Original post by Sachin Kamdar, January 17, 2012
Trending Data Overtakes Snapshot or Historic Data
Imagine the data that Apple has on its iPad sales.
The company certainly has some research on customer satisfaction, device glitches, and sales by region, etc. -- but that's standard stuff. It also has data that analyzes sales and satisfaction over time. In the case of a business that sells a physical product like an iPad, the trending data over time is more valuable -- with it, Apple can adapt its sales and marketing strategy.
Note the weakness of the analogy, however -- an iPad has a shelf life of several years. Content is an entirely different game.
Stories, in some cases, can have evergreen value, but the best-performing content on the web typically has a 24-hour window before traffic to the article or post falls significantly. It is for this reason that publishers have struggled to access trending data to inform their decisions. It's incredibly difficult to collect, crunch and deliver data and insights in that period of time. You have to be really fast. Our systems and tools are only now starting to catch up.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and in 2012 publishers will finally get their hands on trending data that matters. Global trending hashtags are only the very tip of the iceberg.
This year the market is going to be flooded with real-time data analysis tools for content. Not real-time analysis for web pages -- and that's an important difference. We've had real-time web analytics, but those analytics are designed for the concept of a webpage, not the nuances and heartbeat of content.
SiteSimon and Trap.it are two companies that have built technology to analyze and understand content. These companies apply this understanding to their users' behavior to accurately identify interests and provide personalized recommendations. Percolate, another startup, parses social streams to aid brands and businesses with topic-oriented content curation -- and there's no reason why publishers can't leverage similar technologies to optimize their content, too.
Read the full post for other key trends: