Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Monitoring and Measuring the Impact of Public Service Media Part Two: Addressing the Issues

In the last post I raised some of the ways that Public Service Media can support community through the Web. In this post I look at how Darwin’s Awareness Engine™ can help. First, I will look at data mining and awareness. The Awareness Engine™ collects Web events from both formal and informal sources, and correlates them with multi-dimensions to show occurring emerging patterns. The basic interface provides the user with the benefits in the “Awareness and Discovery in Action” section. The accumulation of this information provides a rich corpus for advanced trend analysis over time. Special reports and alerts can be customized and developed as needed to meet different levels of monitoring and analysis. Public Service Media programs can benefit from the measuring and monitoring of the evolution of a theme over time or dimension:

1. tracking and measuring the impact of the Public Service Media programs’ actions in the community and/or the broader Web

2. creating alerts based on significant variations within the designated themes of interest and/or controversial spikes

3. advancing analytics for pattern recognition and prediction

With these benefits, the Public Service Media programs have better awareness of critical themes to improve and mitigate their interaction within the community and the Web. Furthermore it provides them with better planning for subsequent and follow-up programs, which become more target-specific and identifiable.

The Awareness Engine™ can also help empower community leaders. Similarly to the Public Service Media team, the community leader/s can gain greater awareness from the technology. This access can generate more relevant content, but also engage more community leaders to participate as a valuable resource towards their community thanks to the Public Service Media. A key benefit is that the elevation of awareness will generate more content from the community, thus leaving the PSM neutral in the emergence of community issues. Our next post will cover an example of how Darwin’s Awareness Engine™ can uncover community Web activity before it hits the mainstream press.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monitoring and Measuring the Impact of Public Service Media Part One: Defining the Issues.

A new breed of dialogue amongst communities is possible with the Internet and Public Service Media can play an important role documenting and supporting this effort. This dialogue can be intentionally coordinated for a known purpose or it can emerge out of a shared event or awareness. These new conversations range from known issues, to emerging and ephemeral bursts that can reach a tipping point capable of having a positive or negative effect for the concerned community in question, but also into other supporting or antagonistic actors or communities. The recent effort by the Latino community organized through a Web site to sanction Lou Dobbs is a good example that I will explore in more depth in a later post.

Considering that the information used by a community for support or dialogue can be found in different sources, it is important to understand the core issues and needs of this community when using Web technologies. Given that some of its members might be active information and support providers, one must be aware that the relevant content for this community can emerge from anywhere. As such, it is important, before interfering with the community’s use of their Social Web, to take a baseline measurement of the current pulse within the known sources and those that are far reaching but correlated

Darwin Ecosystem provides a Web Discovery and Awareness Engine™ that collects information from formal and informal sources, and displays the emergence of themes within the targeted content that relates to the topics of interest. This approach does not depend on the search engines’ popularly page ranking, thus, importantly, it can display in near-real-time the emergence of a Web movement from fresh information across multiple sources on one screen without scrolling through pages of results. It is also not subject to manipulation by search engine optimization (SEO) experts. Furthermore, trends can be analyzed from the collected information to observe the progress of a theme and its associated topics (monitoring the pulse through time and the impact of an event on a community’s topic of interest).

Darwin’s Discovery and Awareness Engine™ provides valuable real-time information about the technology savvy level of the community, and other sources addressing them directly, or even related topics unbeknownst to them. These sources display, with Darwin, the themes of interest where the program team can target its attention and discover opportunities for actions and/or further inquiries.

Awareness and discovery are cognitive and intimate processes that are best experienced by a user facing recognizable information that might validate his/her perception, or capture the attention when unexpected information is observed in a familiar context.

Public Service Media program can benefit from:

1. identifying key sources and Web-active community members

2. targeting investigative reporting

3. engaging communities in constructive interaction

4. observing the dynamics of leading theme over time

5. observing the impact of Public Service Media actions of the communities

With these benefits, the Public Service Media programs become a catalyst for community empowerment, thus accelerating a successful social integration whilst monitoring and mitigating the risk of extreme movements and stereotypes. In my next post I will look at some of the ways that the Darwin Awareness Engine™ can address these issues.