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Brian SteffensIf you’ve ever been to the trade show at the Newspaper Association of America’s (NAA) Nexpo, or its current version retitled MediaXchange, you’ll have an idea of the size and scope of the SXSW trade show in Austin. HUGE! And varied. Not every booth is for everyone. But there were some nuggets for journalism and news organizations.

The trending topic this year was …. trending. How to identify what’s trending and then to use that information to improve what you do. Social media meets analytics meets (hopefully) ROI.

Below are a few of the services seen, observed and noted. These are not meant to be reviews or endorsements, as I did not have time to sit through thorough explorations of the various platforms, but they all had interesting or promising premises that warrant further exploration.

BloomfireBloomfire knits together cloud, mobile and social technologies to capture, share, consume and authenticate tribal knowledge. It can be used to create a social intranet, for content sharing and creating customer community. Features include a multimedia content engine, social engagement system, analytics dashboard, Q&A tool and intelligent search capability. The company line: “Software that connects people with information and knowledge.”

PeerIndex, an API solution, uses multiple social metric “scores” to connect brands or companies with the most relevant influencers throughout social media. The tools allow a company to access an extended profile view of influencers, understand their specific areas of influence and view a network of influencer relationships. Clients include Ford, Diet Coke, Samsung and Reebok.

1WorldOnline, a Silicon Valley-based startup, is a crowd-sourced research platform that seeks to determine what people really think on a variety of topics. The intent is to educate and influence users’ choices to give them informed choices instead of just asking questions.

ClipPickClipPick allows you to copy text or image from one device and paste it into another device instantly — phone, tablet and desktop. They claim it takes six steps in Evernote, seven steps in email and eight steps in DropBox. “We require two … So simple a caveman can use it.”

Whit.liWhit.li expects that social data (tweets, status updates, likes, etc.) will become the primary information resource for brands and companies. Whit.li’s goal is to make it easy for you to make sense of all that data — affordable, instantaneous, single-purpose apps to enlighten you. The platform works in the background to sift through your social media audience data. In the foreground, it presents market segmentation data that you can use immediately. They call it social segmentation.

LuminosoLuminoso’s dashboard claims to go beyond sentiment analysis to understand what your customers are saying to “discover actionable knowledge.” The firm’s API reportedly constructs models of language that enables computers to parse and communicate the meaning behind the words — determine the topic of an article, or how similar two different articles are, just from text. No coding required. They say it can detect spam, route support requests or discover natural topic hierarchies automatically. Its knowledge base search suggests that it can help you find what you’re looking for even when you don’t know the right keywords — and it minimizes worry about tagging everything perfectly. Other buzz phrases include, “machine learning to predictive analytics.” Developed from research at the MIT Media Lab, Luminoso “derives insights and conclusions that are critical to enlightened decision making.”

TopsyTopsy’s goal is to make searching and analyzing the social Web as easy as using Google. Topsy Pro Analytics claims to provide instant insights from the past minute, hour, month or year of Twitter posts. “With more than 1 billion social posts every three days, how do you separate noise from signal?” The company says its analytics can maximize the second screen conversation about your programming, and discover new trends and identify breaking news ahead of the competition. Clients include CNN, Twitter, CBS and The New York Times.

ShoutletShoutlet is a platform to scale and manage all of your social media efforts, including: social CRM; drag-and-drop design tools for Facebook apps, HTML5 pages and custom Web apps; social switchboard; social contests; social listening; social profile data acquisition and interest segmentation; and social analytics. Features include: response to customers on multiple Facebook, Twitter and YouTube presences with one consolidated system; consolidation of FourSquare management of hundreds of venues (your customers?); ability to pinpoint your most active fans; and collaborate with your team and colleagues.

A few tools that could be useful

MagtoappMagtoapp claims you can create mobile apps for your content in five easy steps — “no coding knowledge needed.” Import content in PDF or PNG format; add videos, audio tracks, slideshows, links or HTML frames; view and test; add branding information; go live in the app stores.

ToutTout offers up-to-the-minute video updates across news, sports, politics, entertainment and just about anything that moves you. You can find, watch and follow your favorite news sources, sports teams and more. You can also create and share your own short video touts to Tout.com, Twitter, Pinterest or your own website.

wevideoWeVideo claims to be “video editing for everyone.” If Avid, Final Cut Pro or iMovie don’t float your boat (or are too expensive), you might give this a try. Advertised features include: works in any browser; three modes from novice to expert; hub for collaboration; embeds into other websites; customizable; and plug-in cloud connectors for storage and export.

FlittoFlitto is a free app that translates content — social media feeds, travel information and more.

Brian Steffens  
 
Director of Communications



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