Frequently Asked Questions

How is my PeerIndex calculated?

In short, we measure the ripple effect of your online voice. You create the content, people consume it, react to it and then we measure those interactions to identify your social media authority.
These exchanges take place all over the social web, whether it's a shared link on Twitter, Facebook, G+ or LinkedIn. We also believe that the type of information we share reveals a lot about who we are, whom we know, and what we know. After all, we tend to talk about the things we care about, are most knowledgeable in, and with people interested in similar subjects.
The PeerIndex algorithm recognizes the speed and quantity by which users spot, share (and thus endorse) content on any specific topic. Our content recommendation decisions can thus be used as a proxy to measure our knowledge and authority in a specific subject area. Your authority on a subject is affirmed when the content you share is approved - i.e. Retweeted, Facebook Shared, +1'ed or commented on, by someone else with authority on the subject.

Do I need to register to have a PeerIndex?

You do not need to register to obtain a PeerIndex. However, by registering we will have more data about your online activity and as a result will be able to calculate a more reliable PeerIndex.

I have refreshed all my social media profiles, why don't I see an improvement in my PeerIndex?

Building influence takes time to achieve and because of this, sudden bursts of activity or inactivity should not change your PeerIndex in a particular topic quickly. We make sure that a few days of frantic activities in one subject area will not have a measurable impact on your PeerIndex. This is built into our system to prevent rank-gaming by spammers and bots alike. If you have recently added new social media sources, please give us a week and check back! If you still don't see a difference in your PeerIndex in a week, please let us know.

How frequently is my PeerIndex updated?

Your daily activity does affect your PeerIndex but these activities are aggregated with past performance so that rankings change slowly and more accurately. We believe this provides a better representation of influence and prevents instances where your social influence could be negatively impacted if you were to go on holiday for a week. We have taken measures to reflect this so that your PeerIndex is resistant to volatility.
We calculate your PeerIndex nightly. However, several of the underlying analyses happen weekly, so it may take a week for your PeerIndex to update. We believe social capital and authority is built up (and drawn down) relatively slowly, so the rankings you see on PeerIndex reflect months of activities.

My PeerIndex is low and I do all this great stuff online, how can this be?

Your PeerIndex may be low for various reasons. If you have not registered, we do not have a complete profile of your data online and therefore may be missing elements that could contribute to increasing your PeerIndex. If you have registered, you could increase your PeerIndex by refining your conversation online. Being timely, original, and, well, human will help you in improving your PeerIndex. Things to consider:

  • Are you the first to discover and share good content, or do you just retweet information that's already become popular?
  • Do you share information regularly or sporadically?
  • Do you engage with other influencers online, or do you just parse your links through a feeder?
  • Being timely, original, and well, human, will help you in improving your PeerIndex.

What can I do to improve my PeerIndex?

There is quite a bit you can do to improve your PeerIndex, in particular:

  • Validate your accounts with various other services including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This will mean we can better capture your activity along with proving you are more real.
  • Share quality content. Avoid content farms and similar low quality content - if it is a spam site, you lose authority. Avoid items behind paywalls - if we can't read it, we don't include it.
  • Build your audience without relying on mutual following. Clear out your followers of spam, bot and inactive accounts.
  • Engage in conversations with others - influence and authority is based on your interactions, not just your posts.
  • Increase your activity but don't spam. This can be simply sharing more good URLs that resonate with a community and engaging in conversation with others who are interested in your topics.
  • Invite your friends to PeerIndex - the more friends you have connected to us, the more likely we will capture your activity and see how people respond to you, providing us with a more accurate index. In addition, this will improve your community realness rank.

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Today, you can include your blogs and other social networks (like LinkedIn and Quora) to increase the sources of information for the PeerIndex algorithm.
Improving your index is really pretty simple: share good and timely information, engage with authority figures in the topic, make sure your followers are mostly real people, and we'll take care of the rest.

Why does this prominent person in the industry have a lower rank than this person I don’t know?

PeerIndex ranks social influence. If this prominent person publishes academic journals that are no doubt influential but not being cited on Facebook, LinkedIn, G+ or Twitter then these articles are not generating social media impact. It is important to make the distinction between general influence and authority and social media influence – both important but very different animals. If you think that someone is inappropriately ranked, missing, or has no business within a certain topic, please let us know via the Contact Us page.

Why don't I see a detailed profile of myself?

If you have not registered, your PeerIndex is calculated from the data we have gathered through sampling methods. Registering will lead to updated results. If you have registered, hit the ‘refresh’ button on your page to update.

Do you see an overall PeerIndex, but no detailed profile? There are a couple of possible explanations:

We have just started tracking you, and your topical scores are not stable enough for us to present back to you yet. The topics that you are ranked in have not been made public. This is the most likely explanation.
PeerIndex tracks close to 8000 different topics, but only 2000+ have been made public. We will continue introducing new topics as communities form around them. Expect your PeerIndex profile to display more details as the information becomes richer. If you think you should rank in a certain topic, but this hasn't happened yet, then please let us know.

How do you choose which topics to cover?

We started our topic selection process by picking topics that are most discussed, and where authority is most transparently represented on the social web. We currently have close to 8000 topics being tracked, with close to 2000 shown publicly. As communities form and authorities begin to arise, you should see more topics appear in your profile. Again, if you think there is a missing topic that should be included, please let us know.

Where are my groups? I cannot find them.

To simplify PeerIndex we’ve temporarily removed the groups feature. We found that while groups were popular – more than 2m people were added to groups – they were only used by a small minority of our user base.

For those ‘power users’ who still want to build groups, we will be releasing a separate service called ‘PeerGroups’ in ten days time. PeerGroups will provide a better, more dedicated mechanism for tracking and networking with people with similar interests and spheres of influence. Previously created groups will be migrated over. It will be located at http://groups.peerindex.com

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