Is Automated Sentiment Analysis Reliable?

The New York Times takes a look at the developments in automated sentiment analysis. I was intrigued by one company’s analogy:

“This is a canary in a coal mine for us,” said John Whelan, StubHub’s director of customer service.

Which is about where I stand on automated sentiment analysis: it’s a blunt tool at best that’s still many years away from fulfilling its potential.

I’m not entirely against sentiment analysis–70% accuracy is better than 0%–but I continue to be concerned that businesses are lulled into a false sense of security by it. After all, would you walk into a coal mine with a bird that has a 30% chance of getting it wrong about dangerous gas levels? I know I wouldn’t.

Cup of Joe: Personal Branding is for Self Serving Egotistical Maniacs

EgotisticalAbout a week ago I asked Andy if I could be Marketing Pilgrim’s version of Paul Carr. He said “You can do a weekly editorial as long as you keep it clean.” I thought, “keep it clean? Well, I can try!” So, I put away my dirty magazines, grabbed a cup of coffee to sober up and began writing my first weekly Saturday editorial for Marketing Pilgrim! Stay tuned every Saturday as I share with you some of my crazy ideas and twisted thoughts on everything from internet marketing to social media!

Don’t let the title confuse you, I love Personal Branding & Online Reputation Management! Seriously, have you ever heard of another acceptable way to spend your time completely consumed in yourself? The truth is, I love myself so much that any activity that involves me optimizing my online image seems like second nature! Hell, even Andy agrees how awesome I am!

Facebook Gift Shop to Open to Developers, Sell Physical Goods

My gift to my husband is only a picture, but soon I might be able to send him a real one through FacebookWe’ve all seen Facebook’s virtual gift shop: for little to no money, you can send a friend a “gift”—an image to display on his/her profile. Though it often features deals and promotions with other brands, the gift shop app is owned and run by Facebook. But now the gift shop will be testing with developers and physical and virtual goods.

(Note: the physical and virtual goods are for sale, the developers are not.)

This move builds on Facebook’s currently-in-testing payments system. As Facebook confirmed to Inside Facebook, they’re currently testing the changes, which went live for a limited number of users Wednesday night. Four developers are participating in the test: American Greetings Interactive, GreetBeatz, Someecards, and Real Gifts.

Twitter: Bringing Down Hollywood Hype Machine?

Technology is speeding up our lives and our communications. And sometimes that’s a bad thing—you can’t float a check for a few days anymore, for example (allegedly, anyway. Who writes checks these days?). And now, Hollywood fears, you can’t overcome a crappy movie with a marketing blitz long enough to make it big at the box office.

Twitter Bird GoofyWord of mouth has always played a strong role in movie revenues—if your friends hated a movie, you’d be less likely to see it (and vice versa), right? But that influence was limited back in the olden days: only people you really knew would share their moviegoing opinions with you. That word spread slowly, one person at a time. Crappy movies could do well at the box office for weeks before enough people had seen them and told their friends about it.

Twitter to Go Commercial with Commercial Accounts

Twitter iconSince Twitter is getting itself back in the industry news with trademark travesties, DDoS attacks and some sideways competitive compliments it makes sense that the conversation turn to the R word: revenue.

No matter how much news Twitter generates the focus always returns to, and rightly so, how they plan to make money with the service. One of the options that are being discussed over at Digital Beat in an interview with none other than Biz Stone is the introduction of commercial level accounts that companies would – hold on to your seat here – pay for.

Co-founder Biz Stone said the company is in the first phase of rolling out commercial accounts that will entice business users to pay for premium services like detailed analytics. After that, the company might move into building business-oriented application programming interfaces, creating a “commercial layer” over the social network.

Microsoft & Yahoo Part of Coalition to Ruin Google’s Book Deal

First a quick history lesson. Google launches Google Print. The Authors Guild sues Google. Google reaches an agreement with the Authors Guild. The US Government takes a look, then takes another look.

Got all that?

OK, so now a "coalition" has been formed to make sure that the DoJ’s antitrust investigation gets all the "facts" that it needs. You’ll never guess who’s behind the coalition?

Wait, you guessed Microsoft and Yahoo! Drat, you’re good!

Then again, its hardly surprising that Microsoft and its bride-to-be want to stick their snouts firmly in any antitrust investigation of Google, is it? Apparently other entities may join the coalition, including Amazon and…

…Special Libraries Association, the New York Library Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors are planning to join the group.

Twitter Works to Improve Location ID Service

Twitter Bird GoofyAccording to a post on the Twitter blog there is some new activity around location capabilities of the service. At this point, the location information offered within the Twitter tool itself and the data that is supplied through an API, is spotty at best. Anytime you leave the data generation duties to the end user you have to expect that there may be some ‘inconsistencies’ and just plain bad data. While this does not happen across the board the risk does exist for a real GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) scenario.

Never fear, though, Biz is here! If you have any angst or concerns about Twitter not moving forward or living up to its hype, co-founder Biz Stone will fill you in on the Twitter blog. When Biz speaks, tweeters listen. Here’s some of what he had to say about new efforts underway to make the location options of Twitter better.