Social media are widely used as communications tools and a way to create a community, but they are finding uses for other tasks as well, and content delivery is one of those. In fact, as Barbara Fullerton, Manager of Library Relations at 10-K Wizard, said, they are becoming the wave of the future for companies and their products. Most social media systems have search engines, but they have somewhat different capabilities and differing interfaces than we are used to seeing in conventional search engines. And their advanced search features may require the payment of fees. Many of the search engines are time consuming to use because of complex interfaces. Nevertheless, social media systems have firmly established a market niche for themselves and are useful for finding information on individuals, emerging trends, and rumors. Several advanced tools offer repackaging capabilities for creating reports. Here are some of those:
Barbara, Ellen Naylor, and Donna Fryer demonstrated some of the advanced searching and repackaging features of a number of systems:
- Filtrbox has advanced capabilities, such as sorting and ranking search results by a number of criteria, and even by the sentiment (positive or negative) expressed by the author.
- Radian6 can filter, weight, and tag results. Results can be displayed as “conversation clouds” showing the most prominent terms in the posts. Graphs of statistics showing highly posted terms can be generated. The “sphere of influence” of the poster (the other social media to which he/she belongs) can be displayed.
- AttaainCI is for competitive analysis and can search and analyze results from Hoover’s profiles, blogs, and other social media. It also provides current awareness snapshots of latest activities, people, and business profiles on a desired subject
- The Social Studies Group sets up customized searches for a customer and can brand it to a group. It searches millions of blogs, Facebook posts, and more.
- RiskIQ focuses on security, branding threats, data loss prevention and searches over 90 million blogs, wikis, and other social media and can generate reports containing both raw and customized or analyzed data for clients.
Although most of these services are not free to use, if you need information from social media, the cost may be well worth paying. One thing you get for your fee is access to extensive customer services that help their users set up their projects. Of course, free trials are also available, so I’m looking forward to experimenting with these very interesting services.
Columnist, Information Today, and IL 2009 Blog Coordinator