Sunday, December 17, 2006

Chattering Masses

"Traditional media are fragmenting. Focus groups are expensive, constrained and slow. New research shows that consumers are eager to evade advertising on television, block pop-up ads on the Internet and sign up for “do not call” lists to bar telephone solicitations.

At the same time, new surveys show that 90 percent of consumers trust word-of-mouth suggestions, and that some make purchases based on such guidance."

That is the premise of an interesting NY Times article titled, Brands for the Chattering Masses. Sophisticated search engines crawling the blogosphere, forums, message boards and other online spaces trawling for user generated opinion.

"BuzzMetrics’ computer scientists and programmers, led by Sundar Kadayam, a 43-year-old software engineer, say they have developed sophisticated search engines to sweep the Internet and drill down into rich veins of extemporaneous word-of-mouth commentary and conversation found online

Mr. Kadayam recently projected on a large white screen the company’s most promising new tool, which he calls Floodgate. It is a program that displays in real time what people around the world are saying on thousands of blogs and message boards. The program shows each new message as a blinking green dot that fades to light blue and then vanishes after a few minutes. The program can cluster messages according to general themes, and track keywords and phrases and the full content of what the writer is saying.

Marketing executives, awakened to both the threat and the potential, are scrambling to harness data culled online"

With more companies like BuzzMetrics getting their feet wet, there is a better chance that honest opinions and thoughts might show up on some fancy market research monitor. Greater chances that companies will listen. Wouldn't it be great if my thoughts (or yours) encouraged a company to turn a greener socially responsible shade ?

So chatter away!

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