I’ve Got the Feeling Somebody’s Watching Me. Buzzmonitor

I thought it would be interesting for a few days to do a series on web and email tracking. I’ll talk about the technologies, how they work, who’s doing it, why I do it, and comment on the ethics and business case for tracking.

How this all started. Salespowwow is a relatively new site. I’ve been focusing mostly on content, and adding features when I have some down time. I haven’t incorporated Search Engine Optimization tools in the site, and wanted to see who is coming in.

Using my website’s web analysis software, I noticed that one of the hits was from something called Buzzmonitor.worldbank.org. I knew why they found the site immediately; I had mentioned the World Bank in one of my previous posts.

So, what was this strange machine trolling my site? I had to check it out.

So, and I blockquote.

BuzzMonitor, an open source application that “listens” to what people are saying about the World Bank across blogs and other sites in order to help the organization understand and engage in social media.

After receiving positive feedback about the application and seeing how many organizations are struggling to make sense of online conversations, we decided to release it as a packaged, open source application. We think it is a good, affordabe tool for non-profit organizations, NGOs, foundations and think-tanks to see and hear what people are saying about them, their programs and understand the perception around important issues.

Isn’t that cool. Not only are they searching me, but they are giving away the tools for you to do this type of search yourself.

Guess what? This is yet another example of Misner’s Theory of Open Source Competition. I worked at a company called Cyveillance, and they offered a service very similar to  what Buzzmonitor does. Only Cyveillance charged a heck of a lot more than nothing.

And the irony’s not lost on me. I’m writing an article on a program that searches for articles about the World Bank, and now it will search and find this article.

More info on Buzz Monitor is at http://buzzm.worldbank.org/

Maybe I should tell the customers of another service patrolling the blogosphere, Converson , about Misner’s law and Buzz Monitor.

Again, back to the block quotes.

Converseon’s proprietary Conversation Miner™ scours public, online discussion areas – including blogs, newsgroups, social media, and more – to capture, understand and report the issues, opinions and ideas that costumers share between and among themselves. Understanding this unaided, unprompted and unstructured conversation that is occurring among and between key constituents is critically important to:

  • Understanding brand and product perceptions and reputations
  • Providing early warning systems regarding brand or product issues
  • Responding in real time to customers’ concerns
  • Gleaning intelligence for communication and product strategies
  • Understanding the most influential venues for your company, brand and product
  • Measuring effectiveness of communication and advertising efforts
  • Mobilizing allies and evangelists
  • Informing content, search engine optimization, marketing and communication strategies


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