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Social Media Data: Where Do We Get It and How Fast?

As a social media monitoring and analytics company, one of the most frequently asked questions we get is “so what data do you collect and how fast do I get to see it?”  It’s a great question and critical since in business intelligence, or social intelligence as we are in, everything starts with the data.  Our data collection has kept us ahead of rest and powers our groundbreaking analytic capabilities like Topic Discovery and powerful engagement features in Visible Intelligence.

So let’s start with the first question, what do we collect?  We’ll start with the obvious answer:  social media data in over 50 languages.  Visible collects social media data from a massive list of known global social media sites and we have our own proprietary crawlers tools that discover and collect from sites that fit the format of social media content we are looking for.  Typically that means content that has an author, date, body, usually a title and most of the time a place for others to leave feedback and comments but there are always exceptions like Twitter.  The types of sites include blogs, forums, microblogs, social networks, review sites, video and photo sharing sites, wiki’s, social bookmarking, mainstream and news sites and much more.

When we collect our data we collect the full content of the post.  That means that in Visible Intelligence you’ll be able to read the whole blog, review or forum post, not just a snippet.  Of course we always provide a link so you can view it on the original website as well.  We collect millions upon millions of posts, tweets, status updates, bookmarks, etc.  every day from over 250 million blogs, over 6 million forums and the gamut of other social outlets.  Here’s some of the big sites we get asked if we collect from:

  • Twitter—yes we get it and we have the Firehose
  • Facebook—yes, statuses updates, wall posts and business pages too
  • Amazon.com and Amazon.uk—yes, all kinds of product reviews and community buzz too
  • Blog hosts like WordPress and LiveJournal, featured blogs, as well as little independent blogs
  • Forums like WebMD, BabyCenter, CNet, Xbox and Blackberry

Whew!  That’s a lot isn’t it?  So how fast do you get to see it?  The vast majority of our content is collected and processed in near-real time as possible giving you just enough time to take a sip of your hot coffee before getting back to work reading those nice tweets about your new widget!  And what about those posts that take a little longer?  In order to secure collection rights from a small segment of those harder-to-collect from sites, we have agreed to collect content slightly less frequently, usually a matter of hours, rather than seconds.  We think that’s a pretty fair trade in order to get some fairly exclusive content you probably won’t find elsewhere!

If you are interested in learning more or would like to see all of this data in action in the Visible Intelligence platform click here or sign up for a free trial here.  What social media data is most important to your business?

~Jackie Kmetz

Social Intelligence Crusader

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