

Now, lots of people would say ” Why are you even bothered about what Klout says about you ? ” I happen to believe that some sort of
” Internet Influence ” score will be a factor going forward, especially for people who claim to be ” Social Media Experts “.  I really think that it is mainly here – in assessing the effectiveness of ” Social Media ” professionals – that Internet Influence scores matter – oh ! and also with brands effectiveness in promoting themselves via social media which is hopefully being done by social media professionals.

One of the dangers for Klout is that it is losing “Kredibility” amongst even it’s supporters. Another danger is that it is facing new competitors – for example Synthesio recently announced that it is ” Klout for Grownups ” – which is a clever pick-up on the fact that Klout is not ” professional ” enough for ” proper business “.

The fact that Synthesio combines it’s ” Internet Influence ” measurement with ” Social listening ” is also an interesting aspect and a massive danger for Klout.

The view that Klout is ” amateur ” and ” Geeks messing about ” is widespread already.

HubSpot talks about assessing social media professionals on the basis of ” D.A.R.C. ness ” ( Do they have a Digital Network ? Can they Analyse the effectiveness of their social media campaigns? Do they have Internet ” Reach “? Do they have ” Chops “?  i.e. some nouse when it comes to social media promotion .   ). This is the basis of assessing ” Internet Influence “.

Klout has got to start taking things seriously. Stop messing with it’s algorithm. Communicate with it’s users and engage with them or it is going to have no Kred at all and be bottom of the Peer Index !!!!

XeeMe and Twylah point the way to Internet Marketing Ecosystem

Posted by Chris on April 22nd, 2012

When I wrote the blog recently it was my view on the ” state of the art ” in terms of creating what I call an Internet Marketing Ecosystem.

Last Week I was involved in the XeeMe Xweek chat about Twylah. This was a great event where Kelly Kim, co-founder of Twylah got to answer set and spontaneous  questions about Twylah. Based on this online chat session ( my first such XeeMe chat ) I highly recommend these chats.

Participants in the chat included Mindy Koch ( ) and Irene Kimmel ( ) and I was quite fascinated to see their XeeMe profiles ( the first time I had really seen anyone’s XeeMe profile ). As per my Internet Marketing Ecosystem philosophy they have a web/blogsite ( both WordPress ) which are themselves pretty state of the art and then multiple social media accounts, bookmarking sites and Internet Influence summaries ( Klout, Kred, PeerIndex ).

XeeMe has little ” How active am I on this site ” indicators which I quite liked and it’s sort of good to see that Mindy and Irene are not as active on some as they are on others ( because I have no idea how they would maintain all these presences !! ).

Some of my influences in coming up with the description of the Internet Marketing Ecosystem include a number of ” auto-posting systems ” whereby a piece of content ( text, picture or video )  can be automatically posted to 10’s or even 100’s of social media and bookmarking sites automatically thereby creating 10’s or 100’s of powerful backlinks to e.g. a blog post almost immediately. I signed up to at least 2 of these auto-posting systems but I never actually used them in anger for loads of reasons including the fact that I thought Google would probably blacklist them at some point.

The objective of these systems always fascinated me though.

At that time I was focused on being FOUND on the Internet i.e. getting a high ranking position for a particular search word or phrase. Later on, with the help of HubSpot I became more interested in not only being found but also converting visitors to the content into long lasting subscribers and hopefully revenue generating customers.

Mindy’s ( WordPress ) Blog at reflects her XeeMe profile in having Subscribe areas, Influence areas and Twylah trending ( Twitter ) topics.

The CONVERSION of visitors through appropriate Landing Pages and Calls to Action is an area that Twylah helps with. ( e.g. Posts on Twylah automatically convert into Landing Pages ).

The other area that I have not looked into is what Mindy and Irene are using to ANALYSE where visitors to their web/blog sites are coming from ( there are a lot of possible sources bearing in mind the extent of their ecosystems ).

It is also not obvious what systems they are using to MONITOR relevant conversations.

I also thought it was interesting that Mindy had XeeMe and Twylah as her ” summarisers “. Here is her Twitter summary:

Mindy Koch

Mindy Koch


~SEO, Social Media, and Brand Positioning Strategist~ My entire social presence:  My tweeting presence: 

Maryland ·

Wahooliganism breaks out in Lichfield businesses

Posted by Chris on February 24th, 2012

Lichfield businesses have been subjected to an incredible outbreak of Wahooliganism. Wahooliganism first emerged in Minneapolis in the U.S. last year and then spread globally via highly connected individuals and internet influencers.

It gained serious Klout along the way but suffered a setback in early February. It is expected to re-emerge over the coming weeks stronger than ever and businesses in Lichfield and indeed globally are advised to prepare.

What is Wahooliganism ??

A short description proffered by Wahooly founder Dana Severson is  ” Accelerating Start-up growth through online influence.

There’s a good description of Wahooly in TechCrunch here:

Wahooly ( a start-up itself ) is helping it’s first 3 start-up’s ( actually on the website there are 4 now – ) to gain traction by having ” influential people ” invest time, effort and skills in them and promote them on a global basis.

Does this actually work ???

Well I think it does. Word of Mouth Marketing,Networking and Referrals are established ways of ” getting the word out ” and ” growing the business “.

For those of you who have read Gladwell’s ” The Tipping Point ” you will know that “The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.” These people are Connectors, Mavens and Salespeople.

According to Gladwell, economists call this the “80/20 Principle, which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the ‘work’ will be done by 20 percent of the participants.”

The 20% are defined by Klout ( arguably ) as those who have a Klout score of greater than 45. ( Klout is only one company that is measuring Internet ” influence ).

This is not really rocket science – you get influential people ( in real life and virtual life ) to promote your company, products and services and this helps you grow your business.

Let’s take two examples:

Twylah ( )

Twylah is a company that wants to take your Twitter Tweets and ” Tell your story and get you noticed ” by making an awesome looking website out of your Tweets. Twylah is based in San Franciso and is a start-up with co-founders Kelly and Eric Kim. Kelly is the community manager for Twylah and the marketing face of @Twylah.

Kelly Kim

Twylah has some VERY famous clients already ( see ) which include Lady GaGa, Britney Spears, Bon Jovi and Arnold Shwarzenegger !! This might give you the impression that only famous people need apply ! Here is David Skok of Matrix Partners Twylah page ( A Boston based VC investor  ) and here’s my Twylah page .

From small beginnings Twylah has spread globally – mainly by using Twitter. Kelly has some 13,000 or so followers on Twitter. By picking certain people ( famous, influential, interesting ) Kelly has spread the word on Twylah and now Twylah users are spreading the word further.

Coco Meli Bakery ( )

More locally, Meli Nicolaou, of Coco Meli Bakery is using various means to promote her Artisan Bakery business and newly launched refreshments van at Trent Valley Railway Station.

Meli (  @CocoMeliBakery on Twitter )

Meli Nicolaou

has a relatively small ( well at least to Kelly !! ) Twitter follower base ( 500 odd ) but she has used this to help spread the word about her business. She now has a Twylah page .

Again, physically and online she is spreading the word and others are spreading the word for her – some of them are influential people.

The involvement of influential people is having an actual positive effect on the growth of the business. What is the value of a new Twylah customer or a new Coco Meli Bakery customer ?? I don’t know but Eric Kim’s background is in the monetisation of Internet platforms and to him ( and the industry he has worked in for the last 10 years or so ) each follower, retweeter, circler, favouriter, liker and email address has a dollar or pound ( or part of ) value !!

Start up Start up Wahooly Starts tomorrow with Klout behind it

Posted by Chris on January 31st, 2012

Start up Wahooly starts tomorrow ( Tuesday 31st January ) having used Klout to select it’s members. I realise that this is is all about as clear as mud at the moment !

Let’s start with Klout which is a company ( one of a few that are doing this ) that essentially grades your Internet influence. Here is Klout about Klout:

” Klout was founded in 2008 to help you measure and leverage your influence. We believe influence is the ability to drive action. For example, Oprah’s opinion on literature has inspired millions to read titles from her book club. But you don’t have to be Oprah to have influence. You influence your friend when she listens to a song you recommend on Facebook. You influence your coworker when he checks out an article you posted on LinkedIn and shares it with someone else. Social actions like these are a reflection of influence. ”

Klout uses a ” secret algorithm ” to measure people and brand influence.



A few month’s ago this algorithm was ” modified ” and a lot of people’s ” Klout score ” changed ( many for the worse ) generating considerable reaction from Klout ” members “.

A lot of people say ” Who are Klout and what right do they have to rank my influence ? ” I have my own issues with Klout including the fact that they have a lot of technical bugs that impact people’s scores.

Anyway – let’s get on to Wahooly. Wahooly is a start-up that aims to help start-ups by recruiting ” influential ” people to promote start-ups that they wish to support. In return the influencers get equity ( shares ) in the start-up. So, this is like hiring an Internet Marketing Expert ( Social Media Marketer ) and PR person and paying them in equity rather than hard cash.

Will it work ?? We shall see.

To be a member of Wahooly you needed to have a Klout score of 45 or above ( mine was at the time of selection but has fallen slightly since. I have been as high as 67 in the past ).

More on Wahooly’s use of Klout here:

I am therefore a founder member of Wahooly and a Wahooligan ( as they call it ).


Given that it has been very hard to raise start-up capital in the last few years there have been many new initiatives to help start-ups get going. Equity for influence is just the latest of them. There have, for example , been a whole host of crowd financing ( investing small amounts of money for small amounts of equity ) initiatives.

Obviously Wahooly has a presence on the main social media platforms:



Google +



It is going to be an interesting experiment !!






The perks of having a Social Media network increase

Posted by Chris on September 10th, 2011

Recently I was talking with a mutual friend of mine and  Thomas Power ( who has a huge Social Media network ) and he told me that Thomas had recently checked into a hotel in the U.S. and was told that he had been upgraded to a suite following hotel staff doing a check of Thomas’s “social media influence”. The suite included free use of a computer and the Internet. Thomas had all he needed to tell his online networks about his suite and the way he had been looked after by the hotel group’s staff.

This blog on The Next Web

talks about the way that Bal Harbour Shops ( ) had conducted a social media campaign that culminated in a ” Fashion Night Out Event which was limited to people with a ” Klout score ” of 40 or higher.

This meant that people attending the party had to have a significant social media network and influence.

My Klout score is around 53.  The people that I follow ( on Twitter ) with the highest Klout score include celebrities like Lady GaGa ( KS of 92 ), Kim Kardashian ( 91 ) and Britney Spears ( 87 ); News networks like Breaking News ( 89 ) and CNN ( 87 ) and the people who have created huge numbers of followers and friends in their networks like Chris Pirillo ( 87 ), Jay Wilkinson ( 86 ) and Guy Kawasaki ( 86 ). These latter are typically entrepreneurs and marketing people.

Why a Klout score of 40 or above ??

Christopher Renz, Agency Director at The brpr Group ( who ran the campaign ) , has this to say on the matter:

“A Klout score of at least 40 ensures that only the most socially engaged will be in attendance and as a direct result will tweet, check in on Foursquare and post photos on Facebook to their friends and followers, creating a real‐time digital echo for FNO at Bal Harbour Shops”

Why set the bar at 40 ??

” We originally thought 50, but we contacted Klout to ask their opinion and they mentioned that the average score is well below 40, so beginning it there would give a good mix of those who are just building their networks and the long-time enthusiasts.”

I first started building my social media networks with in about 2006 followed by Linkedin and facebook.

Anybody ” ordinary ” that has built an ” online network ” ( via email and social and business networks ) knows how much work and time goes into it . Basically you don’t get to have a Klout score of 40 or above without having put considerable effort into doing so. For celebrities it sort of depends on how popular they are. For news channels – how well they provide up to date, well researched and informative news.

Were Bal Harbour and The brpr Group happy with the event ??

CR: We got a great response from the invite. Bal Harbour Shops is thought of as older and stuffier and so people were very surprised (and sometimes upset) about the Lounge. A competing Fashion’s Night Out venue tweeted to us offended that they wouldn’t be able to get into the lounge if they attended.

We had a Miami Dolphins player, Alonzo & Tracy Mourning (ex Heat player) Deborah Cox RSVP’d, Brooke Hogan RSVP’d and then went to LA at the last minute. DJ Irie and some Telemundo/Univision talent (it is Miami after all).

and how did Bal Harbour’s clients and guests feel about the use of Klout scores ??

CR: They were very happy with the turnout and the number of people who tweeted and buzzed about the lounge even before Fashion’s Night Out.  They also loved that their own Klout score went from a 38 a week before the event to a 54 on the night of FNO.

So, there were a number of effects:

– Some ( positive ) shift in the brand identity

– An increase in Bal Harbour’s Klout score ( influence, reach, amplification )

– Controversy

– Lots of Word of Mouth and ” Social Media Buzz “.

and this is what people like  Bal Harbour and the Hotel chain want.

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