September 2007 Archives

News from the companies of social media analysis.

Companies and services

People
  • Connected Marketing has an interview with Mark Rogers, CEO of Market Sentinel.

  • Brian Glover is leaving Biz360 to pursue a career in music with Parker Street Cinema. The band's first full-length CD is being released on Dec. 4; a 5-song EP is available on iTunes today.
New research and papers

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French blog map for your wall

Do you remember Randall Munroe's map of online communities? Is it printed and posted somewhere in your office? It is in mine. Here's another poster that can add some color to your wall: a conceptual map of French blogs (the language, not the country), courtesy of blogger Ouinon (via Loic Le Meur).

The map, while more visually stimulating than the rest of the document, is only the packaging. The rest of the document describes 200 French blogs, grouped into categories and ranked several ways. And, of course, there's a list of all the blogs in the map, so if you want to explore, say, French art blogs, this is another way to start. Plus, it'll look great on the wall.

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SMAttering, 21 September 2007

News from the companies of social media analysis.

Companies and services

Speaking of New York, it turns out that I'm going to be in town for part of the week. Can anyone recommend a good event Monday evening?

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Free sample

I posted a sample profile from the Guide to Social Media Analysis last night. For new subscribers who weren't around when I announced it in June, this is an independent reference to the companies that monitor, measure and analyze social media worldwide, based on an RFI and briefings with each company. There's much more detail (and that free sample) on the Social Target site.

IBM talks 2.0

I spend a lot of time in the social media/ communications/ marketing world, but a major part of what I can do for clients is bridge the gap between technology and business. So it was good to hear a more technical take Wednesday at the first edition of IBM's developerWorks roadshow, Web 2.0 goes to work.

After opening talks from the Emerging Technologies guys, we had our choice of three sessions: social/collaboration, Info 2.0 and applications/mashups. Since I still don't have that two-places-at-once ability, I picked the social/collaboration session and learned what I could about the others during the breaks and afternoon wrap-up.

The first surprise was how much of the conversation was Social Media 101. I expected the more technical crowd to be farther along than that, but people needed the explanation. Once we finished the review, we spent the rest of the time on adoption, the roles of IT and business units, and policy implications. As you would expect in a short session, we did more identification of issues than resolution.

Products and experiments
In addition to the general overview of Internet trends filtering into the enterprise, we saw some examples of IBM software (of course), especially the experimental stuff.

  • DAMIA, a mashup tool and feed server (and IBM's take on enterprise RSS?). Combining data from internal, public (Internet) and private (data as a service) sources was a key theme of the "Info 2.0" idea.
  • QEDWiki, a wiki mashup maker for inside the firewall.
  • Many Eyes, a tool that democratizes data visualization and adds social features. Plus, it's fun to play with.
  • Lotus Connections, possibly the only shipping product of the day, which combines a variety of familiar social applications. Interesting comments on how IBM rolled out tag-based search results without the jargon to reduce barriers to adoption.
The takeaway
It didn't take long to figure out the themes of the day and how IBM approaches Web 2.0. Actually, you already know, but listening to them talk confirms some things:
  1. If you want to see feature set of Enterprise 2.0, look at the publicly available services on the Internet. All those startups are the development lab, trying new ideas and testing them in the wild.

  2. The transition into the enterprise will focus on finding and proving the value of individual social applications, connecting with existing enterprise systems, and dealing with the security, privacy and compliance issues that follow.

  3. IBM's strategy will be packaging (1) and (2) so that customers can "buy Web 2.0." alphaWorks services provide field-testing and gauge interest in specific applications.

  4. Companies need to reduce the business-technology gap to succeed with these technologies. IT has to communicate with business units to understand and meet their evolving needs (and to stay relevant), and business folks will have to learn new tech skills to take advantage of the new possibilities (spreadsheets in the 80s, user-generated mashups now?).
All in all, a good day. I visited people who live on the IT side and discovered that they're talking about some of the same things as the marketing/ communications crowd. Yes, there was the extended tangent on SOA, and more technical diagrams than in a marketing meeting, but this was an IBM event with tech-casual clothing, no slides and an iPhone giveaway. As corporate marketers work out what they want to do in this changing environment, they may be surprised to find their IT people on the same page.

Web 2.0 goes to work continues in Austin next Tuesday.

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Is your brand l33t 5p34k?

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Does anyone besides me see the humor in this name/logo?

Email me if you need this explained. It's part of why working with online media is cultural, as well as technical.

Yahoo Finance adds sentiment analysis

Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) added a "community sentiment" section to the front page of Yahoo Finance yesterday, showing stocks with increases of bearish or bullish messages in Yahoo's own discussion boards. Collective Intellect performs the analysis and gains a persistent endorsement on the Yahoo Finance site.

Yahoo describes it this way:

Community Sentiment shows the stock message boards with significant increases in bearish and bullish message board activity in the last 24 hours when compared to the board's 30-day average. The data is provided by Collective Intellect, Inc., a social media intelligence company.
Psst... Google Finance lists blog posts on stock pages, but they don't feature any analysis of blogs or boards yet. Their phone number is +1-650-253-0000.

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Analysts of social media

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When Jeremiah announced that he's joining Forrester, it got me thinking about how few analyst firms are writing about social media. You can't turn around with bumping into Forrester, and Jupiter is doing some work, but the other big firms are nearly invisible in this space. So I asked around to see who else might be doing something interesting.

So far, the impression that Forrester and Jupiter are most interested in social media is holding up. They certainly have the most analysts who not only cover the space but also participate in it.

CompanyAnalysts
451 GroupKathleen Reidy
Aberdeen GroupJeff Zabin
AIIMDan Keldsen
ABI ResearchMike Wolf
AMR ResearchJon Yarmis
Burton GroupMike Gotta
Forrester ResearchJosh Bernoff, Brian Haven, Peter Kim, Rob Koplowitz, Charlene Li, Jeremiah Owyang
GartnerNikos Drakos, Rita Knox
GT&A Strategic MarketingGraeme Thickins
IDCRachel Happe, Karsten Weide
Jupiter ResearchDavid Card, Nate Elliott, Barry Parr, Emily Riley
Nemertes ResearchIrwin Lazar
RedMonkMichael Coté, James Governor, Stephen O'Grady
Yankee GroupJonathan Edwards, Anette Schaefer

And, of course, you're already reading the blog from Social Target. I don't have the throw weight of a publicly-traded company, but interesting things are in the works.

For a broader view of analyst bloggers, see Technobabble's Top 100 analyst blogs.

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Blog monitoring the election

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Political types are fond of saying that only the one poll really matters—I don't know, maybe I just heard that on a TV show. But an election is a prime opportunity to show off your number-crunching skills. That color-coded map may be the most widely viewed data visualization around. So if your business is analyzing online chatter, and an approaching election is generating lots of it, it's only natural to analyze some of that data to show what you can do.

If you want a peak at some of the capabilities of social media analysis companies, just look at their showcase political buzz analysis:

US presidential election

French presidential election
Italian election
Spanish election
You don't have to launch a special site to weigh in on a campaign, of course. All you need is a blog and something interesting to report:
Election 2008: Buzz vs. Audience
Let's not leave out the web metrics folks. Hitwise and Compete are using audience metrics as an indicator of voter interest. Hitwise is also reporting on popular search terms (typically candidates' names) and political sites beyond the official campaign sites.

All of these special reports from metrics and analysis vendors create an opportunity to compare audience data and online buzz with election results. Any guesses on which will be the better predictor of the outcome? Or will the dartboard win?

Did I miss your campaign coverage? Add it in the comments, and I'll add it to the list.

Update: If it's in the draft folder, someone else must be working on the same topic. Matt Hurst wrote a similar post on tracking political buzz yesterday. We're going to see a lot of blog aggregation this time around.

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SMAttering, 7 September 2007

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News from the companies of social media analysis.

Companies and services

New research and papers

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2007 seems to be the year of the corporate social media specialist. I'm seeing more people who use some variation on the term to describe themselves, and clients are asking about the organizational issues around listening and interacting with social media. I wrote my thoughts on what I called social media relations last fall (don't get hung up on the title; that's not the point), and now I'm talking with people in similar roles to compare the theory with what companies are really doing and how it's working.

The central characteristic of this new role is the ability to talk tech and marketing, bridging the gap between functions without a strong history of mutual respect. Steve Rubel calls people who do this geek marketers, a term not guaranteed to maximize the job's compensation. David Churbuck prefers Chief Digital Officer, which is the logical extreme at the high end of the scale.

I suspect there's going to be a correlation between the size of the company and the level of the position, with smaller companies adding social media to the web guy's portfolio and larger companies building teams for listening and interacting online (the team may be on an agency payroll). I welcome any data points that confirm or correct my expectations.

Topic of the week
This notion of the corporate social media specialist—whatever the title—keeps popping up this week. I talked with a recruiter at Yum Brands, where they've filled one position and have more open, and I've come across several references to positions—filled and otherwise—in the automobile industry.

BrandWeek's Steve Miller interviewed Toyota's Bruce Ertmann: Toyota CGM exec monitors the good, the blog, and the ugly (via Josh Hallett):

As corporate manager of consumer-generated media at the Torrance, Calif.-based automaker, Ertmann constantly trolls the Web to see what people are saying... Although other car companies also have people who track and write blogs, Ertmann's title is believed to be the first in the U.S. auto trade.
Ertmann was also quoted in the New York Times on Toyota's use of Nielsen BuzzMetrics in December. Meanwhile, across the pond, BMW seeks new media PR manager:
The job recognises the increasing blur between traditional marketing and public relations as well as challenges presented by dynamic new communication channels. Monitoring, managing and influencing public commentary via new media is a skill set that BMW lists as important.
I'd say we have a trend. Now, if this is your job, would you be willing to talk with me about it? If you're trying to fill one of these positions externally, how are you doing it? Are you using social media to attract social media experts to your company (hint)?

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You know it's been a long day

...when your European and American contacts on Skype are offline, and all the Asian contacts are online.

About Nathan Gilliatt

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  • Voracious learner and explorer. Analyst tracking technologies and markets in intelligence, analytics and social media. Studying complexity and futures.
  • Principal, Social Target

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