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Using Data

Mapping Consumer Data

By | Using Data
A segment of a social network
Image via Wikipedia

If you’re intrigued with the thought of mapping out the networks that exist in consumer data, then we need to talk. I’m really into it, these days. I had the chance to speak with Valdis Krebs last week and was pretty fired up afterward.

One thing that he’s done that doesn’t seem to get much attention, according to him, is apply his social and organizational analysis tool, InFlow, to the mounds of consumer data that Amazon let’s people pull from them for free.

Nobody cares about this?


Sales Data vs. Any Other Kind of Data

I’m of the opinion that being able to mine search / status update data or find out what people are watching is pretty cool, and can provide some nice insights into the conversation. However, you won’t be able to convince me that there is any richer data source out there than the data associated with what people actually spend their money on…

Purchases are the ultimate behavior metric

So, number of, time, and location of individual purchases is all interesting. But really interesting about consumer sales data is what people also buy, when they buy something. Amazon gives this information away for free, mind you, and Valdis has done some great visualizations… yet according to him, his phone is not ringing off the hook from huge brands about this capability.

I’m baffled by that.

What Do You Think?

I would like this to be an open thread so fire away in the comments, please. I’m seriously curious as to why network analysis of consumer goods isn’t already a part of the business buzzword bingo lexicon. Do you just not understand it? Do you not think that it’s as big of a deal as I’m making it out to be? Do you just not care? Please let me know what you’re thinking on this, because I’m ready to convince people at work that we need to dive in head first.

Three Steps to Community Mapping

By | Using Data
Thucydides Quote on Manliness
Image by Greg Molyneux via Flickr

If you’re into social network mapping, and let’s face it… who isn’t these days, then the following ideas may be for you. They are in the early phases of development, in my mind, but I figured that this would be a safe place to put them because only the cool kids know about it here.

I’m not unpopular, I’m exclusive. 😉

The Other Kind of Community Managment

Let’s say that you worked in social media for a company exploring the development of a new product/product line. This is very different from the typical Community Manager role, in that you’re not monitoring a brand that exists. That would be relatively straight forward. You have your product name, you have the names of your competitors, and you have listening tools. Just add water and you’re there, right? (I know there’s a bit more to it, but you get the gist)

Unfortunately, this formula does not work when you’re creating a product from scratch. If you’re creating something that does not currently exist, then you have to figure out what people are talking about that is somewhat like what you’re making, or find where people would need your product hang out, before you can do anything else. If this is your situation, then there are some steps you need to take listed below.


Before we start, one thing needs to be mentioned: unless your product is tech or social media related, the influencers that you want to get your product in front of are probably not A-List bloggers that everybody has heard of and fawns over at conferences. If you do the following three things though, you’ll be able to find the right influentials for you, putting you on your way. Here is what you can do:

define the space you want to be in It’s not hard to over think this step, but you can make it easy by keeping the end user in mind. Ask yourself what job your target market needs to get done and you’ll be halfway there.

If you’re creating a healthy rewards program, for example, then you wouldn’t want to find people talking about healthy rewards. Because a popular healthy rewards product doesn’t exist yet, it would be hard to do anyway. Rather, you would understand that the job people are trying to accomplish is learn about an affliction, or manage a chronic condition, or track progress toward a goal. Things like that. After understanding this, you would want to define the kinds of wellness behaviors that you would like to incentivize through a healthy rewards program, and figure out what those categories are online.

The categories, or verticals, are the spaces you want to be in and they can be as narrow or as wide as you see fit. You just need to understand how narrow or wide they are, for the future.

develop keywords related to you and that space Getting narrow with your verticals is a good idea when you’re targeting people with specific interests. Everything is nichified online, so you can get down to some pretty specific groups of people. The flip side to that is that the number of rabbit holes you can find yourself in the middle of may be daunting. For starters, you probably know a lot of the associated words around the space(s) you want to be in, so jot them down first. When you have a good list started, remember that the Google Keyword Tool is your friend and add to/tweak your keyword list so that it represents terms that people actually look up within each of your verticals.

map out the verticals This is where it gets a little tricky. I know that Kevin Palmer has found great success doing this manually, but I’m looking for something a bit more automated. More specifically, I want to know who is connected to who online and I want to understand where my high level nodes are in any given vertical. High level nodes have a lot of connections in, making them potentially influential because people refer to what they are talking about. This means they have the ability to spread messages to the rest of the network.

The need to find high level nodes or influentials is one of time and sincerity. When looking at new verticals, one person couldn’t possibly reach out to everybody in a space to develop and maintain solid relationships with any kind of authenticity. The name of the game is relationship building with influentials, so you want to visualize and locate the three to five people who can connect you to most of the rest of the network within that vertical so that you can actually get to know them. This allows you to be a real person, to those three to five people, and not some fly by night “blogger outreach spammer.” You’ll definitely still have your dignity when you’re done.

Community Mapping Tool

I was given a product demo of Social Radar today from Ben Hagedorn, shout out to Kevin Walsh for the intro, and it really blew my mind. Social Radar has a function that allows you to type in vertical keywords, like “Mental Health, Depression,” and it returns up to 500 sites that utilize those keywords on a regular basis. It will tell you how frequently posts go out with your keywords, but best of all, it will show you a network graph of how the sites/blogs that use your keywords are connected to one another. This is what you’re looking for… What also seems to be great about Social Radar is that you can put those 500 blogs in a Watch List to monitor your Conversation Share over time. (Think of Conversation Share for your company keywords to be similar to Market Share for your company’s products. More positive conversation share is better.)

With this capability, you can presumably map out as many verticals as you would like reasonably quickly and start the process of meeting the site owners/bloggers, finding out what you have in common with them, and developing lasting relationships faster. Then as you’re doing that, just hit print on a report of your rising conversation share on some kind of regular basis so you can show your boss how good you are at being awesome.

extra bonus From here I would want to set up some funnels back on my site to measure conversion rates from the various sites within my verticals of choice so I can see which sites I’ve established relationships with are bringing in all the conversions, and adjust how I spend my time accordingly. P.S. Tying it back like this would also lead to an ROI metric against my time spent relationshipping (Labor) and the tool’s cost (Parts)…

High on Community Mapping

I’m excited to put something like this together, and hopefully run it, for my day job. My intention is to report back how things go over the coming months. And when it’s wildly successful, to grow my hair long, shed the tie, and start wearing flip flops to work…

Cost of Iraq War

By | Using Data

As a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, a newly interested individual in the world of infographics, and on the heels of The Hurt Locker winning best picture, I thought it would be cool to look up information graphics showing the cost of the Iraq War and put them into one place. This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor is it intended to be, but rather what I could put together after rapidly scouring the internets.

If you have or know of any I’ve missed throw the link up in the comments and I’ll add it to the post. To be clear, this is intended to be informational and not political. I do, however, realize that seeing this information can rile up a political view or two…

Cost of the War in Iraq

Costofwar.com is a real time running tally of the cost of the war we are currently waging. It is set to reach its final amount of $1.05T on September 30, 2010, which is the last day of the Government’s fiscal year in 2010 and the last day of appropriated funds for both wars.

Acutal Cost of War in Iraq, to date, via Cost of War dot com

Hidden Costs of War

ny times In 2003, the cost of the war in Iraq was originally estimated to be $50B – $60B (B stands for billion). In 2007, the New York Times wrote a piece exploring What $1.2 Trillion Can Buy where they put an infographic together that related spending in Iraq to spending on domestic programs that can be viewed here. It is interesting to note that the sources for this story/graphic were Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes who, at that time, felt that the total cost of war would be around $2T (T stands for trillion).

2007 Spending for War in Iraq Infographic

good.is Why that is interesting is that the very next year, 2008, Good.Is cited Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes for the creation of this infographic where the estimated total cost of war was set at $3T (T still stands for trillion). What a difference a year makes, eh? Good.Is also animated the static infographic and threw in some narration, below, which is a great way to repurpose the information.

billion dollar gram One year later, August 2009, David McCandless created the Billion Dollar Gram, using the same $3T number, which shows spending in Iraq in relation to other interesting expenses and revenues throughout history.

Cost of the War in Iraq in comparison to other global expenses and revenues throughout history, infographic

energy consumption This last one is short and to the point, but I do not know where the data to support it comes from. Gavin Potenza put together a graphic that alludes to the costs of war, via energy consumption, by comparing the Iraq War to World War II. Although it doesn’t show dollar figures, it is a stark contrast that drives a point home.

3 Weeks in Iraq = 4 Years in World War II in Energy Consumption

Take Aways

First and foremost, war is expensive.

Second, it’s great that these graphics exist to help us understand the extent of that expense for the War in Iraq. It seems that, as human beings, we have a hard time getting our heads around large numbers without comparing and contrasting to other known numbers.

Third, after looking at these examples, a possible best practice in the production of cost based infographics is to relate the cost of the subject to costs of other known things.

Finally, Infographics based on speculation or money that cannot be accounted for and attributed to its actual source of cost, skate a fine line.

What are your take aways?

Please Rob Me (Mobile)

By | Using Data

Everyone was up in arms about Please Rob Me, two weeks ago, the site that made a statement about being careful when you provide status updates regarding your location. And by everyone I mean Mashable, CNet, and even Forbes… whoa.

So now that the dust has settled a bit, @mathiask and I brainstormed where this web application could possibly go next, since the development team wants to sell it to a company that creates awareness about location based applications ruining people’s lives.

It’s All About The Mobile, Baby

Honestly, I don’t know any burglers who aren’t constantly on the go, outsmarting the fuzz to swoop in and steal all of your stuff. So why would a web based application work for them? Seriously. They’re not carrying around laptops to crime scenes… they’re stealing your laptop.

I would also argue that today’s thief needs more than a mobile version of a web site to peruse on their phones. They need a native application that integrates the best the web has to offer about you, your possessions and your current location.

I’m talking integration here, people. If you’re a robber, it’s not enough to know where your mark is, and therefore where he/she is not… You also need to know your mark’s address, how far away they are from their domicile, how far away you are from their domicile, what kind of stuff worth stealing they have, and how you’re going to get away with it. And if it’s not too much to ask, you also need a way to get rid of the stuff you steal, to cash in on your dirty work.

Balsamiq Mock-up

I really wanted to use this post to mock-up the potential future of a mobile version of Please Rob Me on Balsamiq because it’s indescribable how totally awesome Balsamiq is for the average web / mobile app designer. That, and I really think that paranoia about privacy and foursquare check-ins is a weak sauce thing to spread around the internets.

In case you were wondering where I stand on the issue: even though I wrote this post, I personally don’t condone the act of stealing from other people, and most certainly wouldn’t want my things taken from me. Therefore my hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Tweetingest Places

By | Using Data

Information Aesthetics showcased a device that will display the rate of tweets from some of the Tweetingest places around the world. They’re calling it, the Tweet-o-Meter. Basically it shows tweet velocity in Tweets per minute. So if you want to know how many tweets are going on at any given time in, say Munich… well then the Tweet-o-Meter can give you a reading.

Aggregate data is interesting, however, I personally don’t see much use for this kind of general data around tweet speed. Time and geography are important functions of any search, but it’s the context that brings it all together. What words do you care about from within all of those tweets? So to me, what city tweets faster than the other seems to be good for novelty use at best… unless I’m missing something.

Read more about the project here. And let me know what you think about the value of tweets per minute…

How To Stalk an Influencer’s Conversations

By | Using Data

[Disclaimer up Front / Gratuitous Plug in the Rear ~ I work for Humana, the company that built the creation of the awesomeness you are about to behold. Today, I personally found a use that could give people who want to meet other people an edge. The thoughts below are my own, have not been vetted through any Humana approval process, and do not represent anything Humana would ever think about saying…]

Have you ever wanted to stalk an online influencer’s conversations before reaching out to them, but just didn’t know how because it’s way too hard? What if there was a tool that made stalking internet influencer conversations, and the people they’re having them with, a whole lot easier?

I co-created myTPSreport.com with @mathiask to track keywords, but have found that it can also work for conversation stalking if that’s your bag. Conversation stalking is like eavesdropping into the personal public conversations a given online influencer is having with their, what we can perceive to be, close connections.

@JasonFalls Case Study

Let’s say you just heard about Jason Falls because you read CNN or Mashable. You determine that he must be some sort of influencer to get quoted by those two prestigious institutions and want to stalk him a little bit before reaching out to him…

You want to stalk him primarily because you want to increase the likelihood that he will respond to you. Knowing who’s talking to him and what they’re talking about gives you insight that keeps you from coming off as irrelevant.

But you also want to stalk him because you’re kind of a creepy person who I’m definitely not judging right now.

Traditionally you can meet almost anybody online by commenting on their blogs, following/tweeting them, etc. But let’s say you want an edge over everyone else who does that stuff to strangers. You want to get acquainted with the people Jason’s talking to as well as Jason. Total CIA, Donnie Brasco undercover work to put your best foot forward during a first impression.

How would you do that?

You could use Mailana to visualize Jason’s relationships. (I’ve spoken with Pete Warden and he’s a super cool guy)

You could try to triangulate who Falls follows along with two other influencers (Like Marshall Kirkpatrick talked about here).

Or you can use myTPSreport.com. (A free Twitter Conversation Analytics Engine allowing you to find the who, what, when and where around any Twitter Search.)

who If you want to know who is talking to Jason the most over a certain period of time, then look at the top tweeters graph and you can find out in descending order. Extra Bonus if you already know anybody on the list. Click on a name and all of the tweets from that person containing @jasonfalls in them will appear in the tweet stream on the right hand side. Stalkertastic, right?

stalk the people tweeting to influencers the most with this graph

what Check out the trending topics around what people are saying when they talk about @jasonfalls. Click on a topic and peep all the tweets that have that word in them in the tweet stream on the right hand side.

what do people say when talking to/about @jasonfalls

when The analyze over time graph shows you spikes in the conversation around @jasonfalls. This information could be helpful to know, to attempt to optimize when you send him a message. The fewer mentions he’s looking at, the higher the chances he may reply to a random stranger’s your tweet.

find the best time to tweet an online influencer with this graph

where Look on the map in the main viewer to get an idea of the places where Jason is getting tweeted from. Clicking on a red bubble will populate the tweet stream with tweets from that location. Or you can do the same from the Tweetingest Places graph.

Stalk internet influencers by the location of people tweeting them

Use myTPSreport

One cool thing that I didn’t mention is that you are allowed to save searches for easy access when you come back. This means that there are a lot of other applications for myTPSreport.com outside of stalking internet influencers. Please let me know how you’re using it in the comments below.

Health 2.0 – Data, Information, & Connection

By | Using Data

Vinn diagram of the data, information, and connection around health 2.0Yesterday I relayed my version of a Health 2.0 Appendectomy and that got my brain racing around the concept of Health 2.0. Fran’s question is haunting me, I guess, but I think that Health 2.0 can be broken down into three parts: Data, Information, and Connection.


I really like this WikiAnswers definition of the difference between data and information. Data is an important part of the Health 2.0 make-up because it is all around us. When I think of data, I’m thinking about the raw data around the interactions that we have on a daily basis. The fact that person A exhibits a symptom of nausea that person B does not exhibit under the same circumstances. This stuff isn’t interpreted, it just exists.

Every prescription, and non-prescription medication for that matter, has data around it. Every human being has data around them. Every doctor, every nurse, every hospital, every machine… We’re living in a world filled to the brim with medical data.

On one hand, it’s a good thing that we have so much data. On the other hand, it’s tough because where do you start when you have so much to begin with?


Information, however, is actionable data. The fact that you’re allergic to iodine is data, until a doc or a tech wants you to drink iodine right before a CAT scan. When two sets of data are brought together, they turn into information. If your data set shows that you’re not allergic to iodine, then you’re good to go. If your data set shows that you are allergic to iodine,then you raise the issue and look toward Plan B. Either way though, the data is synthesized into information.

Every drug’s and human’s data can be interpreted as information when they are brought together. Every doctor, every nurse, every hospital, every machine… When two data sets get together, information happens.

Information is harder to come by, because it takes synthesis to truly exist, and synthesis takes time. This synthesis, coupled with the fact that we can easily become overwhelmed with all the data that exists around everything, makes medical information a valuable resource.


Health connection is a relatively newer concept, in my mind. In the past, there was no reason to question a doctor’s professional opinion, because they were doctor’s and you weren’t. “[They] didn’t spend six years in evil medical school to be called Mr. thank you very much.” But the internet changed that. The internet let us look for data that we could synthesize into information ourselves, based on our knowledge of ourselves and our symptoms. More importantly, the internet has allowed us to connect and share our information with people. What’s really cool about this is that, if we can find people with information, we can save time.

Connection is what happens when data becomes information, but it’s also what happens when I share my information with someone else.

What Does It All Mean?

I would argue that these are the only three pieces in the Health 2.0 equation, and welcome anybody to explain why I’m wrong.

So what? A new friend of mine, Ted Smith, mentioned to me last week that the problem to solve with health care in America is engagement. I think that he’s right on. People just don’t seem to be engaged in being healthy.

Therefore, if we care to bring Health 2.0 to fruition some day sooner rather than later, we will need to figure out one of two things: A. we’ll need to create a system that truly incentivizes people to track their data and synthesize it when necessary… and I’m talking about 90% or better utilization. Or B. we’ll need to create a system that tracks people’s data across facilities, making it easy to track their health without their engagement… and yes I’m talking about taking us out of the equation altogether in this scenario.

Both options offer their own benefits and challenges. But I think that this is what we should really be answering first, when we talk about Health 2.0. Which solution do you think is the way of the future and why?

Use Case for List Mining on Twitter

By | Using Data

Let’s say that you think it would be interesting to follow the health reform discussion via Twitter going on in the House, the Senate, and with other decision makers on Capitol Hill. The first thing that I would do, if I were you, would be to create a list of the aforementioned legislators, like this one I called Politicos.

Now you’re all set, right? Wrong. How much utility are you really going to get out of monitoring this list? Not much, unless you’re constantly looking at it… And who can do that?

If I am creating lists around topics of interest, I want an easy way to filter through the noise. In the case above, I only care about what these people have to say about a specific topic… yet they could be talking about myriad topics throughout the day. If I manually follow the list I created I would have to have that channel on around the clock and be paying attention to catch the tweets I care about.

Imagine if there was a tool that would allow you to import the lists that you created, the lists that you follow, and the lists that follow you, so that you could immediately identify what’s hot and who’s tweeting the most in them at that time. Keep imagining and also imagine if you could do this today for free, because I’m here to tell you that you can…

Twitter List Analysis of Politico List

List Mining

For those of you following the myTPSreport saga at home, love you ma, I’m really excited to announce some killer functionality to myTPSreport.com. When you oAuth in to myTPSreport, you now have the ability to analyze the conversations going on in the lists that you care about. Extra Bonus: You can also double click pretty much anywhere on the page to filter your search down to details you care about.

For example, you can find trending topics within your list below the map display and click on any of them to filter your results. Let’s say we want to see what people from my Politicos list are saying when they use the word “Obama” in their tweets. After clicking on “Obama” in the graph, the screen refreshes to display information about all the tweets containing that word. Now we can see that 15 of 200 tweets contain “Obama” in them and 11 of 87 users have tweeted about “Obama.” We can also see who they are and exactly what they tweeted when they used the word Obama in their tweets. Plus we can retweet or reply directly to any of those tweets, just like we always could…

Politico List Analysis of the word Obama

Don’t forget that you’re not limited to only filtering on trending topics, either. You can also double click on any word in the tweet stream and use it as a filter for your display results. This could come in handy if you see a word in the tweet stream that isn’t trending but looks interesting nonetheless.

What Do You Think?

I’m pretty ate up about the data around being social online and I’m always looking to talk with other people who are into it too. Feel free to praise or flame myTPSreport in the comments below so that we can talk about where tools like this can go in the future.

What I Search, What I Say, and What I Do

By | Using Data
Google Trends - Podcasting
Image by Josh Bancroft via Flickr

Is anybody connecting these dots? Because I think that they are connected… we just need to be able to visualize those connections somehow for the purposes of predictive analysis. People search for things on Google, say things on Twitter, and do things everywhere. The first two are public, the last is proprietary to a specific organization.

If something is proprietary, then that creates competitive advantage and dare I say possibly, ROI. Yes, I’m implying that the future of money in social media lies somewhere in the data everyone is producing at breakneck speeds.


Before we can explore the possibilities around the concept of connecting what people search for, with what they talk about, with what they actually do, we need to understand what we care about. If I sell a product, then I definitely care about keywords around that product. So I will need to create a list of those keywords before I start looking at Google and Twitter. Then I will need to use the same list in both platforms.

So build that list, and then we can begin.

google The Google Trends API is open to anybody, and although I don’t know the extent of what that means because I haven’t fully researched it yet… I think that it means anybody can pull specific search data into an application de jour. If you’re unfamiliar with Google Trends, a great example is what Google has done with the Flu. Typically, people use specific search terms when they’re interested in something. So connecting flu outbreaks to searches for flu-like keywords can be an early indicator of an outbreak in a specific region. Knowing when people are searching and where there searching from is something that we’ll be interested in for this experiment.

twitter The Twitter API is definitely open, and after working with @mathiask on myTPSreport.com, I am aware of the limitations of the word open in Twitter-speak. With a developer account, 20,000 calls can be made to Twitter every hour. Which is more than enough for something like this… Taking my master list of keywords and importing them into a Twitter search will reveal all of the conversations going on in real time. I will want to capture the data around those tweets, specifically time and geography information.

proprietary This is where things get a little bit awesome. We’ve been using open tools that anybody can use in Google and Twitter, but Google and Twitter can only tell us what people are searching for and saying… They can’t tell us what people are actually doing. Only we can tell what people are actually doing with regards to the products we sell. We know when they buy and where they buy.

So now we know what people are searching for, what they’re saying, and we’ve always known our own stuff… so what?

Social Media Predictive Analytics

If you’re familiar with the concept of Trend Trading at all, and let’s face it every blue blooded wannabe get rich quick capitalist has a book on Trend Trading in their personal library, then you understand the idea of finding indicators in data of future events. Fortune telling if you will.

When we have volume, time, and geography information around search, conversation, and sales… then overlaying the data could produce some interesting results. Systems theory tells us that systems are complex networks of relationships that can be analyzed. From a social media stand point, it could be very exciting to understand the connections between what people search for, with what they talk about, with what they actually do. Something equally interesting would be learning what could and could not be done to affect the system around a given product.

Smelling what I’m stepping in?

Let’s Talk

I’m very interested to find anybody else out there thinking about connecting what people search for, with what they talk about, with what they actually do… Is this the lamest idea you’ve ever read? Do you want the minute and a half back that it took you to read down to this point? Or are you interested in this stuff too?

Let me know.

Important People on Twitter

By | Using Data
Flickrverse, Expanding Ever with New Galaxies ...
Image by cobalt123 via Flickr

It’s definitely interesting to know what people are saying about me, so that I can “be part of the conversation.” However, if we can agree that importance is a relative term, I would argue that certain people are more important than others relative to me.

In Las Vegas, high rollers get the red carpet treatment. Comped rooms, free meals, tickets to the show, you name it… because they spend a lot of money in the casinos. It’s the same with sporting events, people who pay for Box Seats are treated like royalty, meanwhile the rest of us get hot dogs and peanuts during the game.

When will this mentality switch over to Social Media?

The Importance of Importance

It doesn’t necessarily matter what everybody says about me. It matters what important people say… Up until now, I’ve thought that important people are the social media elite, the influencers if you will, because due to the Power law they’ve become the broadcast networks of the internet. If I’m a business and I have a message, then I need them to help me get it out to everybody in whatever niche audience they’ve carved out for themselves.

But even everybody in that niche doesn’t care about me, making that line of thinking limited in some ways.

The people who have shown that they care about a business, have done so with their money. If I’m a smart business, I’ve been collecting their E-mail addresses so that I can send them a barrage of special, high pressure limited time offers, making them wish that they had never purchased my product.

But what if I married up all of their Twitter usernames with their E-mail addresses? And instead of spamming them or hoping that they all followed me back, what if I segmented them by whatever demographics are important to me: Baby Boomers vs. Gen Yers, East Coast vs. West Coast, etc. and I started saving their feeds for quantitative and qualitative analysis back at the ranch?

If I did that, how much more could I learn about the important people in my life? My customers…

SlideShare for Research

By | Using Data
Designomics Talk
Image by juhansonin via Flickr

This new kick that I’m on has me using SlideShare.net as a research tool. It dawned on me about a month ago, when colleague asked if I had any general presentations on social media. I didn’t happen to have any laying around, that would suit his needs, but I wanted to help him so I told him about SlideShare and we cruised through it together.



It’s amazing what a search on Social Media Basics returns, and you can always modify your search if you don’t get back what you need. What I really love about using SlideShare as a research vehicle is that the presentations are dated according to when they were uploaded. Now, I know that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s when they were made, but I would say that it does more often than not.

So, I know if I’m looking at a presentation that was uploaded in 2007 about Facebook usage, the numbers are going to be off… slightly. But if I’m looking at a presentation from a month ago, the information should be pretty timely depending on the sources cited within.

Tell A Friend

I can’t say that I’ve really been looking, but the advent of SlideShare.net as a poor-man’s research tool is one of those no-brainers that isn’t talked about enough and may not be intuitive to people. Next time someone asks you for a presentation on a topic that you don’t have one for, give SlideShare a try.

Last Week in Tweet Traffic

By | Using Data
American comedian Conan O'Brien at "Stand...
Image via Wikipedia
[Disclaimer Alert: I work in Humana’s Innovation Center, and have co-developed a tool we’re calling myTPSreport.com. I have used this tool to gain tweet traffic insights and wanted to share them here. As with everything else in this blog, the thoughts below are my own and do not represent the thoughts of my employer]

I realize that we don’t like to look backwards, as a society, unless it’s some sort of Hair Metal special on Vh1, but a lot of news happened last week that was interesting to me so I figured I’d throw some stats together.. Could looking backward be the new looking forward? I’ll leave that one for the comments section… In the meantime, here is what tweet traffic looked like around topics that interested me this past week:

Haiti vs. Pat Robertson

Let’s start with the serious stuff first. We can all agree that what happened in Haiti was horrific, and it was a huge topic on Twitter this past week. I think it’s by far, the largest volume of tweets around a topic we’ve looked at on myTPSreport, which is still in beta mind you, so it’s definitely testing our capabilities:

– 143,830 Tweets
– 84,499 Users

Pat Robertson’s statements also generated a lot of buzz on Twitter this week. If you didn’t catch what he said, check it out here. Here are some volume numbers for the search term Pat Robertson:

– 2,963 Tweets
– 2,700 Users

Conan vs. Leno

People of Earth, when the news that Jay Leno would return to his previous spot in Late Night hit, Conan O’Brien reacted… and the Twitterverse reacted. Here is the run down:

– 41,215 Tweets
– 26,340 Users

Google vs. China

The story about Google and China was seriously compelling to me. A veritable Clash of the Titans if you will, that generated a lot of heat in the blogosphere, as well as traffic on the Twitter. To catch up on the whole ordeal, Mac Slocum had a great recap of the situation on O’Reilly Radar. Here is the twitter traffic:

– 1,196 Tweets
– 1,014 Users

So What?

Looking at the number of tweets compared to the number of tweeters can potentially give insight into the level of commitment that individuals have for a given a topic. For example, we can infer that there were a lot of people talking about Conan multiple times as opposed to the number of people talking about Google and China.

The overall volume of tweets for specific keywords can also start to show how successful a message is spreading via Twitter. And comparing tweet traffic between disparate topics, like entertainment and business/politics, can also start to show what people on Twitter tend to talk about.

We’re continuing to build out the functionality on myTPSreport, and I’m really excited about the possibilities. Let me know what you think in the comments below.