BT Trax isn’t the only tool doing the heavy lifting of processing mountains of content data and shaping into information. Intelliseek’s BlogPulse Trend Tool similarly applies machine-learning and natural-language processing techniques to discover trends in the blogosphere. Taking it a step further, Umbria Communications is mining 10 million blogs, chat rooms, message boards, Usenet groups, etc., to track top brands, product categories, and people named in blogs, such as George Bush and John Kerry.
In a recent post about buzz marketing and tracking, Outsell, a research and advisory firm for the information industry, said, "This is a new flavor of real-time data that will reshape the market research industry, leaving surveying and focus groups with an old-fashioned and static feel." That's music to our ears.
With Umbria’s technology behind the firewall and currently aimed at Generation Y data, ZDNet Research turned to BlogPulse to see if there was any correlation between buzz in the blogosphere and news interest (page views) on CNET Networks B2B sites (Builder, IT Papers, News.com, TechRepublic, etc.) across various technology topics. The chart below shows what we got when we plugged "Longhorn" into both tools for the same six-month time period. As expected, the trending data for each chart follows a similar curve (other topics like VoIP, RFID, and WiMAX yielded a similar result). So we already know that buzz generated is directly proportional to the importance of news annoucements, but now its clear that the picture looks the same both internal and external to CNET Networks.