July 2008 Archives

News from the companies of social media analysis. Things are quiet in public—everyone's either on vacation or working on something big.

Companies and services

  • 28 July - Infonic and Lexalytics announced the merger of their text analytics businesses to form Lexalytics Ltd.
New research and papersEvents
  • 6 August (London) - MeasurementCamp V, 10:00 am at Dare Digital, 13-14 Margaret Street (map).

  • 7 August (New York) - Converseon will host a social media measurement roundtable next Thursday from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, following up on the May roundtable in Toronto. Katie Paine and Marshall Sponder return to lead the discussion, joined this time by Converseon's Constantin Basturea. The event is free, but you'll need to reserve your piece of the limited space in advance.

links for 2008-07-31

links for 2008-07-30

links for 2008-07-29

Infonic and Lexalytics have announced the merger of their text analytics businesses (press release, PDF) to create Lexalytics Limited. While not as well known as the usual suspects in social media analysis, these companies are growing behind the scenes, supplying the technology for automated sentiment analysis and more.

From the press release, Thomson Reuters and Dow Jones Insight use Infonic for sentiment analysis; ScoutLabs, Cisco, Smartbrief and BurrellesLuce use Lexalytics software. Other back-end technology deals are in the works. Based on a recent conversation with Lexalytics for their entry in the Guide to Social Media Analysis, they're also developing custom monitoring and analysis platforms for service providers (though not necessarily the ones listed above).

The technology behind the curtain
Lexalytics is focused on licensing their core text analytics technologies to software developers and building social media analysis platforms for vendors. The software licensing model will make text analytics—automated sentiment analysis, for example—available in a wider range of tools by lowering the barrier to entry for their developers. The custom software development model, meanwhile, will help service providers without a strong software development capability to match the features of platforms from more technology-focused companies.

For clients, this means more and better tools will be available. For vendors, it suggests some questions about technology strategy, which I'll open up in another post.

News from the companies of social media analysis.

New research and papers


links for 2008-07-24

links for 2008-07-23

links for 2008-07-19

links for 2008-07-18

Monitor110 Exits

| 1 Comment

Monitor110 is over. The company web site displays the company's statement on the decision to cease operations and shut down the company in the wake of its failure to arrange additional funding.

Clients, employees, and investors:

I regret to inform you that, effective July 15, Monitor110 has decided to cease operations and shut down the business...

W. Brennan Carley, CEO

See the full statement on the company site.

Interesting space, little information
In the process of writing the second edition of the Guide to Social Media Analysis, I've talked to several companies who are mining media content—social and otherwise—for investment purposes. I've found almost as many strategies and analytical approaches as companies, so it's an interesting specialty.

Several competitors I talked to thought that M110 either wasn't selling their services or wasn't finding success in the market. Nobody likes to talk about their revenue, so I never know what to believe absent win announcements or customer references. In the financial space, that's especially sensitive, so there's no real information. I'm going to work on that.

Brown pastures?
Some blog comments (discussion on paidContent, SAI) have made the point that, if it really worked so well, M110 would have started their own hedge fund. Given some of the backgrounds at M110, that's an interesting point and a possible outcome. The company's announcement doesn't mention anything about liquidating assets, but I assume that they're thinking about how to extract the value from the development work they've done.

M110 isn't the first company to abandon the financial services market. Others have started with similar goals, only to switch focus to the broader corporate marketing and communications market. M110's failure suggests that the others may have made the right decision. I am, however, hearing from competitors who contrast M110's trial customers with their own paying customers. It's too soon to declare the financial market dead.

Going deeper
At the moment, I'm closing in on the completion of the second edition of the Guide, which should be out by the end of the month. Now, there's one less company to include, but others focused on financial applications are included.

Once the Guide is completed, I plan to take a closer look at the information arbitrage specialty. As usual, even the companies in the space tend not to realize who else is in their market, so this should be fun.

Related posts:

Here's a dilemma for the bloggers: Let's say you post something that could use a little, um, refinement. After reading your post, you realize you should soften the language or take out a detail that's a bit too juicy. Your blog platform lets you edit published posts, so no problem, right? Well, no. Making changes actually highlights the text you want to hide, at least for some readers.

Highlight changes
The problem is, some RSS readers have an option to highlight changes in posts. Once the reader sees a post, it tracks changes to that post as long as it's in the feed. In my reader, for example, additions are shown in green text—so far, so good. But deleted text is shown in red—not so good for hiding. Deleted text is also strikethrough lined out, but it's readable. Every time a post is edited, the reader shows it to me again. It's frequently annoying but occasionally revealing.

So, the act of changing the post calls attention to the parts you needed to change, at least for subscribers who have that option turned on. And that red text draws attention to what may be the best parts of a post.

It can be very interesting to see what people go back and change.

News from the companies of social media analysis.

Companies and services

  • Elsevier announced a new version of illumin8, adding an authors and inventors search feature and interface updates. Illumin8 uses technology from NetBase (formerly Accelovation) to mine online content, patent filings and Elsevier's databases of scientific publications for technology intelligence for R&D groups.

  • 8 July - Monitor110 founder Jeff Stewart announced the launch of UrgentCareer, which applies computational linguistics to career matchmaking in sales and business development positions.
  • Patrick Cameron joins Filtrbox to lead the company's sales and marketing efforts.
Current posts on the job board

links for 2008-07-09

News from the companies of social media analysis.

Companies and services

  • 30 June - Filtrbox announced (PDF) their public release. Accounts range from free to $100/month for a 6-user team account.

  • 3 July - The team behind BlogMeter released Memesphere, an Italian memetracker. via MediaMeter
New research and papers
  • BlogMeter released a study of the Italian automative market, based on online messages posted in the fourth quarter of 2007.

  • 1 July - Paul Dunay released the results of a survey of B2B marketers, "Reputation Management for New Media Survey: How Ready Are You?" (PDF).

  • 2 July - Philip Sheldrake released The Social Web Analytics eBook 2008 (PDF). Sheldrake is a director at Racepoint Group, like Digital Influence Group a part of W2 Group.
Current posts on the job board

Little Web Tips

| 1 Comment

It's been quiet here lately, because behind the scenes, I'm in the final steps of updating the Guide to Social Media Analysis. If I'm counting correctly, it looks like the new edition will include 62 companies—double last year's count. So I'm seeing a lot of company web sites as I collect the information I need, and I keep running into a few familiar roadblocks. How many of these can you find on your company's site?

  1. Dusty web site
    Have you updated your web site recently? Is your last press release more than a year old? Is a 2005 copyright notice sending the wrong message? If nothing is new in the last year or two, how will first-time visitors know you're still in business?

  2. WWW required
    Is it really necessary to make me type four extra characters? Decide on whether your web site will be www.yourdomain.com or yourdomain.com, but both should work. I don't care which you pick, but too many sites return an error if I leave off the www. Tell your web guy to look up redirect; it's not hard.

  3. No news feed
    Set up an RSS feed for your news page(s). It makes things so much easier. The point of your press releases is for people to read them, right?

  4. Broken news feed
    A broken news feed is worse than no feed at all, because it sometimes tricks me into thinking that I'll get updates. If you have a feed for your news page, make sure that it matches the content on the page. If you change your web site in a way that breaks the old feed, communicate the change to subscribers.

    Tip: Subscribe to your own feeds to see what your subscribers see.

  5. Our founder, Anon E. Mouse
    An About the company page that doesn't tell me the name and location of your company makes you look very small-time. The name of the company that provides a service shouldn't be a secret. Hiding the names of the people behind the company isn't a lot better.

  6. Don't touch that logo!
    I include company logos with their profiles, and sometimes I need to get it from your web site. Please don't make me use a screen capture. If your logo always appears on a gradient background, I'm not going to be able to make it look good.

links for 2008-07-02

About Nathan Gilliatt

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  • Voracious learner and explorer. Analyst tracking technologies and markets in intelligence, analytics and social media. Advisor to buyers, sellers and investors. Writing my next book.
  • Principal, Social Target
  • Profile
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