4.29.2007

Video search education about social search and sentiment analysis

Internet time is eating up on TV time. While the Internet video space remains at an infancy stage, content is getting more amazing, broader, deeper, better tagged and more easily searchable. Getting an education in Social Search and Sentiment Analysis is at reach and has become fairly painless using AOL Video and Uncut, Blinkx, Google YouTube, Live video search beta and Yahoo! Video. I am sure I am missing important ones, just ping me and I won't next time.

The amazing "The Machine is Us/ing Us" about Web 2.0 - while circulating for a while before -was also presented at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco a couple weeks ago. Worth your time. On the lighter and still fun side, you can check out daweedrex's "Web 2.0 song, are you blogging this"

On the more ... academic side, if you care about the social Web and you have a few minutes,
Ed H. Chi - scientist at Palo Alto Research Center - present a riveting talk about the emergence of the Social Web, summarizing initial results from PARC's Augmented Social Cognition research project and characterizing the evolution of both Wikipedia and del.icio.us.


There is also a whole lot of search marketing folks - good and bad - clearly understanding the value of social media reach and optimization, very much like the early SEO (1998 ...) and SEM (2000 ....) adopters. Given the shift in brand advertising dollars from the TV to the web, online buzz monitoring, Internet sentiment extraction and reputation management are emerging as critical in online marketing mixes. M
ore and more product demos like AfterVote and insider interviews like this Technorati segment have also made their way there.

Point me to your videos!

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4.21.2007

TrailFire social search buzz, user engagement and network effect.


Social search engines are working hard at developing a dialog with their user-base requesting feedback and encouraging engagement. Most are building search on the premise that people can add a whole lot more incremental value on top of traditional keyword matching algorithmic engines. Adoption and ramping up usage is one of social search engines’ critical success factors to build scale, reach critical mass and generate that network effect to effectively surface that “people & community” value layer, although not everybody needs to be tagging, commenting, sharing, bookmarking for social search to be effective. TrailFire’s approach is pretty good. Discover what you are looking for on the Web using like-minded people’s trails. Trails can be private or public, shared via email, by posting them on any website or by publishing them on Trailfire.com. Following is TrailFire’s latest announcement from CEO John O’Halloran.
“I am pleased to announce that we have just released a new version […. […] allows you to form a private or public interest groups so you can more easily share your discoveries […]. For example, two or more people can now work together to organize a trip or shop collaboratively on the web. Teachers can guide their students to associated class material anywhere on the web. A fan club could guide their friends to hot web sites about their favorite celebrities”.






All this should sound familiar if you have read the blogosphere coverage of Google capturing Web history beyond saving search history. To make a long and sophisticated story short and simple, it’s like transposing PageRank’s content link authority to people’s Web connectivity. Then take that social Web map and personalize it down to a community or user level. In a different way, it’s also not unlike StumbleUpon’s discovery engine, getting some interesting coverage of its own as well.


Now, is TrailFire generating buzz? Following at BlogPulse's and other charts monitoring noise and chatting in the blogosphere.









Before cleaning up the logs from spam and seeded content, IceRocket's BlogTrend Tool is reporting a little bit over 2 posts per day.





Technorati is reporting consistent coverage, between 0 and 5 citations a day. Posts that contain Trailfire per day for the last 30 days.



Technorati Chart



Go TrailFire

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Umbria’s CEO Howard Kaushansky on Online Market Intelligence, from Web2Expo



Very interesting presentation from Umbria's CEO Howard Kaushansky - Blogs, Chat Rooms, Wikis, Oh My! The Yellow Brick Road to Online Market Intelligence - at Web 2.0 in San Francisco earlier this week. Surprisingly packed room for a Monday morning with many in the audience traveling from East coast time. Below are my – raw, incomplete, and slightly editorialized – notes from Howard’s presentation. Umbria is a marketing intelligence company that mines the blogosphere and other public forums for real-time insights into companies, products, people, and issues. Including some interesting work for CNN, looking at the buzz, the overall opinion ... Alberto Gonzales, for example, from March 14-20, 2007.

My notes …

Word of Mouth media revolve around Blogs, Opinion sites, Message boards, Forums, Chat rooms; somewhat a parallel world to old traditional sources including Panel data, Industry pubs, Surveys, Custom research, Syndicated and Business pubs.
  • 42% of broadband users post content – PEW Broadband usage 2006
  • 71 million blogs, doubling every 6 months – Technorati
  • Blogs becoming part of mainstream media
  • 40% of Internet users in the US read blogs; 10% regularly post
  • 100,000 blog posts a day, one per second
  • Since September 2004, the Blogosphere has increased over 15 fold – Technorati
  • 75% of people don’t believe marketing anymore
  • 92% trust word of mouth for product decisions

Howard went over some interesting examples and sentiment extraction challenges, including the now legendary Chevy Tahoe ad, “coke” versus “coke”, Topics and sub-topics, Trending of sentiment, Demographic segmentation, Filtering spam blogs. And why we should care about Internet sentiment analysis:

  • Is marketing having an impact?
  • With what types of customers?
  • What themes are resonating?
  • How does the competition stack up?
  • Where are they strong/weak?
  • What features do people like?
  • What irritates people?

Monitoring online buzz is fun and entertaining. For brand managers and others who care, sentiment analysis is also the basis to reputation management. Howard went over some Word-of-mouth strategies to be considered:

Encouraging communications

  • Tools to make telling a friend easier
  • Creating forums and feedback tools
  • Working with social networks

Giving people something to talk about

  • Information that can be shared or forwarded
  • Stunts, advertising that encourages conversation
  • Building WOM-worthy elements into products

Creating communities and connecting people

  • Creating user groups and fan clubs
  • Supporting independent groups that form around your product
  • Enabling grassroots organizations such as a local meeting and other real world participation

Working with influential communities

  • Providing recognition and tools to active advocates
  • Recruiting new advocates, teaching them about the benefits of your products, and encouraging them to talk about them

Creating evangelist or advocate programs

  • Tracking online and offline conversations by supporters, detractors, and neutrals
  • Listening and responding to both positive and negative conversations

Researching and listening to customer feedback

  • Encouraging two-way conversation with interested parties
  • Creating blogs and other tools to share information

Engaging in transparent conversation

  • Co-creation and information sharing

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4.03.2007

The Social Search Inflection Point


Like many, I read Search Engine Land religiously on most days. It's also a privilege to contribute. This is the third pieces of a series that started with i) Algorithmic search, and ii) Paid search published in Search Engine Watch, and now iii) Social search. I won't copy the whole thing here, go read it on Search Engine Land - The Impending Social Search Inflection Point


Search has changed. Online consumer information retrieval has reached another inflexion point – a shift from pure algorithmic search to social search. Searchers have become increasingly sophisticated, and basic algorithmic web results are getting diluted out of most mainstream search experiences such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL and Ask. Search is not solved. At their most sophisticated, users are still too often at a loss when executing a search. According to Jupiter, 41.2 percent of users report that general search results are often not directly relevant to queries, and 18 percent leave a search engine without having found the information they were seeking.

Thanks to the folks at BuzzMetrics for the following chart.

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