links for 2009-08-25



This is a good article and I'm glad to see some mainstream coverage of the recent advances in this relatively new technology. But I think you're description of those terms referring to the same things is a bit off. From my POV, sentiment analysis is but one type of analytics that falls under the umbrella of social media analysis. Others include engagement quantification, influence calculations, keyword mention, theme identification, etc. Brand monitoring typically includes sentiment analysis, but listening for themes or insights often does not factor in sentiment analysis. I believe consistent use of the term "sentiment analysis" in this article is intentional, to separate this process from the other common processes used on the social media dataset. Don't forget that sentiment analysis of this nature can be performed on any number of other textual datasets besides social media - call center conversations, telephone surveys, focus groups, etc. This gets at the heart of the communication problem companies like ours has today - anyone that performs any activity with the social media dataset is being lumped together as the same type of company, when in reality many of the goals, processes, and results of tools like ours have very little in common with others that are put in the same bucket. I see this starting to change, though, as clients and prospects get more sophisticated in understanding the differences between monitoring tools and analytical tools.

Thanks, Brian. I agree with your usage. I think we have a buzzword alignment issue here, with multiple terms (including text analytics and sentiment analysis) being used loosely to refer to more or less the same thing. Of course they're not the same, but a Venn diagram of all of these would have a lot of overlap.

My response is to focus more on the concept of listening, which I will be writing more about soon. If I do it well, we should clear up some of the confusion about methods and metrics. For now, I'll just summarize by saying that my definition of listening is a lot more interesting than "monitoring social media for brand mentions."

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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.
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