Archive for March, 2010

Jesse Schell: When games invade real life

Great presentation with an interesting view of the near future, hope you like it.

How many of you use Foursquare? Is this the first step towards Schell’s vision?

Categories: marketing in general, Random topics Tags:

Sentiment Analysis: computers analyzing how we feel about products

Ever since social media came to the web there is more information available for companies to try to understand their customers’ reactions. Before social media, customer information existed and was used to determine emotional reactions on people, but it was never as easily available and as abundant as it is today.

Sentiment Analysis has been out there for a while trying to teach computers to extract emotional context from blogs, articles, forums (sometimes Twitter and Facebook) in order to understand good or bad biases towards particular products.

Illustration by Voris Rodriguez

But this is only one part of the deal, because once you gather the data and make a great pie chart; what do you do with that information? Companies have figured out the way to track (marketing) events with this technique to complement other analytics systems, giving them an extra insight about how people are reacting.

And yes, it is not an exact science, and there are still many questions about how representative the sample is, how correlated is the “sentiment” to a purchase decision, how opinion leaders or influencers skew the results, and even how to identify and correct for metaphors and sarcasm. Despite all these hard questions, in CRM it is always better to know some information than none.

For me it still feels a little bit like black magic especially when considering for example how many times in person-to-person communications messages are misinterpreted. How can you make a computer understand sarcasm and metaphors?

What do you think?

All this information is my personal insight taken away from the event: How Sentiment Analysis can Make Sense of Social Media (or Can it?) by the Bay Area Business Executives Group, with the following panelists:
Franco Salvetti, Microsoft Bing Search
Jochen Frey, Scout Labs
David Bean, Attensity
Esteban Kolsky, ThinkJar