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April 17, 2006
Job title of the future: social media analyst
Dave Sifry has another "State of the Blogosphere" report, and this time he quantifies the total number of blog posts per day. That seems like a more impactful measure than just the total number of new blogs created every per day.
Total daily blog postings in February 2005: roughly 500,000. One year later: nearly 1.2 million.
At that rate, it means about 2.5 million postings per day by February 2007.
Pair those numbers now with YouTube; it appears that the number of videos posted to the video-sharing site is tripling every year. Right now, daily video uploads are about 35,000. Based on a four-month trend, daily uploads could be 100,000 by the end of 2006, with some 130 million daily viewings.
That's a substantial amount of data to follow, categorize and analyze. (It seems, too, that the world could use a Technorati that follows video sharing sites.)
All of this seems to point toward a new job responsibility inside companies whose growth depends on word of mouth: social media analyst.
If a social media analyst could port into Technorati's data warehouse (or BlogPulse's) and rely on her imagination and knowledge of company strategies to create her own, real-time dashboard of gauges, maps and charts of what's being said online, she would probably become the company's most foremost expert on trends, word of mouth and the democratization of culture.
Update: Stowe Boyd on the idea of a social media analyst:
"Maybe that's too remote: all that staring at graphs and so on, like the foo-foo dust that business intelligence firms peddle. I think it is more likely that a role analogous to press relations will arise: blog relations. These folks will keep tabs on Blogpulse and Technorati, to see what is going down, but they will also maintain and active and on-going relationship with the major bloggers in their sector."
It seems like the responsibility of blogger relations could fall under the job duties in PR, customer service, marketing, call centers... A job responsibility like that is not easily painted across every industry.
I see the role of a social media analyst as someone who crunches numbers on all of the data being generated by social media. From that analysis would come guidance on what companies should do.
A social media analyst could also be responsible for quantifying the effects of social media-driven word of mouth on sales.
Other blogs that reference Job title of the future: social media analyst:
» Sweetspot for Tapping Into Consumer Chatter from Options
Ben McConnell at Church of the Customer, hit the sweetspot, suggesting that companies add a social media analyst to their cast, who can tune into the conversations taking place online and creatively sprout them into some fresh thinking.If a social [Read More]
» Memewatch: Social Media Analysis or Blog Relations? from /Message
Over at the Church of the Customer, Ben McConnell suggests that corporations are going to have to find or train peopl who are tracking what's pertinent to the business in the blogosphere: [from Job title of the future: social media [Read More]
» CGM from MarketerBlog
Ben McConnell at the Church of the Customer Blog wrote an interesting post in reaction to Dave Sifry’s most recent State of the Blogosphere report. McConnell identifies the need for a new marketing role within companies: the social media analyst. [Read More]
The dialogue between Ben McConnell and Stowe Boyd is great. Both perspectives have merit, but I would offer a third concept for consideration. In addition to deriving insights from the blogosphere (blog mining and analysis) and leveraging the blogosphere as an alternative form of media relations, I would add the use of word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing as an alternative distribution channel. WOM marketing is not new. Amway, Avon and MCI’s Friends & Family are all great examples from the prehistoric pre-Internet era. What’s different now is the ability to efficiently design these programs to meet the needs and interests of thousands of micro-segments of customers. The blogosphere (and other forms of CGM) represent millions of conversations on a daily basis. These conversations are among passionate users who are thinking about and commenting on a vast array of products and services. Digital WOM enables marketers to tap into these centers of conversation and harness that energy on behalf of the brand. It’s part digital evangelist, part alternate sales channel. Some combination of each of these disciplines will be in the marketing department of the future. And by the way, if recent reports on corporate blogging and consumer generated marketing are any indication, the future is now.
It would be interesting to know how many of those 70,000 blogs that are created everyday have active posting after 3 months. I think Daily Posting Volume is a much better indicator of the size of the blogosphere.
John -- That's exactly why I'd love to see Technorati open up its data warehouse or create a premium service that allows people to run reports. Or something. Anything. There's a lot to learn from the stuff they're accumulating.