2010 was a big year for measuring social influence for the sake of bragging rights, but this year it's taking a more professional turn. Keep up with the times by checking out some of your current options: 

Klout

We'll start with the one that's poised to be this year's tool to beat. Klout (news, site) analyzes data such as likes, comments and friendship networks in order to rank an individual's or a website's online influence. That measurement is then reflected in a Klout Score: 

klout_scores.jpg

On the surface, this may just look like another method for showing off; however, experts emphasize the unique value proposition that is revealing those who are influential within specific industries or topics.

“People are hungry to get even more meaning from their daily social media use, and Klout is creating an important and new standard measure of relevance," explained Bing Gordon, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. 

The venture capital firm recently injected US$ 8.5 million into Klout, thanks to the sFund initiative

PeerIndex

PeerIndex is described as a method for understanding your social capital, and favors the business end of the spectrum. The tool measures data from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with specific focus in five areas: authority, resonance, audience, activity, and realness (content farms and link blogs have lower value, and spammers are penalized). 

Like Klout, PeerIndex also provides an overall score: 

peerindex_mashable.jpg

The tool offers an analytics dashboard (seen above) that gives users a closer look at their authority on the web, as well as a peek into how they compare to their friends. 

The algorithms are top secret, but you can decide for yourself how efficient they are by checking out the list of top 100 UK journalists PeerIndex kicked out last week. 

HubSpot

If you're looking for something to track influence on individual platforms, you may want to check out HubSpot. The company offers a suite of individual tools for social media and website measurement, including a Facebook grader, Foursquare grader and Twitter grader.

Twitter grader, for example, is cool for quick and simple stats: 

twitter_grader_cms.jpg

On the down side, it's easy to tamper with overall rank and score-- just get a bunch of bots to follow you. 

Twitalyzer

Twitalyzer is an analytics tool specifically designed for social businesses on Twitter. Anyone on Twitter can get “Twitalyzed” from the main page for free, and the results will tell you basic things like your impact type, impact score, and overall rank compared to other Twitter users on your network:

twitalyzer_cmswire.jpg

A paid account delivers perks such as:

  • Automatic Daily Updates
  • Full Data Export
  • Email Support
  • Multiple-Account Tracking
  • Daily Granularity
  • Custom Date Range Reporting

Twitalyzer also integrates its service with Google analytics and link tracking services such as bit.ly, which is pretty neat, but interested parties should note that Twitter has been working on its own -- free -- analytics dashboard. 

EmpireAvenue

EmpireAvenue puts a gaming twist on social media monitoring. The social stock market game rewards users with virtual currency in exchange for online activity (tweets, YouTube comments, sharing on Facebook). 

Though it looks like all fun and games, the provider offers both personal and business signups (plus, you get to pick your own stock ticker):