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The Art and Science of Social Media Analysis

Posted by Susan Scrupski on July 11, 2007

I had a terrific chat yesterday with Nathan Gilliatt, fellow member of the Social Media Collective. I’m preparing for a webinar we’re hosting tomorrow with a large number of our CIO and senior IT clients on “Early Wisdom from the Next Generation Enterprise.” I was looking around for expertise on slicing and dicing metrics on the blogosphere and I recalled David Tebbutt pointing out Nathan’s research, so I reached out to him. Nathan published a report this year that profiled 31 of the leading vendors who do blog monitoring and measurement worldwide. Interestingly enough, aside from the expected PR and Marketing folks who are interested in this information, he has found willing buyers from the HR, legal, competitive intelligence, investment, and due diligence communities, as well. The bottom line on crunching through the numbers on making sense of the blogosphere is, it’s still early days and no one really knows what the real import of it all is and how influential the New Influencers really are. According to Gilliatt, the whole area of metrics is still immature and there are three basic areas that everyone does: influence, topic identification, and sentiment. The good news is, however, the vendors who are tracking the online phenomenon are increasingly adding more sophistication to their craft.

As I’m writing this post, I’m recognizing that some spider is combing this content and declaring I have “no influence” on this matter whatsoever based on the criteria they look for… that I’ve only referred to what others have written, for example. 🙂

New Influencer's bookSpeaking of New Influencers, I have recently (finally) finished Paul Gillin’s excellent book. Paul was at IDG around the same time I was writing my first newsletter which was published by IDG. Paul’s book, first published last year earlier this year, is now going into its second printing. The book is thoroughly researched with generous heapings of personal anecdotes drawn from Paul’s long history in the technology publishing business. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I recommend you pick it up.

Incidentally, both Paul and Nathan did podcast interviews with Maggie Fox on the Social Media Collective regularly weekly podcast series. If you don’t have the time to read books or reports, try the podcasts.

I know throughout this basic prep research I’ve been doing, the most promising work I’ve seen is being done in monitoring the nested relationships of social networks and trying to analyze how relationship capital ignites tipping points for brands or opinion online. Weird science, but strangely fascinating.

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2 Responses to “The Art and Science of Social Media Analysis”

  1. maggie fox said

    You are scaring me with your smartness, Susan!

  2. Thanks for the nice words about the book, Susan, and also for the interesting reference to Nathan Gilliatt’s work. I wasn’t familiar with it and it looks like quite a valuable contribution to the body of research about metrics.

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