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Shawn Hessinger
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Hope everyone will join us for our live chat tomorrow...
Shawn Hessinger   8/17/2011 11:43:19 PM
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Thanks everybody for the great conversation on this topic. Hope everyone will join us for our live chat on social media analytics tomorrow Thursday Aug. 18 at 2 p.m. ET including a more detailed discussion with Joe and Pierre. See you then!

Shawn Hessinger
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Re: Can we really read minds?
Shawn Hessinger   8/11/2011 9:21:25 PM
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Joe,

I agree with what you're saying in theory, Joe, and all I would come back with is that the handful of samples I've seen are dealing with much simpler sentiments, calmness in the case of the hedge fund we talked about for example in our earlier conversation. It seems to me that when we get predictive about differentiation (which brand I prefer, what movie I will see, who I will elect president) we are getting into a much more complex area. I think I'll need to be sold on the idea that such preferences can be predicted by analyzing the sentiment of a 140 character tweet.

Joe Stanganelli
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Re: Can we really read minds?
Joe Stanganelli   8/11/2011 4:06:58 PM
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Hi, Beth and Shawn.

The "near-psychic" element I'm talking about here isn't so much about reading minds (as Shawn puts it) as it is about predicting the future.

One example of a practical use (off the top of my head): Let's say you know (i.e., through linguistic sentiment analysis) which brand is probably going to do best in a particularly busy upcoming shopping season (say, the weekend after Thanksgiving), or which movie is probably going to perform best on an upcoming opening weekend.  That can tell you what people are interested in and where you should focus both your marketing and PR efforts as well as your development efforts (to stay competitive).

If you know, within a reasonable degree of likelihood, that a particular event is going to happen... well, there's almost always SOME way to make money off of it.  With enough ingenuity, it's not hard to capitalize on that information.


BethSchultz
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Re: Can we really read minds?
BethSchultz   8/11/2011 1:31:48 PM
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Shawn, I'm with you on this one. I love the idea, but not convinced of the practical use of sentiment analysis yet -- good for the university research crowd today but not much beyond that for  a bit. 

Shawn Hessinger
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Can we really read minds?
Shawn Hessinger   8/11/2011 1:13:29 PM
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I just don't know what to make of this, Joe, though I know you and I have e-mailed back and forth a bit on the topic. As a guy with social media experience and the person primarily responsible for building community here at AllAnalytics.com, I'm a big believer in the power of social media. I've seen it work in communities I have helped build. On the other hand, knowing as I do the number of people out there with multiple accounts (not to mention ulterior motives for the things they post on those accounts), it's a bit hard to believe that what is being posted can be taken at what seems to be face value. If the idea here is to read the mood regardless of the intentions of the people doing the communicating (like a lie detector reads indicators the subject may not be able to control) then I suppose there may be merit to the technique. But even so, I question, as does Pierre, whether our current level of sophistication really permits it.  



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