Interview with Rob Begg from Radian6

Note: we did this interview with Radian6 Director of Product Marketing Rob Begg last week. Today Radian6 was acquired by Salesforce for about $326 Million. A huge congrats from us at Twingly!

We are happy to have Radian6, the worlds leading Social Media Monitoring firm as one of our clients, using Twingly blog data to increase the value of its products. Rob Begg is the Director of Product Marketing at the Canada-based company and explains how they managed to get that successful.

Hello Rob. Radian6 was founded in 2006 and launched in 2007 – today you are the leading Social Media Monitoring firm in the world despite a lot of competition. How did you manage to achieve that?
We believe that our growth and success is due in large part to our commitment to research and development. We are always working on ways to improve and expand our offerings. The feedback we receive from our customers is extremely important to us and helps fuel some of our new developments and updates.

Which companies or individuals benefit from your services?
Radian6 currently has over 2,500 clients from a variety of industries: higher education, technology, healthcare, non-profits, manufacturing, consulting, and many more. Our client base spans the globe with Canada and the US figuring prominently in the mix. Client size ranges from smaller regional businesses to global corporations, and all sizes in between. Over half of the Fortune 100 use Radian6. Our clients include Dell Computers, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, The American Red Cross, and UPS.

How important is the monitoring of what’s being said in the blogosphere for your customers?
Blogs are a very important part of the online conversations that are taking place around our customers’ brands and products. It is essential that clients have a complete picture of the social conversations happening around their brand and many of these conversations happen on blogs.

What are you thoughts on the future of social media?
There is no doubt that social media will continue to grow and shape the world in which we live. It has dramatically changed the way the business world functions. Facebook and Twitter have certainly been on the forefront of this transformation and I expect that they will continue to be leaders in this space.

Do you personally read blogs? Which ones are your favourites?
I read Chris Brogan for honesty and practical thinking, our own Amber Naslund and her co-blogger Tamsen McMahon at Brass Tack Thinking as well as Brian Solis. In the past I used to be in the Interactive TV business so I love keeping up with the ITVT blog. And since I’m an indie music nut I regularly check TwentyFourBit.

“For Lindex, fashion blogs are as important as traditional media”

Back in May 2008 we could welcome our first e-commerce partner which decided to implement the Twingly Blogstream solution: Lindex, one of Sweden’s most well known fashion chains. Almost 3 years ago social media hasn’t been as ubiquitous as it is now, so taking this step and connecting an online store with the blogosphere deserved a lot of respect. Now of course, things have changed, and a host of other online shops and e-commerce sites use Twingly. That makes Lindex a real early adopter. Anders Dahlberg holds the position of Director of E-commerce at Lindex and was the one making the Twingly integration possible:

Hi Anders. Do you remember how you got in touch with Twingly?
I think it was an article on TechCrunch which made me aware of your service. They wrote about a solution for news sites but I figured that this would even work for an e-commerce platform. That’s why I called you, and after some exchange we implemented the Twingly Blogstream widget which we are still using today.

How exactly did you embed the widget?
We have it on each product site. If a blog links to a product page we automatically link back to the blog through Twingly. By doing that our visitors receive additional information regarding our products, and we send traffic to those linking to us.

What are your thoughts on the current state of social media?
Well, I think it’s getting harder for small blogs to be visible, while the bigger blogs maintain their reach. Those who only want to inform their closer friends might quit blogging and “move” their thoughts over to Facebook. Facebook is getting more important each and every day. Just look at the new comment system for third party sites which is pretty exciting, since it might help to increase incoming traffic from Facebook to external sites, like blogs.

How important are fashion blogs for Lindex? How do they impact sales?
Fashion blogs are as important as the traditional media. We work with them in the same way as e.g. with magazines – we invite bloggers to press events, maintain a dialog in our showroom and help out with answers and questions.

Which upcoming e-commerce trends do you see?
From a Swedish point of view expansion into foreign European markets will be one main theme for the near future, in order to reach new customers. Apart from that an overall trend is to become more effective in working with existing clients through service and inspiration. It’s very powerful if your existing customers are happy with your store and tell their friends about it.

What’s Lindex vision for the online store?
At Lindex everything is about fashion and inspiration. We want to inspire people to live a beautiful and happy life. We aim at making people curious with our commercials, which lead them to our site. They decide to buy something either online or in one of our physical stores in order to to feel beautiful and happy and to tell their friends about it. Having a successful multi-channel strategy in place is important, which is why our site has a high priority for getting in touch with our customers.

TEDxAlmedalen is returning to Visby


You can find more photos from TEDxAlmedalen 2010 here.

The Almedalen Week is a unique meeting point for politicians, debaters,organisations, lobbyists, journalists and entrepreneurs in Sweden. Last year was the first time Twingly visited the Almedalen Week and the true climax of the week for us was definitely TEDxAlmedalen, the event we organized together with Greatness PR.

TEDxAlmedalen was a great success with 100 guests, 6 awesome speakers and a wonderful inspiring atmosphere. By some even mentioned as the best seminar during the whole Almedalen Week, we felt that we definitely should organize TEDxAlmedalen also this year. And we will, together with the great Greatness PR team!

We’re proud to announce that TEDxAlmedalen 2011 will take place between 9pm to 12pm in an inner courtyard (the same as last year) the 7th of July.

The theme for 2010 was How to get followers, fans and friends and this year will push it forward and focus on the ones that really makes a difference – the Doers. Debates and discussions are otherwise what distinguish the Almedalen Week and we felt that TEDxAlmedalen should be about those who transforms the words into action.

The speaker list is not yet set and we’re gladly welcoming tips. TEDxAlmedalen is free but limited to 100 guests. To apply for an invitation, please visit TEDxAlmedalen.se.

Looking forward to see you all again in Visby!

/Anton

An interview with the CEO of Silobreaker

We continue our series of interviews with companies that have decided to partner with Twingly to add additional value to their services. This time we asked Kristofer Månsson, the CEO of Silobreaker, to give us some insights into the world of media monitoring and intelligence. The London-based firm connects to our API in order to get the latest data from the blogosphere.

Hello Kristofer. Silobreaker offers a variety of media monitoring and search services. Who is your target group?
Basically, anyone whose job it is to follow, monitor, analyze and understand what’s going on in the world. This includes corporate, military and government intelligence professionals; investment managers, analysts and others in financial services and consulting; PR, communications and other more traditional media-monitors; journalists, researchers and “news junkies” in general.

Give us an insight into the world of intelligence and media monitoring. Where is your industry heading?
We obviously believe in an increasing demand for “smart” technology, since that’s the business we are in. Insight no longer comes from access to information but from your ability to make sense of it. And we cannot solve information overload simply by trying to read more articles. We don’t have the time nor the brain capacity. At Silobreaker, we regard aggregated content as the raw material and not the refined product. We also want to move away from traditional keyword search, since it requires you to know what you are looking for and it returns nothing but “hits” as results (often far too many). The opportunity and competitive advantage comes from the automated analytical processing of the aggregate media flow. That requires computer power and software that is capable of reading, analyzing and contextualizing the information flow and then presenting the findings in intuitive and easy-to-understand results. We want our users to spend less time on searching and have more time for interpretation and decision-making. Technically speaking, Silobreaker combines content aggregation with search, statistical and semantic text-mining and explanatory visualizations to meet a large range of user requirements.

Among other sources you do monitor social media. How important is this area to you?
It has been an important complement to traditional news media for quite a while. Social media have become the obvious channel for things like expressing product sentiment, for the messaging from political parties, NGOs and special interest groups; for calling to demonstrations, and for reporting from major events around the world, including from such places where traditional media is banned or state-controlled. Companies simply cannot afford to ignore social media, nor can analysts who in turn are following the companies.

Are there any new features or services that you are especially proud of?
We have recently launched Silobreaker Premium, a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering for corporate, financial, military and government users. Silobreaker Premium combines aggregation of news content from both traditional and social media together with a suite of analytical tools and visualizations. The aim is to help our customers understand quickly the effects of unexpected events and to discover angles, relationships, stories and perspectives before they become obvious.

You and a bunch of your colleagues are Swedish, but your headquarter is in London. What’s the background on that?
We started Silobreaker with only English-language content, which made UK and US users the obvious targets. So we decided to run business development out of London and product development in Stockholm. Today, we deal with several other languages, including Swedish, and we now also have local sales staff in Sweden. However, 75% of the traffic to our news search engine Silobreaker.com still comes from the UK and North America, so the English-speaking markets remain our largest user base, and London remains a good base for the company.

How Stadium uses Twingly

Right on the heels of Thursday’s interview with Christian Omander, the founder of the gadget online store CoolStuff,  here is another chat we did with an e-commerce website that uses Twingly to open up to the blogosphere: Stadium, a leading Nordic retailer within sports equipment and sports wear. We asked Social Media Manager David Bothzén to give us some background on their decision to integrate Twingly.

Hello David. Please tell us why you decided to use Twingly on Stadium’s site?
Stadium and the products we sell are being discussed among bloggers whether we want it or not. Instead of ignoring the online conversation or trying to hide what our customers write about us we prefer to put it into the spotlight. We are confident about our products and aim at making it easy for our visitors to find information about what others think. Vi choose Twingly in order to find and highlight those blogs that are referring to our products. On each product page the Twingly widget shows which blogs are linking to it. It’s an added value for our visitors and bloggers get more traffic.

What importance do you think social media has? How does it influence e-commerce?
I expect social media to have a growing importance and an growing impact on e-commerce, both from a marketing perspective but also as a sales channel. Social media enables companies to reach out with targeteded messages to a huge crowd of people who have chosen to receive this kind of information. Furthermore you can quickly gain feedback from your customers. If you offer great products and maintain a close dialogue with your customers they will spread your message and products across the web.

What trends in e-commerce are you currently seeing?
One significant development is the trend towards increasingly personalized products to suit individual needs. One example is Nike ID where you can design your own football shoe. Another trend that I believe will have a big impact on the online shopping sector in the near future are check-ins and location-based marketing activities like Facebook Deals.

What’s your vision for the Stadium online store?
Our goal is to continue being the leading site within sports equipment and sports wear and to grow even bigger.

Meet Peter Lindblom, new hotshot trainee at Twingly


Hey! Today it is my turn to be the “new guy” here at Twingly. I’m like Charlotta, who wrote here last week, a trainee from a polytechnic education. I studying marketing and corporate sales at Affärshögskolan here in Linköpig. I’m in the first year of the education and this is my first period of practice.

Before starting my studies here in Linköping, I lived in Västerås and worked as an economic assistant for several years. I really enjoyed the office life, until I got tired of numbers and all kind of papers so I decided to went on leave and start the search for a new life. I began my search with traveling as an backpacker around the world for almost one year and it was then I realized what I want to do with my life.

I want to have a job there I meet and talk to a lot of people! So I came home with my new ideas and experiences and started browsing after an Education that included creativity and much of the social work. A wise man told me about Affärshögskolan and it was exactly what I had searched for!

Now can I say that i really recommend this education if you have the same plans like me.

First time I heard about Twingly was when Anton was talking about their activities at my school. Before that I had no idea what Twingly was!  But Anton got me interested and after the meeting I started to chat with him and one thing led to another… and now I’m sitting here at Twinglys office enjoying my first day here.

As trainee at Twingly are my primary concern to practice my skills in sales and marketing. I will do a lot of cooperation with Charlotta, which feels great. Now I have two exciting months to look forward to here at one of the coolest and most futuristic companys on the market, I’m very pleased with that!

If you want to know more about me and my work, follow my new Twitter! 🙂

Peter Lindblom

Interview: How CoolStuff uses Twingly

As we have highlighted in this post, many online shops use Twingly to connect their sites with the blogosphere. One of our partners in the e-commerce sector is CoolStuff, which offers a wide selection of gadgets and fun products through its Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and German site (the latter one is called Yomoy). We chatted with the founder Christian Omander about why he decided to implement Twingly.

Hi Christian. Tell us why you choose to implement Twingly on CoolStuff.
We like to have an interaction with our customers as well as seeing them communicating with each other. Hence it was a logical consequence that we intended to link to bloggers who write about our gadgets. And then came Twingly that offered a solution that suited us and our needs very well!

How do you use Twingly on your site?
The Twingly Blogstream widget is embedded on every single product page. When a customer who bought something from our shop writes a review on his or her blog and links to the product page a link from our product page to the blog post is created. Other customers can head to the blog article and read more about a gadget.

Twingly widget on CoolStuff product pages

What role do you think social media plays for the Internet as a whole and for e-commerce in particular?
Social media has become a keystone of the web. People like to be social and to interact with other people. So naturally we have the same needs when we are sitting in front of the computer. We are likely to see different players and services come and go, but the general desire of being social through the web won’t disappear anymore. For online shops social media is a good way of increasing visibility as well as reaching out to our appreciated customers and having a dialog with them. Nevertheless I believe even “unsocial” companies can succeed online, but they don’t capitalize on the web’s full potential which means that they do have a competitive disadvantage.

What are the big trends in e-commerce?
Good online stores strive to expand into new markets. Most of the world’s biggest e-commerce companies have for example expanded into the Nordic countries. That is a trend that will continue. Another trend is of course mobile. Currently about 5 percent of all visits to CoolStuff come from mobile devices and this number is increasing at a rapid pace.

How does the roadmap for CoolStuff look like?
Overall we are happy with the shops performance, but there are a few things that we will improve. We want to make CoolStuff more modern. An ongoing project is the improvement of how we present our gadgets. Having better pictures, videos, picture viewing options (like rotation), descriptions and so on. We are permanently focusing on making these aspects better and easier to use.