Sentiment Analysis Takes the Pulse of the Internet -

“Social media used to be this cute project for 25-year-old consultants,” said Margaret Francis, vice president for product at Scout Labs in San Francisco. Now, she said, top executives “are recognizing it as an incredibly rich vein of market intelligence.”

interesting article. all this sentiment and preference mapping is like the work I did in the nineties with companies like ac nielsen, spectra marketing and information resources. by examining purchase behavior via scanner data from retailers, we drew inferences about the effects of pricing, advertising and merchandising, and product selection. with the growth of social media and the accompanying rise of opinion aggregators like scout labs and radian6, marketers will have a more direct and presumably accurate feed into consumer sentiment.

The Future of Facebook « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing

What to Expect in Facebook’s Future: A Web Based Operating System
So what’s in store for Facebook in the future?  Here’s what we should expect:

  • Aggregator of all.  To win, Facebook wants it’s network to spread to other locations, then aggregate back to it’s website.  This centralizes Facebook (which can be accessed anywhere from any digital medium) as the hub of communications.   As a result, consumers will make decisions based on information from peers in this hubs, and brands will pay money to be part of it.
  • A new class of competitors –beyond social networks.  In the end, Facebook is an aggregator of all information that’s important to an individual and their friends. Who currently does this?  Media darling Twitter does this, Friendfeed (hence the acquisition) and existing web email systems like Hotmail, Gmail, AOL, and Yahoo have shown indicators they’re thinking about heading this way.  
  • Content to be more public –yet members may resist.  The option to allow profiles to be public and the vanity URL landgrab are indicators that they want to make information more public –yet the challenge will be convincing members to opt-in.
  • as a destination isn’t as important.  To be successful, Facebook will need to spread to many websites (like corporate ones) and experiences, this is why Facebook Connect (authentication for 3rd parties) matters.  This Era of Social Colonization empowers the FB experience to spread to other websites.
  • Monetization engines to turn on.  The constant innovation of dozens of products are akin to ‘throwing pasta at the wall’ to see what sticks.  Facebook’s 250mm user base is nearing mainstream web portal (see traffic compared to Google and Yahoo) they’re quickly closing the gap.
  • No kingdom lasts forever.  We see this time and time again, technology companies supernova, grow then fail to innovate from political tape and sheer size.