Klout and the other social influence indices are really trying to get at “when X talks, does anyone listen?”
Linkedin has initiated a new system where you can rate whether your connections are experts in certain areas. I like the idea of knowing who will vouch for the expertise of another professional. And that I can look at electronic CVs of each to what I think of both of them.
Nice. Simple idea. After all, it works well in the real world and has for a century.