Internet buzz and The Oscars

The oscars and nominated directors, actresses, actors and everybody else generate quiet a bit of buzz online. What about each of The Oscars' nominated Best Pictures? Can Internet Sentiment Analysis predict the winners? Although just emerging, the explosion of consumer generated media makes online buzz monitoring an increasingly viable tool to take the pulse of attitudes in social media towards pretty much anything, brands, products, ideas, people and more. Internet sentiment analysis draws on information retrieval, data mining, machine learning, statistics, and computational linguistics to transform unstructured online dialog (blogs, chats, boards, ...) into marketing and social media insights. Search is the Internet OS!

The following charts present blog coverage, good, neutral, bad, authoritative and not, planted and spontaneous conversations. The first two charts come from BuzzMetrics' Blogpulse.

The data is as good as what you're looking for, so for transparency purpose, here are the exact queries I used: The Queen >> the queen movies, Little Miss Sunshine >> little miss sunshine movies, The Departed >> the departed movies, Babel >> babel movies, Letters from Iwo Jima >> letters from iwo jima movies. I added the "movies" filter to reduce the noise around generic titles like The Queen or Babel.

The next two charts come from IceRocket. Over the past 3 months, IceRocket reports that The Queen received about 14,578 posts, an average of 162 posts a day. Then comes Little Miss Sunshine with 9,008 posts, 100 a day. The Departed follows with about 8,021 posts, 89 a day and Babel received about 5,545 posts, 62 a day. Letters from Iwo Jima follows with 3,159 posts, 35 a day.

Beside the general public's attitude, Internet sentiment analysis also informs on how effective the studios have been at executing online marketing and viral word-of-mouth campaigns. With marketing budgets getting bigger than production budgets, the studios are no stranger to online marketing.

The next charts come from Technorati, querying their index for "any blog" in "all languages" for the past 360 days, using the same queries.

Posts that contain The Queen per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Posts that contain Little Miss Sunshine per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Posts that contain The Departed per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Posts that contain Babel per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Posts that contain Letters from Iwo Jima per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

Mining user generated media is one way to look at it. The number of searches for each of these movies is another way to look at it. The following chart comes from Google Trends, representing the search volume for each movie title. If you start digging into the coverage, you'll see that there is a lot of noise, not all of these searches actually reflect the buzz specific to these movies.

This is really all for fun and entertainment - like The Oscars - because i) subtle changes in the query formulation can dramatically change the counts, ii) there is a lot of "linguistic-related noise" out there that has nothing to do with the movies, iii) this is just coverage, who knows, maybe it's all negative coverage ... not :-) The serious analysis comes in when you start looking at the tone, positive, neutral, negative, comment categories, authority level, momentum, conversational threads, correlation to marketing spend and a whole lot more. And who knows, maybe the wisdom of blog crowds will be right tonight.

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Internet buzz about Sproose social search engine

Sproose has been getting a bit more press coverage in the past few days. Sproose is now reporting over one million voted Web sites. Nice. Not everybody needs to be submitting content, voting and tagging for collaborative filtering and directory building to work. Sproose added video Search earlier this month from Blinkx and News from Moreover last month. Sproose taxes itself as an interactive search engines, providing peer-moderated, ranking, prioritizing and community networking for consumer use. Search and Vote, basically.

So, what's the buzz about Sproose out there?

Nielsen BuzzMetrics' Blogpulse shows a coverage spike at the very end of 2006 when the engine was first introduced. And so does Technorati. Reporting consistency is good. And finally, so does IceRocket, showing about 1.28 posts a day in average over the past 3 months, for a total of 115 citations.

Sproose is one of the most comprehensive social search engines out there. Sproose' s got Search for text, video, news, and popular tags, tagging, discussion, cloud navigation, bookmarking, vote and remove this site, collaborative ranking, messaging and profiles. I wish I could find out how to submit content such as bookmarks, Web pages, pictures and so forth. From anecdotal testing, relevance is just ok, though. Monetization seems to come from Kontera's ContentLink double-underlined terms ... not a big fan of it, although Sproose is obviously no philanthropic organization.

Go Sproose!

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Social search is all the buzz.

Social search is gaining quiet a bit of momentum these days. Social search is rising in popularity for about the same reasons Internet sentiment analysis, online buzz monitoring and brand reputation management are.

Consumer generated content is exploding. 44% of internet users are content creators (PEW) and a significant ratio of the top 10 results for more queries are consumer generated media such as blogs and other content sharing and discovery engines.

Advertisers follow consumers and the more content is authored by users, opinions and such, the more brands belong to the people. A few companies have developed pretty interesting data mining tools keeping track and monitoring buzz for ideas, trends, brands, products, and people … whatever online word-of-mouth channels.

Nielsen BuzzMetrics'BlogPulse - core competency is consumer generated media measurement - is pretty nice and easy to use. Simply plug in the term(s) for which you want to get the blogosphere pulse over the past 6 months. Although kind of hard to discover, you can also mouse over specific segments of graph and click through to date-specific posts. BuzzMetrics does a whole lot more such as tonality and such if you want to get serious. Sentiment analysis free but you get a feel for the sort of insights that can be retrieved if you also apply semantic categorization, alerts and such.

IceRockets is more of a blog search engine per se, along the lines of Technorati. IceRockets also surfaces the number of posts per day, average, and total posts over a certain period of time. “social search” has been getting about 10.12 posts a day.

Technorati provides a few more controls, and a smart syndication widget to leverage the blogging community and ramp up distribution, awareness. The Technorati UI surfaces a drop-down for many language, 3 authority levels to filter from, little, some and a lot, and finally a time option from 7 days to 360.
Posts that contain "social Search" per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart

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2010, SEARCH is the Internet OS ... what if ...

[I wrote this note in 2004, still about right, probably not happening that fast, though].

It’s 2004; Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, AOL, IAC, Amazon, eBay … are competing for eye-balls. That’s how the Internet business model was setup. Personal technology categories, from desktop operating systems to browsers and productivity applications have traditionally had enough room for two leaders and a third rotating player. Google and Microsoft are very focused on technical innovations and speed-to-market. They have not yet invented the time machine, but use your imagination. It’s 2010 …

Search is the Internet OS

In 2010, Search is the OS enabling content applications to deliver media and information-related consumer experiences. Search is the Internet OS providing core services upon which content applications run and communicate with underlying infrastructure services through APIs. Think of the search ecosystem as a 3-layer value chain:
1. Media: everything content related, wherever it is.
2. Content applications: Web browsers, media players, communication applications, ...
3. Search as the information OS: crawling, indexing, computational linguistic, device access management...

Google and Microsoft think of Search as the Internet OS, a platform built on proprietary and open standards, very much focused on developing, surfacing, and documenting APIs, inviting developers to contribute value-add services legitimizing and extending their reach, usage, and business longevity.

Google and Microsoft own the Search OS layer

Today, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, IAC/Ask… are stretching to cover the broad Search spectrum from exposing APIs to delivering the content experience. That might not prevail in the future, though. Google’s 10K filing with the SEC back in 2004 or so says “We began as a technology company and have evolved into a software, technology, Internet, advertising and media company all rolled into one". I don't subscribe so much with some analysts' belief that Google will remain a Media company, which does not mean Google doesn't need to get closer to media companies like AOL/Time Warner. Google’s capital expenditures to develop the biggest data center on earth puts them on a collision course with Microsoft, not with Yahoo! Google’s top management layer is made up of technologists, not media folks as is the case at Yahoo! I am not making this up, read it from smarter people who know how to count. The Search Appliance - potential Network OS - is still a priority at Google, actually slashing prices to increase market penetration and own more beach-heads.

Here is the “if ...”, and if I am wrong, please forget I ever posted this entry.

Google could very well only be in consumer traffic and advertising businesses because of short term necessities until a viable grid computing business model emerges. Now, if Google pulls back to focus on Search as the OS and grid computing services to become the “Intel Inside” brand not actually directly facing consumers nor advertisers, you can bet Microsoft will be tempted to do the same. Remember the browser race? Once the Netscape threat was put out, Microsoft pretty much stopped developing IE, focusing more at enabling third party developers to integrate.
It’s 2010, Google and Microsoft are leveraging large investments in research & development and own Search the OS and touch on content applications mostly to enable the underlying search technology infrastructure, APIs and such.

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