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.

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