Posted on September 30, 2014 by Jonah Bliss

Content Discovery – Distinguishing Signal from the Noise

The current state of content is sort of like the Rime of the Ancient Marinerwater, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink – we’re drowning in a sea of content, and yet finding stories that are actually good and compelling can be a never-ending chore.

That said, finding great content is more important than ever. Your social media and content channels require a constant drip of great information to keep your audience informed, entertained, and engaged. Whether you’re resharing great stories by people friendly to your brand or merely looking for good topics to add your own take on, it’s incredibly vital to have a fresh stream of great content.

Yesterday’s Approach – Many Sources, Lots of Headaches

Look Familiar?

Look Familiar?

If you’re like many marketers struggling to keep up with content, you use an amazing array of sources to see what’s new. You have a Hootsuite search for all your preferred industry hashtags. You get Google Alerts on your brand keywords. Your inbox is overflowing with industry newsletters and your RSS reader has a queue of 1,000 unread articles. But as soon as you start digging into any one of these sources, you’re overwhelmed by junk.

Your first instinct is to blame authors and social media users for this noisy mess, but it actually comes down to an issue with the tools you’re using. These programs are great at many things, but prioritizing what’s meaningful to you on a given theme is not one of them. They’re not thinking and filtering, they’re merely showing you everything, with today’s latest junk showing up ahead of yesterday’s rubbish.

Content Discovery with Appinions

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At Appinions, we’ve created a way to see exactly which topics and articles are resonating with your audience and market. Our patented natural language processing algorithms identify only the content that matches your custom-defined topic, and then ranks and prioritizes it before giving you four different ways to browse fresh content every day:

  • By Influence: Want the good stuff quickly? One click gives you a prioritized list of the 100 most influential articles and post for your custom topic over in the last 24-hours, 7-days, or 30 days.
  • By Influencer: Like to see what the market leaders are saying? Appinions ranks the most influential people and organizations in your market space and generates a stream of content from or about each of them.
  • By Theme: Get yourself in on the hottest conversations. Simply browse the list of themes, hashtags, and mentions that have received the most influential reactions, and click to see the full stream of content driving any of them.
  • By Source: Find out exactly how key publications are talking about your market. View up to 80 active publishers who have delivered content from or about the top influencers and click through to summaries or full-text articles.

All of a sudden, content discovery isn’t a manual, super time-consuming process. Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping that you’ll see the best content, Appinions automatically prioritizes those top stories and delivers them to the top of your stream.

Appinions in Action – Big Data

Let’s take a look at how this might look if you are a firm operating in a very hot space – big data. With a lot of players and a lot of promotion, you need to source the very best content to stand out from the crowd.

If you want a quick-win right away, you can take a look at the Most Influential Opinions section, where the top thoughts from the best articles immediately bubble to the head.

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You may also have certain thought leaders you want to catch up with, either based on the top influencers identified by our software, or your own choices built into a watch list.

Nick Heudecker, an analyst, is the second most influential person on Big Data. Without Appinions, checking up on his latest thoughts means searching for a dizzying array of sources – his Twitter and Google Plus, any blogs or websites he owns, and even then you’ll still miss anything he may have published in a newspaper. Appinions puts this all in front of your fingers, on one easy screen.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 6.01.49 PMBetter yet, let’s see exactly what the entire Big Data market is talking about, so we can figure out what sort of stories we need to create to engage an audience of potential buyers.

On the Themes section, we see a number of concepts being discussed, some obvious but some that you might not have thought of. Diving into one of the more interesting option – Wearable Technology – we can see both the top opinions being said, and the individual authors / influencers discussing it.

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Another great option is viewing by Source. So, if you have a preferred publication, you can see their best, most relevant posts, without having to filter through the rest of their unrelated updates. Experienced content marketers will find this option even more helpful, as it can be informative when buying native ad units. Now you’ll know which site is the best fit for your sponsored content.

The More You Know

Having all this information at the tip of your fingers is incredibly useful. Not only do you save tremendous amounts of time and energy, you no longer have to rely on serendipity to find the best content, or see new trends emerging. Instead, you get the latest and greatest information, from all sources, in one place. You can smartly inform your content strategies, beat competitors to owning new trends, and keep tabs on everyone you care about. All of a sudden, you’ve taken the guesswork out of content!

Want to see how Appinions can do this for your brand? Schedule a chat with us today.

Posted on September 19, 2014 by Jonah Bliss

Social Media Had The Ayes, But Scotland Went To The Nos

Now that the results are in – we can see that after a historic vote, Scotland has decided to remain a part of the United Kingdom. This presents us a unique opportunity to analyze this contentious debate, and deduce which factors influenced voters and pundits for each side.

The “Yes” campaign made an impressive late push on social media, but our Appinions data showed that this was not enough to overtake the “No” advocates, who did a compelling job of securing influential endorsements from major newspapers and respected third parties.

The Appinions platform gathers data from news, blogs, and social media sources, identifies opinions and reactions, and then uses a proprietary algorithm to score and rank the opinion holders. On the topic of Scottish Independence, the ‘No’ voices were overall more influential and earned higher scores.

News Versus Social – Different Formats, Different Impact

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More than any topic we’ve seen before, our data is showing a huge disparity in the volume versus the impact of various data sources: social media is contributing a huge 71.2% percent of all influential opinions, but its impact on the results is just 29%. Opinions coming from traditional news sources are driving a mere 16% of the volume but are having an outsized 59.6% impact on results. In other words, an opinion in the news is over nine times (9X) more valuable than one in social media.

This isn’t always the case. In fact, this type of disparity between volume and impact is extremely rare. It’s happening because the heavy hitters – editorial boards, leading politicians, and major corporations like the Royal Bank of Scotland – are voicing their opinions via the news outlets and individuals without a lot of historical influence are driving the views on social channels like Twitter and Facebook. Obviously major publications always have ‘bigger name’ writers than your average social media post, but the relative weightings we’re seeing here for the channels overall are 2X more dramatic than what we see in other large social issues with a high volume of social traffic.

There have been many issues over the past few years where the ‘voice of the people’ enabled by social media has swayed opinion and even public policy – but in this case it appears that the concerted efforts of the major newspapers were able to overwhelm the thousands of “little people” on social media.

News Says ‘No’

The big push by the newspapers paid dividends for the “No” campaign. The majority of the UK and Scotland’s respected papers have come out on the side of “No” – Scotland’s Sunday Post, as well as the Daily Mail, the Guardian, and more. While newspapers may not have the monopoly on information they once did, in this case their voices carried.

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Paul Krugman’s Influence on Scottish Independence

Additionally, many respected economists weighed in, again mostly on the side of “No.” A think-piece by Paul Krugman was especially influential, placing him on the top 10 list at the time of publication.

Many have framed this issue as a toss up between Scotland’s head and heart (for the “No” and “Yes” votes respectively) and thus few respected thinkers, outside of the Scottish political parties that would gain power from independence, have voiced their favor for independence. The only major exception to the rule is the Herald Scotland, but by voicing their editorial opinion months ago back in May, they diminished their influence as newer thinkers overtook them in the debate.

Social Media Votes ‘Yes’

Conversely, the pro-independence campaign managed to win the hearts of social media, with their primary @YesScotland account having more than double the followers of @UK_Together – the primary voice of those against the referendum.

But who are the people tweeting and retweeting on behalf of Yes? It appears that an issue this dear to them caused almost anyone with an inclination towards disunion to voice their thoughts on Twitter, meaning that the vast majority of said opinion holders are not very influential. A perusal through our tweet archive showed the bulk of those tweeting for ‘Yes’ have few Twitter followers and a sparse history of status updates. While those facts do not weigh in our scoring, a lack of recurring ability to generate reactions does – and it’s rare for people with small audiences to incite reactions over time.

In this case, social media won the volume game, but not the influence game. It doesn’t have to be this way. In other cases – the recent shooting in Ferguson, MO for example – social media drove both the volume and the influence. There was something keenly different about this discussion, and the Appinions platform correctly measured where the influence was concentrated and having an impact.

For more details on our measurement of the vote for Scottish Independence, and a number of other social and technology topics, visit our new Data Journalism site.

Posted on September 13, 2014 by appinions

Product Launch Results: Apple Watch

In the previous post we examined the reaction to Apple’s iPhone 6 launch, so now let’s look how the world is reaction to the wearable computing device formerly known as iWatch.

AppleWatchSmallPrior to Tuesday Sept 9th, the iWatch was holding relatively steady with a Net Influence Score of around 9,000. It had actually been trending down in conversation until just before the invitations for the 9/9 event went out, at which time it became open season on speculation.

The influence score rose from 9,786 when the postage was applied to the invitations, to 15,534 when butts finally hit seats in the Flint Center. That nearly 50% increase is amazing for the announcement of a product announcement (and in fact there wasn’t even confirmation that iWatch would be announced.) Our scoring algorithms take into account who held an opinion or reacted to it, where the opinion is published, and the total number of different people who react to any given opinion. By Friday Sept 12, the quantity and quality of influential discussion has exploded the influence score by 300% to 39,668 – and it’s still rising.

As we saw in the previous post, increasing the score by 30,000 is an impressive product launch, beyond what most companies can expect to achieve. Obviously the anticipation, coverage, and significance of the Apple Watch is unusual.

Moto360Just a week early, Motorola took the wraps of the Moto360 smart watch. Starting with a score of 2,973 the day before the launch, and hitting a score of 5,609 before the Apple Watch announce gave it another push to it’s current 6,370 (as this is written on 9/13). So in a week and a half the Moto360 managed a score increase of 1/10th of what the Apple Watch got in 3 days. Those are hard numbers that clearly rate the impact these two products have had in the marketplace of attention.

If we zoom out a bit and look at the entire market of Smart Watches, we see the iWatch effect even more clearly. This group includes all the generic terms for smart watch and most of the brand name products currently discussed or shipping. And we see that the entire market was relatively flat until the Apple announce invitations went out and then the actual launch event drove a huge spike that’s still ascending. With a 35,000 point increase and climbing it’s fair to say Apple has legitimized this marketplace – it’s unlikely those scores will drop back to the 15,000 level for a very long time, if ever.


More Smart Watch Influence Data Including Live Daily Updates

Appinions published an Smart Watch Industry Influence Study four months ago, which includes ranked lists of the most influential companies, executives, themes, and more. It’s available online for viewing or download.

We also maintain a full page of live smart watch data, updated every day, with tracking scores on industry influence, lists of the most influential people and organizations, a display of the top themes driving the current market conversation, and more. You can find it on our data journalism website.

Posted on September 13, 2014 by cdanuloff

Product Launch Results: iPhone 6

Announcing a new product is culmination of a huge investment of time, money, and energy. More importantly, the quality of that launch plays a big role in setting the course for the return on that investment; Does anyone pay attention? Does anyone react? Do they like it? Do the people who react spread the word?

SteveJobsIt’s fair to say that Steve Jobs set the modern standard for the product launch, turning Apple announcements into highly anticipated, broadly discussed, and widely covered events, with business and cultural footprints. Apple works hard to maintain the competitive advantage Steve created with these events, and this week held the most anticipated release since the passing of Mr. Jobs.

So how did they do?

Measuring Launch Results with Appinions

The Appinions Platform has a powerful and unique ability to measure the quantity and quality of attention captured by any topic or event. We process hundreds of millions of full text articles, identify opinions related to very specific topics, and algorithmically score the topic and the people holding and sharing these opinions. And our scores have an absolute value so not only can we show the change in influence/attention for a single brand or product, we can compare different brands or products and do so at different points in time.

This means we can measure the success of any product launch in both absolute and relative terms. So far, here’s what we’ve seen from the Apple iPhone 6 launch. (The Apple Watch is covered in a subsequent post.)

The iPhone 6 Launch

Here we see that after a period with relatively stable volume of discussion, influential attention to the iPhone 6 score grew by about about 6,400 (more than 50%) between July 20 and Sept 8 (with Net Influence Score rising from 10,114 to 16,500) and then spiked by 6,815 (above 40%) in two days to hit 23,315. From the steady base it had been at, the iPhone buildup and launch saw a rise of over 13,000.

Driving these scores during this timeframe, the volume of opinions we identified and scored grew 10X, from an average of about 1,000 per day up to nearly 10,000 on launch day, Sept 10th. Our scoring algorithms take into account who held an opinion or reacted to it, where the opinion is published, and the total number of different people who react to any given opinion. Apple launches such as this one show a company that has built a platform to get people talking and reacting, broadly and intensely.

If we extend our view beyond references specifically to the “iPhone 6″ and just look at the entire world of “iPhone” we see growth from about 50,000 to over 110,000 (a 55% increase) over a 3 day period. This is impressive in any case, and moreso for a topic that already has a high average daily score, which means there is already a large amount of conversation taking place.

Putting the iPhone 6 Launch in Perspective

How does a Net Influence Score of 109,600 for iPhone compare to the volume of attention the news, blogs, and social media of the world pays to other products and issues? Let’s compare iPhone to other technical and social issues that people are discussing by using peak scores from within the past 90 days.


Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 Launch

Let’s compare the iPhone’s performance this week to last week’s Samsung announcement of their Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge phones. Samsung phones had been holding in the 15,000 range for Net Influence Score (This includes all Samsung phones while the iPhone example above is only the iPhone 6) and after the Sept 2 announcement in 3 days the score rose almost 30%.

Clearly the launch got some attention, but in competitive terms we see over 5 times as much attention was paid to the iPhone launch than the launch from Samsung.

Since we have nearly simultaneous Apple and Samsung releases, it’s also interesting to compare these events in terms of where opinions originated. Below we see the 90-day summary of opinion sources, showing that Apple generated a lot more heat on social media (primarily Twitter) with over twice as much opinion by volume than Samsung.



Windows Phone / Nokia 930 Launch

Let’s look at what happened in terms of reaction when the latest Windows Phone, the Nokia 930 was unveiled on July 17 – we see a move from a 8,995 on July 15 to a peach of 13,804 on August 1st – a full two weeks later and a score increase of only about 4,000.

Recent Mobile Phone Launches

And for some perspective, below we look at the Net Influence Score, as measured by volume of influential opinions, for a few of the leading mobile phone manufacturer. We see not only has Apple a commanding lead over time, they created a much larger absolute and relative change via an extremely well orchestrated product launch.

What Happens Now?

Huge events get a lot of people talking and reacting, so we expect to see dramatic gains surrounding events like the Apple launch. But eventually attention turns to other matters. The time frame over which increased influence can be sustained, and the rate and level it falls back to, are parts of the measure of product launch success.

So it will be interesting to see how long the iPhone discussion lasts at these lofty levels or how quickly the huge buzz slows down . Given the built-in drama of the pre-order, shipping, unboxing, reviews, and out-of-stock situations that we’ll see in coming weeks, it seems fair to say that Apple has brilliantly engineered a system to keep their product at the center of a lot of conversation for much longer than most companies get out of a typical announcement. Time will tell.

Visit Our Full Apple & iPhone Live Tracking Page for More Details

If you’d like to follow the progress of Apple and their competitors in terms of the volume of influential conversation they’re generating in the market, visit our Apple iPhone page at where there are dynamic charts (updated daily) of Apple and iPhone influence scores, lists of top influencers and their key opinions, word clouds based on themes contained within these discussions and more.

Tracking and Improving Product Launch Performance with Appinions

Screenshot-TopicDetail-DPayments_150pxThe ability to track and score the quantity and quality of influential discussion surrounding any product introduction is only one way the Appinions platform helps marketers – in fact the scores and trend charts are only the beginning.

The platform lets marketers see exactly who is talking about or reacting to your product, what they said, and where they said it. This gives you the ability to see how different messages and events are performing, reach out to specific influencers or publications, manage resources and more. For a full demonstration and to discuss how your product launches can be more successful, please contact us.

Posted on September 3, 2014 by Jonah Bliss

3D Printing Goes Mainstream – New Influence Study

Appinions latest influence study, released today, looks at the 3D printing industry and finds a sector that’s rapidly maturing. A market that was only a year ago occupied by MIT whiz-kids and ambitious Kickstarters is now dominated by globally recognized brands like Autodesk, Amazon, Home Depot, and GE. They’re joined by industry stalwart Makerbot (recently acquired by Stratasys) to fill the “Ten Most Influential Companies” list.

Top Influencers

The biggest trend people are discussing is the rise of retail, or “print-on-demand,” whereby consumers can walk into a store to get their 3D creations printed, or do it via the internet and get their constructions shipped to them. This latter model, pioneered by Shapeways and Sculpteo, was validated by Amazon’s entry into the market. This made such an impact that Amazon’s Market Place Sales Director, Petra Schindler-Carter, was ranked as the #1 most influential executive in the report.

She was closely followed by Staples SVP Damien Leigh, who has worked to bring 3D printing to their own office supply stores. Taking a similar tack is Home Depot, whose partnership with Makerbot is bringing 3D printing to stores across the country, and secured them enough interest in the marketplace to secure the number 7 position.

Other major brands had an impact as well. Tech heavyweights GE and Intel scored well in the rankings, but Appinions’ research also showed notable influence for companies as varied as Best Buy, BMW, Airbus, Citibank, and more.


The new report is based on analysis of over 100 million news and blog articles as well as social media posts made between early May and late August. From this pool, Appinions identified over 25,000 opinions and reactions, and applied a proprietary scoring algorithm to generate influence scores. The scores take into account the history of the opinion holder, the location where the opinion or reaction was shared, and the volume of reactions a single opinion generates.

Read the full report, to learn more about the exciting trends affecting the 3D printing industry, here.

Posted on August 26, 2014 by Jonah Bliss

Smart Watches: Anticipation Runs High, But Product Launches Fizzle

Consumers have shown huge interest in the idea of a smart watch, but data shows that when a product actually comes on the market – it’s met with a tepid response.

In the Smart Watch Industry Influence Study Appinions released in May, we looked at the amount of attention generated by a number of smart watch product announcements and rumors. Since then, several of those products have shipped, so let’s use this opportunity to check back in and see what kind of impact these watches are having on the market.

As of May 9th, the ‘Net Influence Score’ for the smart watch market was just over 11,000 and declining. That score is calculated by summing the scores calculated for every individual influencer in the market by looking at the opinions they share, and reactions those opinions get, across news, blogs and social media.

Since then, the score rose dramatically to a high of just over 23,000 on July 4th, before falling back to it’s current position near 13,000.

To put that score into context, while smart watches was cresting around 23,000, the conversation surrounding another hot topic – digital payments – hit a nadir between 6,000 & 7,000, with people discussing bitcoins, crypto-currency, startups like Venmo, and more. Compare those numbers, and two other relevant topics, in our new influence comparison tool, below.

What’s Driving Influential Conversation in the Smart Watch Market?

So what drove a 100% increase in opinions and reaction about smart watches over the past 90 days? Our analysis shows that this growth is due more to influencers continued excitement about products that aren’t on the market (or are even mere speculation) and not the watches that Samsung and LG have since released for sale.

Smart watch net influence - with dot demarcating new data since the study's initial release

Smart watch net influence – with dot demarcating new data since the study’s initial release


Samsung & LG Swept Away

Back in March, Korean giants Samsung and LG both registered huge gains when they announced their latest watches; their scores increased by 326 and 307 points respectively. But following the actual product introductions in June, Samsung saw only an 83 point score increase, while LG registered a miniscule growth of 67. In other words, the actual products did not cause people to share significant opinions or generate widespread reactions.  That’s not to say that these product releases didn’t inspire any discussion. Following these announcements, Google, whose Android Wear software is powering both devices, saw a 1095-point increase.  While the individual devices didn’t garner that much attention, (other than negative reviews) influencers continue to buzz about the “potential” that remains in Google’s smart watch platform. In fact, the overall influence for the entire industry is actually up since May, driven largely by Google, Apple, and small increases by bit the more marginal players. comparison

Apple’s Time To Shine

Diving into Apple’s continued rise in influence is even more telling. At the time Appinions published its report, they were the #2 most influential company in the sector, but since then they’ve claimed the top spot. And yet, they haven’t put a single watch on the market. In fact, rumors of an iWatch are no less speculative than they were in the Spring, and yet excitement continues to build. In fact, the volume and quality of influential conversation around Apple’s smart watch has almost doubled since May – while Samsung and LG shipped products and saw their scores drop. apple

Will Moto Clean The Competition’s Clock? 

moto-360-smartwatch-580-90The next test case will be Motorola, expected to release their Moto 360 watch this September. With a distinctive circular face, this watch is perhaps the industry’s best chance to buck the trend of underwhelming product launches. When they announced the product in March they garnered a massive 864 point jump in their influence score, representing over a 300% gain from their previous standing. Will people talk about, react to, comment on, and share opinions and reactions about the Moto 360 when it’s actually in their hands (or on their wrists)? We’ll let you know.  Or keep track yourself with our new LIVE smart watch influence tracking page. In the meantime, read our full Smart Watch Influence Study for a deeper look at this exciting industry.

Posted on August 22, 2014 by Jonah Bliss

Weekend Reads – Great Posts This Week – 8/22

Hopefully everyone out there in Internet-land had another great week! Let’s keep things short and sweet with the 3 best thought pieces that came out over the past few days.

Purpose-Driven Content Marketing – Ann Gynn, Content Marketing Institute

Some brands give and get, and others don’t. Read how certain companies infuse their content with a sense of purpose, and are all the better off for it.

The Hierarchy of Needs For Advocate Development – Dylan Foster, Influitive

This is a handy little infographic from our friends at Influitive that easily breaks down the steps into building brand advocates.

What Facebook Doesn’t Show You – Tim Herrera, Washington Post

Social media algorithms are the new gatekeepers. Tim Herra insightfully dives into the scary world of what Facebook decides to show us, and what they end up hiding.

Are there any great pieces we missed? Let us know by tweeting at us @Appinions

Posted on August 11, 2014 by Jonah Bliss

Startups Are Hot, but Who’s Fueling the Fire?

Startups are a perennially hot topic, and like anything popular it can be hard to separate the signal from the noise. Lots of people are talking about “startups,” and it seems just about any new business that launches today calls themselves one, even if their business has seemingly no technology behind it. With so much chatter going on, it can be hard to discern who is talking about real tech startups, as well as other important factors, such as which sectors are seeing lots of new business activity, as well as which cities are emerging as technology hubs. Thankfully, Appinions gives us unique insight into these vexing quandaries.

Startup Influencers

To start, let’s take a look at who’s influential on startups. A simple Google or Twitter search will generate an awful lot of noise, with a million people seemingly throwing the word “startup” (or worse, #startup) onto anything, whether it’s a new restaurant in Tucson or some vaguely positive “go for it!” truism.

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Using Appinions, we can get a much clearer picture, as you can tell from the list above. Breaking down the top individuals immediately shows something often glossed over in the tech press – the government’s ability to make or break a new business. Capping both ends with President Obama and the US Supreme Court, we’re reminded that the ability to sign laws carries more weight than the ability to type blogs.

Pres. Obama is constantly pushing for new businesses to succeed, and his campaigns across the country frequently include name dropping local businesses, such as this press-op at home in D.C., where he visited tech incubator 1776.

The Supreme Court has also been having a major impact on startups this summer, with a number of rulings dramatically affecting various tech businesses. Most notable was their ruling against Aereo, where they sided with broadcasters and ruled that Aereo’s product was infringing on their copyrights. This decision has reverberated far and wide in the startup ecosystem, with many pundits and VCs wondering aloud if the ruling could have unintended consequences for other cloud based services. Meanwhile, the court has also weighed in on important cases regarding patents, cell phones, and privacy.

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As you can see, the Supreme Court’s influence score on this subject has been very spikey, with jumps in influence coinciding with their major rulings.

Journalism’s Not Dead

Far less spikey is the influence of startup reporters, who are constantly surfacing and analyzing new companies and the groundbreaking technology behind them.

The majority of the other top influencers are tech journalists. Even more interesting is that most of those reporters worker for Business Insider, showing that they’re doing a great job pushing stories that resonate and get re-shared.

Diving into journalist Julie Bort’s profile, we can see that her influence on startups is remarkably consistent, as she constantly publishes on the topic, covering everything from women-led business, to robotics displacing workers, to the top startups emerging from the Middle East.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 11.37.07 AM It looks like in a field with as much interests as startups and technology, covering a wide array of related happenings is the best way to ensure your own success.

Location, Location, Location

Now that we know who’s reporting on startups, let’s see where the startup action is really occurring. Using Appinions’ Themes / Entities tool, we can see which locations are buzzing with the tech crowd.

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At first glance, this data seems to confirm what most people know about the tech sector – most of the American action is concentrated in the SF Bay, Boston, NYC, and LA. Dig a little deeper, though, and we start finding some unexpected locales as well. Singapore is well regarded as a hub for finance, but is there a startup scene starting to bubble up as well? Is Australia transitioning its resource economy to be more tech-centric?

Drilling in to Singapore, we can immediately get a sense of where their startup community is headed.

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Clicking through to these articles you can see that there’s a lot of excitement about a new venture fund being launched – Rakuten Ventures. This seems like it’s really playing to Singapore’s strengths; they’re building off their world-renowned finance economy, while partnering with a Japanese ecommerce company to bring in some more technical chops.

Apps, Accelerators, and An IPO

Singapore may be excited about a new venture fund, but which startup concepts have the whole world talking?

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 11.46.47 AMApps and accelerators immediately jump out as big concepts, so let’s see exactly which programs influencers are discussing.

Some apps making waves:

  • MonkeyParking – This parking spot finder started a commotion when San Francisco told them to stop auctioning off public spaces.
  • Stylect – This new ecom app is making waves as the “Tinder for shoes.”
  • Socialist – iPhone users are excited about this new heavily integrated list-building program.
  • OnTrees –This British finance tracker (think Mint for the Pound-crowd) has reviewers worried about privacy.
  • Latin America – Bigger than a single app, the continent is flexing its muscles with a slew of new mobile-centric releases.

Accelerators and incubators that are making an impact:

  • Kaplan EdTech – A new education focused fund created by well-known accelerator 500 Startups and Kaplan, the makers of test-prep materials.
  • Level39 – This British accelerator is making news for partnering with both Intel and Microsoft.
  • Rock Health – This accelerator’s founder is telling her story and trying to motivate more people to shake-up healthcare.
  • Bit Factory – The Midwest is trying to shake-off its old-fashioned image with this new Akron-based incubator.
  • Microsoft Ventures – MS is returning to its roots with a fresh Redmond-based accelerator.

Key Insights

 Data is fantastic, because it lets you cut through common misconceptions and biases. By analyzing what’s really going on in the world of startups, we can see that there’s so much more than the old stereotype that the only things new tech launches are iPhone games coming out of San Francisco.

As we saw, the whole world is contributing to the next tech revolution, from the Midwest to the Middle East. There’s so much more going on than mere time-killing distractions, with people innovating on fields like education, healthcare, shopping, and finance. Now that’s a tech revolution worth getting excited about.

Posted on August 8, 2014 by Jonah Bliss

Weekend Reads – Great Posts This Week – 8/8

Today is 8/8, so we’re going to give all you influence marketing followers eight interesting reads to cap off what was hopefully another great week.

New York Life Is a True Believer in Organic Content - Lauren Johnson, AdWeek

More great content marketing gospel, as marketers for this big insurance company share their sponsored content successes.

How I Raised My Klout Score From Less Than 18 to More Than 43 in Less Than 90 Days – Harmit Kamboe, Marketing Profs

The title of this article may be a bit of a mouthful, but it gets right to something we all know; some “influence” platforms are mere games, and aren’t usually that great to tell who’s truly a subject matter expert that people resonate with.

The Secret to JetBlue’s Awesome Social Engagement – Jason Keath, Socialfresh

Some companies are famous for their amazing social presences, and it’s hard to think of a better example than JetBlue. This helpful article breaks down how they’ve built the powerful team that’s the source of all their successes.

How Advertisers Used World War I to Sell, Sell, Sell – James Hughes, The Atlantic

This is a great photo-heavy article for any ad or history junkies out there. If you think ads are hammy now, just look at how bad they were a century ago.

The Top 14 Billion People You Should Definitely Do Something With List – Danny Brown, Danny Brown Blog

This is a bit tongue in cheek, but Danny Brown is right on the money as always. Some organizations are way too into making millions of lists of countless people for any given subject. Instead of looking at a list of the 100 loudest people on Twitter, your company needs to know exactly who’s the right fit for your brand. And chances are it’s not a nice even multiple of 50.

Resistance to Change and Surviving Content Shock – Mark Schaefer, Grow

This is some great, forward-thinking by Mark Schaefer. As more and more brands adopt content marketing, smart companies will need to think up strategies that differentiate themselves and keep them at the head of the pack.

Top 5 Companies for Autonomous Vehicle Technology – Bruce Kennedy, Benzinga

Bruce Kennedy provides a nice rundown of the top companies that came out of our recent Autonomous Cars Influence Report.

Appinions: The Who, What and Which of Influence Marketing – Douglas Karr, MarketingTechBlog

Doug Karr is always ahead of the curve with new marketing platforms, so we were thrilled to see that he likes all of Appinions’ new features. Give it a quick read to see the new tools that are letting our clients go even further.

Are there any great pieces we missed? Let us know by tweeting at us @Appinions

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