International social media monitoring

Global is the new next door.

I've known for a long time that distance doesn't generally matter online, but there's something about getting an email from London after a recent blog post that really brings it home. I've seen international visitors to some of my other web pages for years, but the blog is more interactive, which makes the connection more vibrant. The email exchange got me thinking about the state of social media monitoring outside the US.

Blogging is decidedly not a US / English phenomenon. According to Technorati's latest State of the Blogosphere report, only 31% of blogs are written in English, while Japanese and Chinese blogs account for more than half of all blogs. The numbers come with some caveats, and they don't attempt to sort blogs by geography, but it's a reasonable interpretation that most of those blogs in other languages are written a long way from my home in North Carolina.

US-based online monitoring companies aren't limited to monitoring English-language content. I don't know how extensive their capabilities are, but multi-lingual monitoring was one of the selection criteria for the Forrester Wave on brand monitoring, so at least the need has been identified. Technorati and Edelman have teamed up to develop multi-lingual services, too, but we're still dealing with US-based companies. What's going on in the rest of the world?

From Brussels, Attentio offers social media monitoring with a focus on Europe. Scanblog offers similar services in France, where blogging has become quite popular, and in Norway, Integrasco offers social media monitoring and analysis. Reading Scanblog's "about" page was entertaining, given my rusty college French, but I was able to verify that they aren't selling radio scanners.

In the UK, I found Market Sentinel and Onalytica, coincidentally one day before Market Sentinel found me. From the looks of my site statistics and email inbox, some days I wonder if I'm based in London!

CIC data offers social media monitoring and word of mouth research for China. CIC data founder Sam Flemming also blogs at China Word of Mouth.

Richard Edelman posted observations on the Chinese and Korean blogospheres, worth reading if you have interests in those markets.

Listing companies is one thing, but I'm really curious about what's different about companies based in different countries. What's the difference between a US-based international company and a company based in a client's home market? I could guess, but instead, I'm setting up conversations with non-US monitoring companies to get a more informed perspective. Stay tuned.

While this post was sitting in my drafts folder, Jeremiah Owyang
started a list of companies that measure social media, along with a good list of requirements that should help you think about what you want from a monitoring service. Great minds, I guess. ;-)

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
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