After a presentation at the Brands Only conference last week in Orlando, FL
, I begun to think about the savings and production gains shifts caused by newer technologies and visualized a “gap” between the easy understanding of data and the efforts to get to that. In the past, that gap often made it very hard to get meaningful realizations from the data, but I predict in this new year of 2014, that gap will narrow, quite significantly, particularly, but not limited to, the areas around Social Data.
It makes sense that the “gap”, as I call it, is the main problem in Analytics, today. Many of my friends work in Analytics roles where it’s basically a 14 hour day – 6 to 7 days a week (at time). Data is one aspect of the puzzle, but the other is “how much work” is it going to take to make the data useful?
Also, how many people are there that are involved in using the data?
Basically, the more of a “gap” there is between easy applying of knowledge and the raw data, the more work intensive your role will be, your work will be. In many industries and roles – the “gap” wasn’t well understood, it wasn’t clear that it isn’t just what you bring to the table, it’s what is on the table to begin with and who is sitting with you at that table.
Unless the gap was small the work you have will always be much more than you thought it would be
– I usually come up with an estimate of time and then add a “0″ after it
– the modified time estimate is usually much closer to the real-time it takes to “close the gap”. In 2014, the gap between Social Data and Return on Investment gets a bit smaller
– and that is what we’ll mainly remember about the year (along with any memorable events that happen).
I thought that I would collect a lot of the ideas that impressed me this year and put my own spin on them. My predictions aren’t as comprehensive as I would like them to be – I don’t yet run an Analyst Firm where I can run my ideas in roundtable format – it’s something I’d like to do more and be part of more next year.
On the rate of change in 2014
Privacy continues to grow as a polarizing issue in 2014
Sure, you’re running late because you were watching the last few minutes of Scandal but you tell your husband there was traffic. Or you tell your kids that your husband ate the last bit of ice cream and the entire box of Oreos, when it was you. Maybe you tell your husband that you’re at home, when in reality you’re out doing holiday shopping.
As we connect more devices and add sensors to more places these lies will become harder to preserve. The challenges will be threefold: collecting data in more places like the cabinets in our homes; the data collection is passive as opposed to active sharing; and we don’t yet have clear rules about what is allowed with this data and what isn’t.
Wearable Technology/Computing will begin to roll out and mark changes in public behavior and a rise in Personalized Intelligence Devices by the end of 2014:
In 2014 we’ll see new examples of merging of people with machines.
Start with the world premiere of Toyota’s FV2 concept, which eschews a steering wheel—how 20th century—in favor of a vehicle system that responds to how the driver shifts his or her body. (http://readwrite.com/2013/11/20/tokyo-motor-show-2013
). In addition, Google Project Glass (I want to own the next edition in 2014) is going to both invigorate and change what is now still called SEO.
Local search is huge and wherever you go, Google Glass populates a list of suggestions based on things that are nearby.
Google Glass is an entirely new screen that can’t be compared with today’s mobile, tablet and desktop screens.(http://www.searchenginejournal.com/optimize-website-google-glass-interview-rob-garner/78823/
). The new set of devices that come on the market in 2014 will provide the context of information supplied by the roadway infrastructure, such as approaching intersections, traffic, and accidents. What we have seen so far in various apps and early devices is just a taste of what is to come.
Apple’s iBeacon technology takes over retail
– whilst most of the coverage of iBeacon so far has failed to recognize a very important reality of this system: every iOS device since the iPhone 4S and iPad 3rd gen is already capable of being either an iBeacon receiver or transmitter, as long as it’s properly configured
-and any Apple iPhone 4S and later, or most iPads with Bluetooth Low Energy and the latest major version of iOS can run iBeacon. (http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/07/the-open-secret-of-ibeacon-apple-could-have-250m-units-in-the-wild-by-2014/
) – during the holiday season of 2013 we have already been seeing several tests of iBeacon rolling out – within 18 months the retail shopping experience will transform to one objects and displays speak to us with personal information and potential buying choices as we walk past them.
The Media Disruption continues to expand and fan out in 2014:
Large disruption in media delivery continues to accelerate in 2014 with cable companies and networks losing market share to Netflix, Chromecast, etc. Disruptors like Aereo have emerged that lets you watch live television broadcasts via the Internet for $8 a month. Broadcasters like CBS and Fox are going to become increasingly concerned about the rise of Aereo. Meanwhile, Aereo has expanded its service to more cities nationwide and it’s available now in Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, New York, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Miami, Salt Lake City, with plans to soon be in about 20 cities. Aereo works by letting you stream live network TV (ABC, NBC, PBS, Fox, etc.) to your computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can also use it to record shows in a virtual DVR and watch them later.(see more at http://www.businessinsider.com/take-look-at-aereo-live-internet-tv-2013-11
Cable companies continue to hold a monopoly on the cable Internet market through coaxial cables. But that monopoly is breaking down, because cable providers are bleeding subscribers. Since 2007, cable-cutting households increased 150 percent. The problem becomes even bigger when you think about what’s to come: more people using more devices in more places
. (see http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/11/23/cable-industry-imploding-providers-must-stay-alive/
to learn more about Cable companies plights).
Artificial Marketing Intelligence:
2014 is the year of the Backlash:
Some say 2014 will mark a backlash in some of the excesses of the last several year. The clock could be ticking for businesses like Airbnb, Wimdu, 9Flats and HouseTrip as new regulations gradually being introduced in some cities around the world begin to threaten their core business – but the problem is bigger than you would think. (http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/11/23/clock-ticking-sharing-economy/
3D Printing continues to extend to the mainstream – making big inroads in market awareness and penetration in 2014. Consider that even the UPS is getting into the 3D Printer business. The franchise retail division of UPS recently announced that it is offering 3D printing capabilities at some of its locations. The idea is being tested first in the San Diego area. The company expects to expand the service elsewhere soon, in 2014. (http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/08/ups-3d-printing.html
Everything from guns to glasses can be printed up – with glasses, since people’s faces are incredibly diverse, a small change in frames — sometimes, just one millimeter — can lead to a drastically better fit. But mass-produced, store-bought frames don’t offer that customizable flexibility.
A company called Protos Eyewear allows Customers to order frame templates, which are then adjusted to fit individual facial features, or completely customize a design from scratch. Interested backers send in two pictures of their faces, and Protos’ algorithm alters the frames’ design before sending the information to the 3D printer. the algorithm can rapidly make changes to the 3D models, allowing for more flexibility and less production time. (http://mashable.com/2013/08/10/protos-eyewear-3d-printed/
In Art, 3D printing is rapidly undermining the concept of the art object itself and next year some famous works of art will be replicated before our eyes.
Take this example - A new 3D printing technique in Europe is threatening the value of the world’s most prized works of art. The proprietary technique is being used by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which has partnered with Fujifilm to produce three-dimensional reproductions of Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpieces.
Called “Relievos” by the museum, the replicas are of extremely high quality and will set you back £22,000, or just under $29,000. The museum is planning to sell 260 limited edition copies — all numbered and stamped — for both collectors and educational purposes. The high-tech copies are created through a special 3D technique known as Reliefography, which combines a three-dimensional scan of the painting with a high-resolution print, according to The Guardian .
Final Thoughts about 2014, a year that’s just about to start:
I think 2014 will be a better year for a lot of people, overall, than they have had since the year 2000-many things that were started at the very end of the last century will begin to mature this coming year, and a partial Convergence will emerge as a tangible reality by the end of the year – and will lead to the full Convergence in 2015 and 2016.
Happy Christmas and New Years all – and to a most Wonderful 2014 for us All, and particularly, the World.
Whew! When things have been moving quite a bit lately – and posting has been difficult – but there’s a lot to post about – so here goes.
Just read the whole post – I’ll save the best for the end – but don’t jump ahead – take you time.
Note: I ramble on quite bit here – reading it the next morning – but if you can bear with me, a lot of good information is in the post. Sorry about the rambling nature of the post – I write in a similar voice to direct informal speaking, though writing presents a way to condense information that often doesn’t happen till after it’s edited (which I generally don’t do with blog posts).
Forgive me for the usual typos that pretty much go along with reading my blog. Warning: This will be long post, but written fairly quickly (I hope).
Announcements and Conferences I’ll be attending or speaking at:
- I will be “helping out” – literally (manning the “Help Desk”), or so it’s said - at the Real Time Marketing Lab on October 14th in NYC – I hope you can join me. As you can see, the rest of the “Help Desk” ain’t too shabby, either - the list includes Danny Brown, Ric Dragon (whose event I spoke at on 12/21/12 in Kingston NY), Maddie Grant, Ann Marie Van Den Hurk, Bryan Kramer, Marc Lefton (who I know from Infinigraph where he used to work), Drew Neisser, Ted Rubin (who I’ve known for several years – we cross paths from time to time – Ted is pretty popular on the Social Media circuit – esp in the executive suite), moi and Amy Vernon, who is a friend and who also helped to procure a case study what was in my Social Media Analytics book.
So ….. I take it your all coming now – at least, those of around NYC….
- Here’s a 15% discount code: SPKRVIP
- Later next week I’ll be attending (as Press) Social Data Week NYC at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel – this is pretty exciting and I’ll also be attending with partners from our “WebMetricsGuru Social Intelligence Consortium” – which I haven’t talked much about – but people who are closer to me know a little bit about some of business my consortium touches.
I don’t have any discounts for Social Data Week in NY, but there is a meetup taking place on Wednesday, September 18th where some of the same people will be and that it free.
I’ll be there as well.
October 23, 2013, 11am PT | 2pm ET
Duration: 1 hour
Marshall Sponder is an independent Web Analytics and SEO/SEM specialist working in the field of market research, social media, networking and PR. He provides digital data convergence generating ROI and develops data metrics, KPI’s and dashboards that drive businesses by setting and evaluating benchmarks. He lately focuses on social media metrics, having worked as a group leader at IBM and Monster, done contract work at Porter Novelli PR, small business, and start-ups. Clients have included various B2B companies, the New York Times, architects, digital ad agencies, and more. He has provided Web tracking and attribution metrics for Gillette, Laughing Cow, and others.
Marshall holds an MA in Media Studies from the NY Institute of Technology and possesses a Certificate of Marketing Management from the Baruch College, a NY Continuing Education Division.
Register for this webinar
- See more at: http://www.netbase.com/news-events/events/social-savvy-webinar-series/#sthash.8Q4HnREG.dpuf
More details coming soon. I’m honored to be working with Netbase and thrilled to be back there again, a year later from my first talk. People who know me also know how hard I work on presentations – last year i must have spent 20 hours preparing for what I gave.
Given how many speaking engagements that are coming my way, I’ve had to start speeding it up, focusing while staying true to my own approach and way of doing things. I won’t disappoint you on October 23rd, so please sign up.
- Also attending the SEMPO meetup in NYC on October 1st, at the Javits Convention Center. I haven’t asked for a press pass (yet) but I would not mind going, if I have time (and I might). I am not fond of the Javits center but I’ll drag myself out for Danny Sullivan and the crew, many whom I know.
Tuesday, October 1 at the Javits Convention Center
So …. if you’re in Bogotá around that time in late October / beginning of November – drop in as say hello – or attend.
In fact, it looks like I’ll be running across a few “old friends” (a nice way of putting it) which should be fun and interesting, if for no other reason that life draws out situations where you never quite now what the opportunity might be.
MARSHALL SPONDER, WEBMETRICSGURU
SUCCESS FACTORS WITHIN CONVERGENCE ANALYTICS AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Marshall Sponder, WebMetricsGuru: Learn a methodology brands can use to decide their internal readiness for a converged analytics implementation based on data from signals that include their online social presences, team structure, and executive buy-in. - See more at: http://socialmedia.org/summit/measuring/#sthash.QaZxU1UQ.dpuf
So, that’s quite a lot to chew off in the next 2-3 months and I admit, sometimes I wonder how I’ll do it all – but it’ll get done and done well.
- I’m also speaking at Waterfire.org in Providence, Rhode Island on November 7th/8th at an “events based conference” around Waterfire – don’t have details on that yet.
- The first Social Intelligence / Web Analytics MBA class at Baruch College is being taught by moi - and there’s 27 students (so far) in it – I met my students Monday night and they’re SHARP. I’m impressed – they will definitely get they very best I can deliver to them – and they really are Master Level, so this course is somewhat different in focus and delivery from my Rutgers course.
I’m also inviting speakers and various CEO’s, well-known Analysts, etc, to speak to the class – so if you’re interested and in NYC on a Monday Night this Fall / Winter – and think you have what it takes to speak to my class - tweet me @webmetricsguru and we’ll talk about it.
- Rutgers Social Media for the Arts - my course – is being offered in 2 sessions – currently both are full at 40 students each – this is the 5th time I’ve taught the course and it’s becoming pretty popular at Rutgers – its an online course.
Marshall Sponder @Rutgers University – #mgartr13
- A new offering – “Creating Viral Media” is being created at Rutgers – basically I’m building it now with Unruly Media collateral – so far, it’s coming along nicely – it’s an ambitious project – a course based on “predicting social sharing and viral spread” using “Big Data”. I’m not building the course alone, but I’m the main architect of it at this point. We’re all pretty excited about the course – though I don’t have anything I can share at this point – except to say, we hope to be ready to launch it as an online course through the Business School – CMD - The Center of Management Development at Rutgers – in a few months. The launch date isn’t set yet.
We believe we have a winner here – and I’m pretty certain we do. It’s going to be the very first course (to my knowledge that uses “Big Data”) to ideate Social Video and other Viral Media – perhaps, and in all likelihood, our course will be the first of its kind in the World.
While I can’t talk about the details of our course yet … if you go to Unruly Media’s site and study what they do, their ShareRank algorithm and the Viral Video Chart along with some of Unruly Media’s papers, you’ll get some idea of what is informing our course – but we won’t stop there.
Web Journal: – Whew! Finally, “The Good Stuff“!
- Lately I’ve been looking at “Google Think Insights” – the new market research site/service that Google launched earlier this year and I’m quite liking it. In fact, I created a few “infographics” using the research tools that Google Think provides including this one (Google provides a link but doesn’t support embedding the inforgraphics Think Insights generates with your help)- which will go in the new Social Viral Media / Video course we’re building at Rutgers.
What I really like most about “Google Think” isn’t so much the data they have (though it’s impressive) or what it’s on, as much as it’s the approach of building infographics with bits and pieces of information that’s provided. I think Google could expand the data it offers quite a bit more.
There are also several other planning tools and simulations that Google has provided which I found very useful – and I will be using Google Think more often.
The Dashboard for Market Insights is my favorite – and it’s what I used to generate the infographic – you can build a custom chart but should Google add about 100 times more data than they have now – it would be a killer tool/platform.
Right now – Think Insights doesn’t threaten other Market Research providers, as some suggested in the past – because they haven’t really but provided bits of data about things Google wants to share with us - but I think they could and should go a lot further with this approach and if they do – they will compete with other offerings.
And tonight (actually yesterday) I was at a fantastic meetup at NYPL and I realized that “Big Data” really is, from one perspective, about freeing up data created for a specific purpose and transforming it to a data source that can have unlimited number of uses (N=number of uses).
- Essentially, what the New York Public Library did was free up data in maps so it could be used in a number of different ans in some cases, unforeseen ways. That would suggest the “network effects” model is probably the best suited for social media – and I’ll cover that in my next few public appearances.
One more thing – I’m going to pick up a copy of Thinking Fast- Thinking Slow by David Kahneman who is a Nobel Prize winner in Economics. The book deals with “Priming” and the effects on behavior – the whole thing is fascinating stuff and I’m going to work that idea into my Netbase talk on October 23rd.
You know, it’s Fashion Week in NYC, but guess what the main trend at Fashion Week is? Google Project Glass.
Boy – things are moving FAST!
And I end with a challenge I gave my classes – here it is (related to Priming)
I first heard about, and got intrigued with, Topsy’s in depth geo-location capabilities in late June and added some text about it to my Social Media for the Arts class at Rutgers. That led to a conversation with Topsy Pro PR and engineers last week and a 2 week trial of Topsy Pro which I’m halfway done with. I don’t want to write reviews on platforms that I haven’t spent a least a few hours or more doing concentrated work on, and Topsy Pro isn’t a complicated platform but might have aspects to it that can’t be immediately discovered without a reason to discover them – so I figured there was no hurry to write a review, lets just play with the platform.
Topsy Pro Alerts, triggering and Reporting -
After a week of time, I think I’m in a position to write about Topsy Pro.
Topsy Pro is an extension of the Topsy search engine (free) and the pro version provides analytics which the free version doesn’t try to do as much of – but which I quite like, anyway. Rather than share the press releases all over again, since the story about Topsy Pro’s latest API offerings have already been shared – here’s a link to an article that provides all the information. I will focus my commentary on Topsy Pro and leave the API stuff for programmers who want to use Topsy data (going back 3 years, mostly Twitter data and any website or social media link, photo or file that is shared via a tweet).
First, Topsy Pro is a search engine – in fact, most social media analytics platforms use search engine technologies in one form or another and almost all of them have an index as well as crawlers. But rather than obscure that connection as many Social Analytics have tended to do (which I highlighted in my Social Media Analytics book – esp in chapter 10) to Search Engines like Google, Topsy clearly extols itself as the Search Engine that has all the Tweets (and whatever was included in the tweet) indexed and you can generate results with little delay on the full Twitter firehose (and anything contained in it).
Below, I have cited some recent stories where a search engine and analytics around Twitter and it’s metadata might be useful (and in fact, where it may have been used, for example in the Obama 2012 campaign).
Recent Data that supports the use of Twitter as a Predictor of Success – and supports the use of Topsy Pro
Twitter as predictive tool for elections - http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/08/a-new-study-says-twitter-can-predict-us-elections/278612/. The post cites a recent Indiana University study saying there is a statistically significant relationship between Twitter data and US election results. Specifically, the study found a correlation between the number of times a candidate for the House of Representatives was mentioned on Twitter in the months before an election and his or her performance in that election. The more a candidate is mentioned on Twitter, the better.
Twitter and TV Tune in Behavior - http://blog.360i.com/social-marketing/nielsen-confirms-what-we-all-knew-tweeting-leads-to-tune-in “….– a spike in tweets will cause a statistically significant spike in viewership. But what’s most interesting about this study is that it confirms the cyclical effect that social chatter has with regards to ratings: Twitter drives ratings, which lead to a higher volume of tweets, which in turn drives increased viewership, and thus even more tweets.”
For this kind of information Topsy Pro is useful because it can pull the Twitter information and what’s in it very quickly get the data . If you’re an entertainment network or a large retailer, then Topsy Pro is good platform to have in-house because there’s a lot of interesting behaviors you can uncover. And as more and more online media is appearing over offline media, often the consumption of that media is reflected in the Twitter stream - so if you’re studying the ecosystem (similar to what I am showing in the Twitter Drives Ratings image above) then Topsy Pro can probably capture the real-time information and go back the three years, or whatever interval you need, very quickly.
So if that’s your use case, or it’s something along those lines, and you need to do reporting based on it – then what Topsy Pro offers and continues to deepen will probably suggest a regular monthly/yearly subscription.
Then again, there’s also evidence that online tweets to predict offline buying behavior in another study from Vision Critical (see the stats from Vision Critical showing that 40% of social media users have purchased an item after favoriting or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest). Again, if this is something you want to watch in Twitter – than Topsy Pro is your place to do it.
Topsy Pro Review
Figured I would try to use Topsy Pro on a few topics that I am interested in see what kind of results I get along with what kind of things can be done with the data coming out of Topsy Pro, above. Figured a video is worth about 10,000 words or more so I spent 11 minutes to take you around Topsy Pro.
My feelings about Topsy Pro are that it’s an interesting platform if you’re working mainly on Awareness or Buzz related metrics and you willing live with simple keywords, hashtags and Boolean Queries. The Twitter Predictive results for US Elections are an interesting example of how the Twitter data, pulled quickly via Topsy Pro can go beyond awareness and with some algorithms lead into predictive analytics.
On the other hand readers of my recent ClickZ article know how I feel about about Boolean Queries and Keywords - while these common constructs are useful at times, they’re also incredibly limiting and simply aren’t ready for the next paradigm shift needed around social intelligence – but I admit that it may have been all we had to work with up till now.
Therefore, I don’t blame Topsy or any search engine for depending on keywords or Topsy Pro for enabling Boolean Queries, I only want to say that, to the extent what you want to know or study is constrained to a keyword or term, these tools can be helpful, but to the extent you want to study the psychographic and behavioral “aura” of what you really want to know about (for whatever that might be), what is beyond those keywords or queries, any keyword based tool will have problems- even Google, though it’s getting a lot better with Google Now, so I’m told (but there again, Google is gathering contextual data to add to the search results based on your past and present actions and behavior).
It’s almost as if we’re asking keyword based tools to do things that they can not do without a lot of extra work. I have suspected that what people say and do are largely out of scope for most keyword based approaches – they simply can’t capture and process the necessary data, as I alluded at ClickZ last month. It also helps to know what you want to do with the information you’re going to pull out of the tool – any tool. When you can frame your questions or asks in terms of what the platform tool can produce for you, then you probably have the right platform to work with. If not, keep looking.
Speaking in Bogotá Colombia in late October.
That’s all for now.