Brands for the Chattering Masses from the New York Times covers a search
engine most people can’t afford, the "buzz" search that
Nielsen BuzzMetrics operates,
along with those from others. The idea is that these services can scan what’s
being posted on the web, in blogs and elsewhere, and generate buzz reports for
Personally, I’ve been pretty dubious of the attention that goes into buzz
reporting tools like these, wondering if they aren’t going to be too heavily
skewed by what "influencers" are writing about rather than actual opinion. It’s
useful to know what the influences are saying. They can, after all, have an
influence. But they can also be wide of the mark of popular opinion.
One thing is certain. I’ve seen these types of services come over the years,
back from when tracking buzz was just monitoring rankings in search engines.
It’s much easier and potentially profitable to do the reporting than to dive
deep and do the fix. IE, who doesn’t want to be the firm that says you’ve got a
problem but isn’t required to fix it?
My advice to those paying for such services is not to be cheap when it comes
to solutions. Don’t spend $20,000 to $500,000 tracking your buzz then balk at
paying anything near that amount for a search or internet marketer to help you.
Oh — and try not to be a sucky company that gets bad buzz in the first place!
To be more positive, I do think there’s lots that can be gleaned from search
and buzz intelligence. Watching the trends in places like
Yahoo Buzz or
Google Trends or BuzzMetrics’ own
BlogPulse, to name
only a few examples, can provide a ton of market intelligence for any company.