Warning: people with an elitist view on what it takes to earn the label “geek” may want to look away. For the rest of us, there’s a new application from Bravo called Silicon Valley Status that gives viewers of the Bravo TV series Start-Ups: Silicon Valley the chance to measure their status against the show’s cast members.
Debuting next Monday, Start-Ups: Silicon Valley follows six super attractive Valley up-and-comers as they pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations. The reality show has sparked controversy in the real Silicon Valley, as some believe the cast members more closely resemble Bravo housewives than actual geeks. Let’s save that debate for another day.
Silicon Valley Status is a web and mobile application for show fans who want to measure their self-worth in terms of Twitter followers, Facebook shares, and Instagram likes, and compare their overall digital credibility against the cast and other app users.
The simple application, on par with Klout in terms of purpose but not as sophisticated in function, requires you to connect to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It then spits out a score between 0 and 999. Each social application is weighted equally in the scoring methodology. This reporter’s score is 922, as pictured right. I earned 328 points out of 333, for my Twitter presence, 302 points for my Instagram captures, and 291 points for my Facebook popularity.
“The application really provides you with a score of your entire package of influence in terms of three major metrics,” Ellen Stone, Bravo’s senior vice president of marketing, told me.
In Bravo’s formula, Stone said, Facebook is used to determine a person’s popularity, Twitter is used to calculate influence, and Instagram is all about scoring a person’s “it factor.” The more shares, followers, photos, and so forth, the better. If your score is lacking, you can turn to cast members Hermione Way, Ben Way, and Sarah Austin for social network-specific video tips, albeit rather fluffy ones, on how best to improve your numbers. [Geeks, if you're still reading, insert obligatory eye roll here.]
Stone said Bravo built the application to capitalize on excitement around the entrepreneurial nature of the show. “We looked at creating a marketing initiative against becoming a Silicon Valley entrepreneur … and those factors that you need for creating this way of life,” she said.
The application also offers show fans rewards such as the chance to win a VIP package that includes red carpet access to the the Start-Ups: Silicon Valley premiere party, or the opportunity to have your image projected on a digital billboard on the U.S. 101 highway.
Silicon Valley Status represents Bravo’s on-going commitment to creating complementary social applications that enhance the viewing experience for its reality series. The extra investment in these types of applications has paid off nicely for the cable network. A made-for-web digital series around Top Chef 9 resulted in more than 8 million streams, Stone said.