I don’t often combine a platform review with a current topic, but decided to this time because it’s best to examine a new platform by testing it on a real world issue or problem and work through the kinks by seeing what comes up. Since Occupy Wall Street is making so much news right now AND #SocMetrics is a platform designed to supply, in some cases, a large number of Influencers and is aimed at Agencies and large companies, but could also be used for political campaigns. This will be a long post and I might end up breaking it up into 2 posts.
Let’s start off with Socmetrics, which launched earlier this year out South By South West – Read Write Web profiled the Influence Study that SocMetrics provided about which Influencers attended each SxSW event. According to Read Write Web:
Unlike something like Klout, SocMetrics doesn’t see influence as an across the board metric. That is, a tech blogger may have influence in their particular realm of technology, they likely have none whatsoever in the recording industry, for example. So, SocMetrics ranks individuals according to their influence in a particular niche, using three factors – peers, topicality and content. (Read more about SocMetrics particular blend of analytics on its site.)
I lived with the platform for the last few weeks and am continuing to demo it – SocMetrics can be used to research and influencer, explore a topic or a series of topics, and build your own list. There is an option to build your own topic, but it’s in beta right now, so right now, you are constrained to the pre-existing topic breakdown SocMetrics provides for you (but that is expected to change, eventually). However, while the topic areas are set, you are able to search for anything you want want across all the topics or a select group of topics (up to 3 specific topics you choose). I did all those things and was generally impressed with SocMetrics though I think it’s still an evolving platform, and as such, some kinks are being worked out now. I liked the long lists of influencers I could get with this platform, as well as the topic breakdown for each influencer.
It’s with the above in mind that I decided to take on Occupy Wall Street and use SocMetrics as my point of entry. As you can see from this download, I was able to extract a list of 130 Influencers of the Occupy Wall Street across all the topics that SocMetrics supplies (that way, I can see what is the area of expertise of each influential. My belief is that as an analyst, when working with data, I should provide the results, if at all possible – that’s what I did in the file you can download, below.
OccupyWallStreet – research – Marshall Sponder – using SocMetrics (download this file)
First off, I want to say that it took me about 2-3 hours to create this spreadsheet, it’s a simple table, but it would have been nice if SocMetrics did that work for me (I’m sure they will, especially after reading this post). One thing a lot of vendors never seem to get around to, is realizing that analysts will need to work on these files, and when possible, a table such as the one I provided, would be the best place to start – its not much work for developers to do, but it sure makes life much easier for us. The data, overall was good and I’m enjoying working with SocMetrics – though no platform is perfect.
Occupy Wall Street Influencer List in SocMetrics – the list covered 12 pages, above is the top of the first page.
A nice feature of the SocMetrics platform is a “contact me” link in the upper right corner – when SocMetrics detects a contact me page, it lists it in the Influencer’s record, making it much easier for agency personal to save time and effort when trying to establish contact the influencer for the first time; here’s the contact for Roger Ebert, the top influencer for Occupy Wall Street, according to SocMetrics. While the contact form is a small touch, it’s a major one and shows the attention SocMetrics pays to actually using the data it provides, rather than just supplying it (and leaving the agencies and companies with the work of figuring out how to apply the information).
In addition a link to Compete.com API is provided to pull in the traffic data for the influencer. While Compete’s data is hardly unique (and not fully functional – much more data could be pulled in from Compete, but it would cost a bit of extra money to do so – money that most platforms such as SocMetrics and TRAACKR don’t want to pay Compete.com for, so they just pull the minimum data Compete will offer for the nominal costs for that data.
If people want perfect usability, where all the most useful data is present – you can ultimately have it, but first you will have to pay royally, for it – that is one of the lessons of Web 2.0, I suppose, and why SocMetrics, TRAACKR, mPACT and PeerIndex don’t provide more data than they do – it’s not that they can’t be better – it’s more like they too often can’t afford to be better, because you and I won’t pay for it (though, to be honest, we’re never really presented with that option).
Also, along with tracking ReTweets, Twitter, Facebook and Blog metrics, SocMetrics is unique in offering a “peer validation” metric – they figured that one way to validate influencer (or popularity – if you want to call it that) is to check to see how many people who are “peers” in the same or similar topic areas, vouch for that individual – refer to them, etc (see below for what that looks like for Roger Ebert):
With the Occupy Wall Street List, you can also segment by location – which gave me decent results – and there’s also the option to do a “real time” search – which is more comprehensive and up to date, but some of the information that SocMetrics calculates, isn’t available immediately, it appears, when running the results in real time, which is to be expected.
What I found about Occupy Wall Street:
A. The first stories happened earlier this summer, in July to be exact (I extracted the top links from the stories that Influencers where talking about the most) according to Death and Taxes magazine.
On July 13th Adbusters’ Culture Jammers HQ at Adbusters issued a call to action which they are calling “Occupy Wall Street.” The gathering will be inspired by the Tahrir Square protests, as well as the popular assemblies that have been taking place in Spain, Greece, Oaxaca and elsewhere.
The July press release stated, “A worldwide shift in revolutionary tactics is underway right now that bodes well for the future ..
I can’t say the movement started with the from the AdBuster site, clearly it did not, but it was the earliest recorded link in that SocMetrics provided me with.
To be honest with you, I’m surprised at what I’m finding in this list; first, I know many of the people on it (and I’m on it), and it seems to be more media and Art focused than I would have expected for a movement of this nature. I’m not arguing with SocMetrics for providing the list – perhaps what we’re measuring is that media and art people are more interested in this topic and are talking and tweeting about it more than the rest of the population – I don’t know but that would be my best guess.
I built a word map in Wordle out of coming all the topics of the influentials to see which one’s according to SocMetrics, is the strongest – few surprises here. I also extracted the top content and made a word map around it (see below):
The question often comes up about the learning from platforms like this one – does the data actually answer any questions, and the answer is, not really. Often people are frustrated with Social Media Monitoring and Analytics platforms – they don’t appear to provide the outputs businesses actually require -and while that situation is gradually changing and getting better, it’s still largely the case.
However, SocMetrics provides some interesting competitive metrics reporting, seeking to outdo Klout in telling me who influences me and who I influence, which looked pretty believable and plausible, where as Klout’s lists often don’t (look believable). The Competitive readout below is helpful as the followers to an influencer are broken down by category, helping to tell us if that influencer is relevant for the subject in the broad or narrow sense of the word.
- Influencer Monitoring is coming soon, won’t speak to that till it launches.
- Workable topic areas that we can define -
- Combined reach metrics for each topic and list.
- Enhanced search by geo-location (out in zipcodes, addresses, a variety of options that are not currently present).
- A Social CRM to store contact information
- etc, etc, etc.