SocialBro is a really useful app when it comes to analyzing your Twitter community, but until now it’s only been about people. Now the Spanish startup behind the app is taking a step towards offering a more well-rounded analytics product by presenting data about your tweets too.
The new Tweet Analytics feature is a little hidden in a UI that has arguably outgrown SocialBro’s featureset, but once you find it in the Tools menu, you’re presented with a graph that shows information about how your tweets have performed over time.You can see the relative popularity of each tweet in terms of the number of Favorites, retweets and replies each one got – the larger the circle representing a tweet, the more popular it was.
You can break the data down into tweets and replies, and you can adjust the date range covered. I noticed that only the past eight days’ worth of tweets was accurate, with a big chunk of data missing before that – although as this is a new service released today, I’d expect it to start logging the data more accurately from now on.
SocialBro is particularly aimed at businesses wanting to monitor their Twitter presence, and the introduction of analytics for tweets in addition to its strong suite of audience data tools certainly makes it a more attractive proposition in that regard. It follows the recent introduction of DM-based marketing campaigns to its toolset. However, its lack of profile in the face of well-established competition like Salesforce’s Radian6, Topsy and SocialBakers Analytics Pro is a challenge the company needs to tackle.
As the name suggests, the FixBoard is basically a dashboard of FixYa data. It shows, over time, the number of FixYa owners who reported a problem with a company product, the products that have the most reported problems, the most common problems, and how those numbers stack up against the competition.
Rather than just looking at individual questions or individual products, this dashboard provides brands with a much broader view of “what customers are saying,” said CEO Yaniv Bensadon. The data is specifically about activity on FixYa — it doesn’t tell companies about complaints on their own sites or own social media, for example. But Bensadon said FixYa itself has become a big community, with more than 30 million unique visitors per month and 9 million product questions answered total.
He added that even though FixYa has been profitable since 2009, the company is looking for ways beyond its existing ad model for brands to find (and pay for) value on the site. The FixBoard is currently free and available to everyone, but it only covers the top 1,000 brands on FixYa (out of 60,000 total). Eventually, Bensadon said he plans to release a “full-blown” version that companies will have to pay for, covering more brands and offering more detailed data.
I also asked whether any of those potential advertisers/future customers are going to be upset to see the number of customer complaints highlighted in one place and visible to the public.
“We don’t think so — in the same way that no one prevents anyone from going to Twitter and reading the tweets,” Bensadon said. “Now, after several years … brands understand the fact that some users are saying something bad about your brand. It cannot be prevented, and there are two things you can do about it as a brand. You can ignore it, or treat it as an opportunity to engage with your users.”
Finally we have an app that ends the age-old debate about whether or not the earth is getting warmer. The Just Science app has collated all the data from the last two centuries to determine the earth’s surface temperature. Developed by Novim, a research group from UC Santa Barbara, the Just Science app just won $20,000 from the American Clean Skies Foundation for improving our scientific knowledge about the world. As Novim Executive Director Michael Ditmore told me, the free Just Science app is the result of 18 months’ work in which his research team went all the way back to the year 1800 for data about the earth’s temperature.
So what’s the truth about global warming, I asked Ditmore. The earth is getting warmer, he confirmed, by around six tenth of a degree in the last 50 years. “Not spectacular, but significant,” Michael Ditmore reports on the findings of an app which, in my mind at least, is both spectacular and significant.
Read the rest here: Keen On… How One App Ends The Debate About Global Warming
If you’re attending Google I/O this week, you will be a part of an experiment from the Google Cloud Platform Developer Relations team. On its blog today, the team outlined its plan to gather a bunch of environmental information happening around you as you meander around the Moscone Center.
In the blog post, Michael Manoochehri, Developer Programs Engineer, outlines his team’s plan to place hundreds of Arduino-based environmental sensors around the conference space to track things like temperature, noise levels, humidity and air quality in real-time. This was spawned due to a fascination with wanting to know which areas of the conference were the most popular, so it will be interesting to see what the information the team gathers actually tells us.
At first glance, this seems a little bit creepy, but it’s no different than a venue adjusting the cooling system based on the temperature inside at any given moment. As with anything that Google does, this could have implications for tracking indoor events or businesses in the future, as Manoochehri shared:
Networked sensor technology is in the early stages of revolutionizing business logistics, city planning, and consumer products. We are looking forward to sharing the Data Sensing Lab with Google I/O attendees, because we want to show how using open hardware together with the Google Cloud Platform can make this technology accessible to anyone.
Notice the wrap-up of wanting to show people how open hardware combined with Google’s Cloud Platform benefits everyone. Ok, sure. What could data like this mean for businesses, though? Well, a clothing store would be able to track how many people came in and browsed, which areas of the store were hot-spots for interest and then figure out how their displays converted. It’s like real-world ad-tracking. It makes sense, but still seems a long way off.
What will be interesting is not each dataset that is collected, but what all of them tied together tell us about our surroundings:
Our motes will be able to detect fluctuations in noise level, and some will be attached to footstep counters, to understand collective movement around the conference floor.
Of course, none of this information is personally identifiable, but the thought of our collective steps, movements and other ambient output being turned into something usable by Google is intriguing to say the least…and yes, kind of creepy.
If this particular team can share all of the data it collects in an easy to digest way, then businesses will be clamoring to toss sensors all over their stores and drop the data on whatever cloud platform that will host it the cheapest. Google would like to be that platform.
During the event, the team will hold a workshop on what it calls the “Data Sensing Lab,” so if you’re interested on learning more about what the team is gathering as you walk around, this would be the place to go. You’ll also be able to see some of the real-time visualizations on screens set up throughout the conference floor.
We’ll be covering all of the action as we’re being covered by Google.
It seems like every other day an upstart wireless service provider inks a wholesale deal with someone like Sprint or T-Mobile and effectively sells access to those big carrier networks under a different banner. And every other day, I ignore most of them, because they’re just so damned boring.
Zact isn’t boring. In fact, Zact — an upstart service provider created by Andreessen Horowitz-backed ItsOn that uses Sprint’s network — has the best approach to wireless plans I’ve seen in a long time.
Consider this scenario: you’ve signed up with Zact (no contracts here) and chosen a plan, say, 500 minutes, 1,000 text messages, and 1GB of data. That plan’ll cost you just shy of $40, and once you’ve signed up, you use the plan just as you would any other.
At the end of the month though, it becomes apparent Zact’s approach flies in the face of how more traditional carriers handle billing. While carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and the like are happy to keep quiet and accept your money for minutes, messages, and data you haven’t even touched, Zact goes back and credits you the difference between what you’ve paid for and what you’ve used. Yes, these people are actually trying to build a business by giving your money back to you.
Now as neat as that is, that sort of no overage approach isn’t exactly new — MVNOs like Ting have been running with that model for over a year a now. Zact manages to take things a bit farther than Ting thanks to some interesting feature-centric plans for people who don’t need gobs and gobs of data each month because they only need to do a few things. Take Facebook for instance: Zact offers a $5/mo feature that offers unlimited access to the social network that bars users from using the data connection for anything else. After all, some people may never use their smartphone for anything else anyway, so why charge them for all the extra cruft? Mixing and matching features is certainly more work than what most carriers have us doing now, but I’d much rather have the option at least.
Users can also tweak those plans by way of some deeply-integrated Zact software with a surprising level of granularity at any point during the month, and those changes go into effect immediately — no chatting with customer service drones required. Those plans are intrinsically shareable too so if you and four friends can scrape by on 200 minutes a month, well, feel free. Getting close to your minute or message limits? You’ll be notified while you’re gabbing on the phone or when firing up the messaging app respectively.
Throw in some savvy, instant-on parental controls (you can remotely disable apps on other devices on the account if you’re an admin) and you’ve the makings of a very promising service. The folks Andreessen Horowitz and seem to agree, as they collectively pumped some $15 million into Zact parent company ItsOn last October.
Curiously, ItsOn’s ambitions extend beyond just running its own MVNO (except they really don’t like it when you call Zact the “m” word). CEO Greg Raleigh told TechCrunch that the cloud services that make those on-the-fly plan changes and suggestions possible has garnered ItsOn attention from carriers around the globe, a few of which can be found right here in the States. According to Raleigh, the vision isn’t so much about giving all those carriers a run for their money, it’s about getting them to adopt the same sort of granular approach to plans.
Ah, but there’s a catch (isn’t there always?). As a Sprint wholesaler, Zact only has access to two Android smartphones (well, three if you count a color variant) right now, and either of them are terribly eyecatching. Ting is a slightly more attractive option right now if only because of the wider array of hardware available, but I’ll be keeping my eyes on ItsOn and Zact — they’re definitely on to something here.
See the rest here: ItsOn’s New Zact Service Is Rewriting The Book On Wireless Plans