Blog-Spotting With IBM

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Corporate leaders who ignore what bloggers are saying
about them and their businesses could have serious consequences.

IBM today introduced new software that monitors and
analyzes blogs, wikis , news feeds, consumer review sites,
newsgroups and other community-generated content to keep tabs on their
image.

The Public Image Monitoring Solution is a response to two developments,
Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM’s vice president of technology strategy and
innovation, said at a news conference at the company’s research offices
here.

First is a shift of the source of Web content. In the early days of the Web,
most online information was created by businesses, governments and
universities because they could pay for servers, storage and content-
creation applications.

“The last few years we’ve seen a dramatic change in that,” Wladawsky-Berger
said, noting how easy and inexpensive it is to publish online content.
“Now, over 50 percent of information on the Web are coming from
individuals.”

At the same time, search has grown up.

“If it wasn’t for search you could have all the information out there on
everything and you couldn’t find a damn thing,” Wladawsky-Berger said.

Not only is there more information out there, but it is being used by
consumers and businesses to make buying decisions.

“People can share and spread opinions faster than ever before and that’s
accelerated the impact of public opinion on businesses,” Marc Andrews, head of IBM’s strategy and business development of information integration, said.

IBM’s Public Image Monitoring Solution is based on WebSphere Information
Integrator OmniFind Edition. It uses the company’s text analytics and
semantic search technology from its research and consulting divisions.

The Armonk, N.Y., IT giant also went outside for some components. It uses
Nstein Technologies’ multilingual text analytics and news feeds and
published articles from Factiva.

The offering assesses the tone of blogs and posts: positive, negative or
neutral. It also identifies hot topics of discussion. For example, using
the software to look at a particular make and model car would return
content about fuel economy, roominess and safety.

Public Image Monitoring Solution is currently available from IBM and Nstein.
IBM WebSphere Information Integrator OmniFind version 8.3 is expected to be
available later this year.

In addition to this offering, IBM is working on other hot social networking technologies, such as using blogs and wikis to help managers
share information and pull in links to Web sources to solve business
problems, the company said.

To be sure, IBM will be using Public Image Monitoring Solution to see how
early adopters react.

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