Here’s an interesting post from GigaOM about how social media has changed polling practices (for the better? You can decide). Give it a quick read through if you’re interested.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Companies are high on social media for a number of reasons, but perhaps chief among them should be that social platforms provide the opportunity to create focus groups at a scale never before possible. Millions of people talk about all sorts of things online, and with the right systems and algorithms in place, it’s possible to decipher how they actually feel about the topics they’re discussing. If you want to know how the web-savvy world feels about a product, movie, team, you name it, millions of data sources should trump interviewing a few hundred people in malls across the country.
IBM (s ibm) has been going out of its way to illustrate the insights that can be gleaned from social media by analyzing and scoring fan sentiment on Twitter around the the World Series, Super Bowl and Hollywood awards. The results have been pretty telling, especially if you assume the thoughts of a few million people speaking freely are more telling than those of a substantially smaller number of people willing to pick up the phone or waste 30 minutes of their day answering questions. For customers, IBM sells a version of its Cognos BI product tuned specifically for social media, and it believes social-media analysis will help it do $16 billion in analytics revenue by 2015.
But IBM isn’t alone in putting big data techniques to social media streams.