Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Monitoring and evaluating Blogs.

Lisa Poulson (pictured) has an interesting take on how hard it is to monitor and evaluate blogs. Her issue: “The thing is, if a company wants to penetrate a market or build relationships in the blogosphere the single most important thing is listening. But how? “

Lets start with her issue about monitoring. There are the usual suspects and PR blog monitoring specialists like CyberAlert and a specialist capability is not hard to build (Springboard software in Bangalore can build you one for about $1500 in about a week). So acquiring the basic data is not hard.

The real problem comes when trying to make sense out of the mountain of irrelevant to find the nugget of relevance.

This is a bit harder but not much. Both the CIA and the British hush hush place at Chelmsford (not to mention the UK Prime Minister's office) have been using a semantic computer process to do this work.

The application of Latent Semantic Analysis, which I mentioned in this blog a week ago can be applied in a number of ways and has very 'human characteristics'. This is very attractive for a lot of people who like playing with these things (like me).

The application of LSA is well established and, in my case is used as an agnostic process to identify concepts in texts (blog posts in this case). The resultant hierarchy of concepts are then processed to identify those concepts most closely associated with the client interest (the semantic bit) which identifies concepts of greatest relevance. I then just recall the concepts in their context (KWIC) which identifies the key issues in a sentence, the blog and by relevance. Its worth a go Lisa and if you want to be able to practice in the area of relationship management then we all need these kinds of tools.