Data – How Twingly helps Media Monitoring Businesses

Everybody is talking about data from social media sources and the opportunities for businesses it brings, if one  knows how to use it. But how, is the question often asked. And – do we really have to?

This year, NEXT Conference in Berlin had Data as its main topic, and in various sessions it was discussed how important data nowadays is for businesses. In autumn there will be the Research & Results in Munich where mostly market researchers come together to discuss the new challenges that collecting data from social media sources brings.

Recently I chatted with someone in classic market research about this, and it became evident that especially data from Facebook, Twitter and Blogs become increasingly important for that area.

Why is data from blogs and social media platforms increasingly important?

Blogs, Twitter and Facebook  are only some examples of the platforms (see Ethority’s social media prism to the right)  where consumers are and exchange their views with their friends as well as with the entire community. So everybody running a business knows that one has to be where ones customers are, in order to understand their needs, develop the products they want and most importantly – sell these products as well as offering great customer service.

But one does not only need to be present where ones customers are. One also wants to listen to what they have to say in general.

The competition is on – how popular is my product in comparison to others? Do people love my brand or do they hate it? Did they ever hear about it? Only who knows that can really optimise their products and services, find their niche, get the most out of it – and even come up with new innovative ideas for products and services, knowing the potential benefits they bring to ones customers. Maybe one would even need to find new customer groups?

Then, of course the big question is, how on Earth do I find out what’s been said about me or my brand(s)?

There are a lot of media monitoring services around – and the often quoted dilemma is that there is no service that satisfies all needs and wishes. Well, I guess that’s why there are that many around in the first place. Some of them are either specialised in a certain niche, like i.e. media monitoring for the finance or the travel sector, or they simply try to develop their services to be the best all-round solution and compete with each other that way.

Regardless which way media monitoring companies choose, we at Twingly can deliver blog data to all of them.

In fact, we get quite a few requests about our blog data and the number of our data customers more than doubled during the last 12 months.  These are all our  API Customers , as we call them.

So let us tell you a bit more about how we could potentially support your media monitoring business with our blog data!

We actually have 3 API’s.

Number 1: Livefeed –  This is raw blog data at its finest.
You get all blog data as an XML-feed at the same time as when it enters our system. You can then save the data at your end, and perform the analysis you want to do. You subscribe per language and we give you access via an API-key. Livefeed is mostly used by our bigger clients such as Radian6 and Meltwater Buzz, who then feed our blog data into their system as additional sources.

Number 2: Analytics – 0ur search-API.
This API is based on our blog search – here you can just throw a bunch of keywords into the search interface and get results across all languages (or just specific ones) and that up to 4 months back in history.  Twingly Analytics is suitable for media monitoring services that don’t want to deal with the super-technical side of things but that actually want to get results for certain keywords directly out of the pool of blog data. The results come as an XML-feed and can then be used for further analysis on their own system. Silobreaker’s services are a good example for using our search API in order to find additional sources in blogs about certain topics – for example their news trends.

Number 3: RSS-API – the best of basic!
You probably know that you can search on Twingly.com for a certain keyword (i.e. Twingly as a brand) and that you can subscribe to the results via RSS for free? Now, some of you might want to use this feed commercially and at a higher volume. Then you can get an API-key from us which allows you, against a low monthly fee, to use this feed for your purposes. That can be media monitoring, but you could also use it to create a customised top list of blogs that talk about your products. The Swedish publisher Norstedts created a top list of blogged about books that they choose by using the RSS-API.
Now, if you want to know more about any of these feeds and their technique, you can either contact us or you are welcome to check out our FAQ and get back to us with specific questions.

P.S.:
A bit earlier this year, we presented some of our customers, including interviews with Silobreaker and Radian6.

If you are from Sweden and looking for some companies that do media monitoring, then you might want to check out Mediebevakare.se as well, where a lot of Swedish media monitoring companies present their tools and services.

We at Twingly founded Mediebevakare.se, because like you we felt that an overview of all the different media monitoring services available is needed . So please check it out and spread the word if you know someone who is looking for a service, or if you know a tool that should be listed as well.

If you have a media monitoring business on the Swedish market but you are not based here, feel free to set up your presentation on Mediebevakare anyway. We can help you if needed – just let us know!

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.

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.

Media Monitoring Companies Using Twingly (Part 2 of 2)

Last week we started to present social media monitoring services and research companies that use data about the global blogosphere collected by Twingly. Today we continue with this overview. If you haven’t seen the first part of the list (where we also explain the two APIs that we offer to our partners), you find it here.

Radian6
Radian6 is one of the most popular and best known social media monitoring services in the world – and a client of Twingly, accessing our blog data for integration into their monitoring tools. The Canada-based company was founded in 2006, focuses on businesses and provides them with tools to listen, measure and engage in conversations across the social web. Radian6 has over 1.700 clients worldwide.




Notified
Notified is a Swedish service for social media monitoring that aims at providing its clients with a very intuitive interface and tries to simplify analytics and statistics to make them as clear and easy understandable as possible.

Read more about Notified (in Swedish)

Retriever
Retriever is owned by the Swedish news agency TT and offers different kinds of media analysis, monitoring and research services. With “Pulse” the company has its own social media monitoring offering. Since 2009 they are working together with us to get Twingly data about the global blogosphere.

Read more about Retriever (in Swedish)

Infopaq
Like Retriever even Infopaq has a broad focus on all kinds of media monitoring, news evaluation and analysis. One part of their service includes monitoring of what’s being that on the social web, inventory analysis and even campaign analysis. The company has about 6.500 clients and 500 employees across the Nordic countries, Estonia and Germany.

Read more about Infopaq (in Swedish)

Imente
Even though Twingly is based in Sweden our data covers the global blogosphere. Imente is a Spanish provider of media analytics and monitoring tools that connects to our API to use Twingly data for its social media monitoring services.

Media Monitoring Companies Using Twingly (Part 1 of 2)

Here at Twingly we aggregate a lot of data from the blogosphere since we are crawling blogs worldwide for our blog search engine. Apart from users can being able to find and discover content from blogs, we are working together with a couple of social media monitoring and research services that are using Twingly data for their offerings.

Before we have a look at who these partners are here is a brief description of the two APIs (Application Programming Interface – the way that external sites connect to Twingly data) that we are providing to our data partners:

Analytics API: The Analytics API is based on our blog search engine, comes with a visual search interface and allows for accessing blog content published during the past 4 months.

Livefeed API: This API gives partners access to all raw data our crawlers collect from the blogosphere, separated by language, as XML feed and without any delay. The Livefeed API is more extensive than the Analytics API. Partners choose one of the two APIs depending on their specific data needs.

Every company mentioned below is using one of those two APIs. If you are interested in becoming a Twingly data partner we are glad to hear from you. And if you after having read this postiding did become curious about the data we are collecting from the blogosphere, head to our search engine, try it yourself and maybe start using it for your own personal social media monitoring (here we explained how to do that).

Meltwater Buzz
Meltwater is a global player within the field of news and social media monitoring, serving more than 18.000 clients in 25 countries. With the “Buzz” product Meltwater offers companies and organisations tools to monitor and analyze what’s being said on social networks, microblogging services, video and photo platforms, forums, blogs and other sites based around the concept of user generated content.

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Read more about Meltwater Buzz (in Swedish)

Silobreaker
Silobreaker was founded in 2005, is headquartered in London but has its development team in Stockholm. Apart from a free news search Silobreaker offers media monitoring based on statistical and semantic analysis to corporate, financial, NGO and government agency users, and monitors content from old, new and social media.

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Read more about Silobreaker (in Swedish)

FindAgent
London-based FindAgent provides its social media monitoring services to companies and brands who want to succeed with their digital marketing initiatives. One of FindAgent’s focus areas is blog monitoring, both in Sweden and on a global scale. The company has developed a technology which tries to understand the meaning of the content monitored and lets its customers ask questions that automatically are being answered.

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Read more about FindAgent (in Swedish)

Nobicon
Nobicon is a company from Sweden specialized within the field of media monitoring providing organisations with extensive data on what clients, competitors, investors and other stakeholders are doing, saying and thinking. Nobicons monitoring tools can be integrated into the client’s intranet, website or ERP system.

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Read more about Nobicon (in Swedish)

We will continue next week with part 2 of the list of Twingly data partners!

6 different use cases for Twingly Channels

The past weeks we explained you how to start your own Twingly Channel and presented you with a list of 10 popular Channels you really shouldn’t miss. Now there might be one unanswered question left: In which situations do you benefit from using a Channel instead of tackling a problem or task in a different way? Today we give you 6 answers to that question!

1. Project collaboration
You are part of a project group, either at work, in school or university? You want to help your team to stay informed about the topics you are dealing with, and you even would like to encourage them to contribute with their sources and input so that you as a group can discuss and collaborate around the content relevant for the project? Start a Twingly Channel, subscribe to search terms and RSS feeds regarding your topic and invite your group members to join!

2. Easy link sharing and commenting
Maybe you are looking for a really easy solution to collect and share links with a group of people, for example friends, family, fellow students or people in your sports club? Twingly Channels works great for that. You can use it without subscribing to any feeds or search terms – if you are in the “incoming stories” view there is a form on top to add your link. Every link can be liked and commented.

3. Social Media monitoring
There are dozens of expensive Social Media monitoring tools out there. If you are working with communication or marketing you might want to focus on the most important sources for monitoring what is being said about your brand or products. Twingly Channels is the solution! Subscribe to all the search terms relevant for you and see what the blogosphere is saying, including all the articles and tweets that link to those pieces that mention your brand or product. And yes, of course it’s free.

4. News reader 2.0
We already have explained how you can use Twingly Channels as a “RSS reader 2.0”. If you think that RSS is too unsocial, if you want to be able to share your personal news reader with other people and if you enjoy to see feed items based on how many reactions in other blogs and on Twitter they got, not in chronological order without any intelligence behind, then Channels might be your news reader of choice. In case you mail us the OPML-file containing your subscriptions from another RSS client (like Google Reader) and the URL of your Twingly Channel, we load it up with all your feeds: support@twingly.com

5. Aggregate your content
If you are an avid blogger, Social Media addict or if you work with communications/marketing, it’s likely that you publish content on more than one platform. Twingly Channels is a great way to aggregate everything you publish anywhere in one handy stream – and it’s showing the reactions from around the web on the articles, videos, photos and everything else you post online. Have a look how the Swedish city of Katrineholm or the Foreign Office is using Twingly Channels for exactly this purpose.

6. Content curation
Maybe you have a hobby or a topic that you are really interested in and that you would like to spread the word about. Use Twingly Channels for aggregating selected sources about your specific area of interest and promote it among your friends, through your blog, Facebook and Twitter account. This Channel for instance gives insights in how it is to live in France as a Swede, containing a collection of sources from Swedish bloggers in France.

Maybe you use Twingly in a very different way as mentioned in those 6 use cases? Let us know!

How to monitor the Social Web with Twingly

We know that many of you are working within marketing, media, are running a company or doing freelance work. And we are pretty sure that most of you are curious to see what users are publishing about you, your company, brands or services on the Social Web.

We have a tool that might help you collecting this information. With our blog and microblogging search you can easily monitor all the things people online say about you and the products you work with. That helps you to stay in touch with your loyal customers and target groups and also gives you valuable information for improving and enhancing your offerings.

So now we explain you how to get started. It’s only 3 steps! First, we’ll show you how to monitor what people are saying about you in blogs, and then how to monitor microblogging services like Twitter.

How to monitor blogs with Twingly

1. Go to www.twingly.com and sign in with your username and password. If you don’t have a Twingly account yet, you can create one for free by clicking on “sign up”

2. Click on the link “Blog search” in the navigation bar at the top of the site (the direct address to the Blog search is www.twingly.com/search). Now, enter the keyword or keywords you want to monitor into the search field, like the name of the company you are working for or of a specific product or brand. Press “search”.

3. What you are seeing now are the results of your search, that means all the blog articles from around the web that include the keyword(s) that you entered. Above the result list you find different filters to sort the results, for example by language or date they were published. For monitoring purposes we recommend you to change the “Sort by” filter from “TwinglyRank” to “Date”

To the right you see a box with the links “Subscribe to RSS” and “Create Email Alert”.

By clicking on “Create Email Alert”, you subscribe to the specific search by email. After you have done that, we’ll send you every day one email with the latest results for the search term(s) you choose. And if you are getting tired of too many emails, you can simply click the unsubscribe link in the mail whenever you want.

If you instead prefer to subscribe to the search by RSS, click on the “Subscribe to RSS” link, copy the complete link from your browser address bar and paste it into your RSS reader of choice, like Google Reader. Every time we find a new blog post mentioning the keyword(s) you chose, you’ll get it delivered right into your RSS reader.

How to monitor Twitter and other microblogging services with Twingly

1. Go to www.twingly.com and sign in with your username and password. If you don’t have a Twingly account yet, you can create one for free by clicking on “sign up”

2. Click on the link “Microblog search” in the navigation bar at the top of the site (the direct address to the Microblog search is www.twingly.com/microblogsearch). Now, enter the keyword or keywords you want to monitor into the search field, like the name of the company you are working for or of a specific product or brand. Press “Microblog search”.

3. What you are seeing now are the results of your search, that means all the mentions of the keyword(s) that you entered. To the right you see a box with a few microblogging services that you can either include or exclude in your search. We recommend you to not uncheck the Twitter results, since this is the microblogging service with the highest user activity.

After you have decided which services to include, you can choose between subscribing to the RSS feed of that search or to create an email alert instead:

By clicking on “Create Email Alert”, you subscribe to the specific search by email. After you have done that, we’ll send you every day one email with the latest results for the search term or search terms you choose. And if you are getting tired of too many emails, you can simply click the unsubscribe link in the mail whenever you want.

If you instead want to subscribe to the search by RSS, click on the “Subscribe to RSS” link, copy the complete link from your browser address bar and paste it into your RSS reader of choice, like Google Reader. Every time there are new microblogging posts mentioning the keyword(s) you chose, you’ll get them delivered right into your RSS reader.

Some final advices

  • If you don’t get many results for your search, a reason could be that you have entered too many keywords. Try to remove one or more of the keywords.
  • There are some more advanced search queries you can use to improve the results. Have a look at them here for the Blog search and here for the Microblog search.

/Martin Weigert

Twingly launches Mediebevakare.se to give an overview of the social media monitoring market

Today we launch the wiki Mediebevakare.se (in Swedish) to give an overview of existing social media monitoring tools.

We felt that it was quite a task to get a comprehensive overview of all the social media monitoring tools available and that there were very few places to connect companies looking for social media monitoring tools with the companies offering these.

So we thought a wiki where everyone can contribute would be the perfect solution. Now every company offering social media monitoring tools has the opportunity to publish details of their social media monitoring services on Mediebevakare.se, as well are their customers able to say what they think about them.

From the start there are seven tools represented in great detail with screenshots and text explaining how these work as well as pricing. We’ve been promised that quite some more will be added in the near future. When you as a company post information, make sure you provide your potential customers with easy to understand and yet detailed information. It will enable them to get a much better initial picture of your tools before contacting you.

The amazing response we got within a short time after the launch just confirms that this was the right thing to do; so we are really glad about having kicked this one off!

Thanks to everyone who already contributed with content and helps building this platform into a success story from day one. We look forward to see Mediebevakare.se developing into the new market-place and information-pool for social media tools. And big thanks to Karin Gilje, our intern who did all the hard work to make this come true!

Some blog & media love:
Jardenberg.se
Cisionblogg
Nyteknik.se
Cloud Nine
Stefan Krafft
Bidigital.com
PR 2.0
Feber.se
Disruptive Media
Medievärlden
Kulturbloggen
Peter Alsbjer