Influence across languages

Matt Hurst posted a new visualization of the blogosphere last week, reminding me of a question I've wanted to ask. Has anyone looked at social media in terms of the degree of interconnection between languages?

The question comes from discussions I've had with social media analysis companies. If a client wanted to monitor social media worldwide, issues like language capability and cultural knowledge are obviously important. I've heard opinions about the relative merits of local specialists versus larger companies with global services. That's a choice I plan to leave to clients to make for themselves.

But here's more of a technical question: has anyone looked at links (and, by extension, influence) that cross languages? Let's make the question more relevant to a business audience by supposing an analysis focused on a particular topic—something global, such as avian flu, or a global company, such as Toyota.

If we were to chart the connections on a topic of global interest and color-code it by language, would we see much connection between language clusters, or would they be largely separate? Does the analysis identify influencers who connect communities across the language barrier?

I would think that would be an interesting exercise for a client interested in global perceptions. The results might suggest how a company should coordinate its efforts in disparate geographies.


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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