I’ve recently been keeping tabs on some of the more innovative uses I’ve seen for social media monitoring that go beyond just watching your brand. Thought I’d share some:
Media Post reported that seismologists are turning toward social sites to gain an alternative read on earthquakes. Often social media postings appear before USGS official earthquake reports, and can provide a more rich, complex view of an earthquake than simple sensore can provide. So hoping to better understand activity patterns, some seismologists are informally monitoring chatter from colleagues and friends that spread across social sites like Facebook, as well as publicly available videos that people upload to YouTube. I know when there is an earthquake in California I get more real-time insights about it from Twitter than anywhere else!
Fast Company recently reported that two researchers at HP Labs, Sitaram Asur and Bernardo Huberman, have discovered that you can actually use Twitter mentions to predict how well a movie will do in its first couple weekends of release. What’s more, the method works even better than the most accurate method currently in use, the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX).
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SAP Research harvests Twitter for traffic-related information in Australia, and has developed an iPhone app designed to help people avoid traffic jams by then publishing this Twitter data. “Multiple vehicle crash at the intersection of Beaudesert and Bradman.“ “Missing manhole cover at the intersection of Beatty and Marshall.“ These are the kind of traffic updates the iPhone app AUS Traffic displays using red pushpins on Google’s map of Brisbane.
The Wall Street Journal reports that for the second year in a row, Biz360 is watching social media to see if it can predict the winner of American Idol, looking not only at the overall share of conversation for each contestant, but also the percentage of conversation that’s positive or negative. They’ve set up a Web site with the latest data that fans can track, called Idolstats.com and they are making predictions using this data about who will be voted off each week!
And Microsoft’s Bing Maps tool will soon feature tips and comments culled from posts tagged with the location-based networking service Foursquare, using a Silverlight-based tool that will pull in the Foursquare features to Bing Maps.
Of course, Attensity has also done work in many innovative areas, such as monitoring public reaction to the iPad and doing H1N1 research using social media. Seems the sky’s the limit when it comes to using the new breed of user-generated content for great insights.
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