Tuesday, December 19, 2006

News to use: quantifying the online chatter

Last night I attended a Drupal meetup at the Science Club where Development Seed (the firm at the Act for Healthy Rivers helm) unveiled a team aggregator approach to quantifying the online chatter.

Following on The Cluetrain Manifesto’s market of conversations theme, Development Seed announced that they’ve finished the beta work on "Managing News"—a new tool that allows organizations to track, manage, analyze, and act on news.

Don’t understand? It took me a few rounds to follow the thought process, but think of it as a clipping service on steroids. Though conversations are already happening online about our work, it’s our choice whether or not we choose to have a seat at the table. The team aggregator approach allows an entire team to monitor news together.

Sponsored by the World Bank and World Resources Institute, “Managing News” appears to not only allow team members to capture the conversation as it’s happening, but process the information as it comes in and act on it appropriately. So, it's a communication as well as an outreach tool.

Though there seems to be greater significance for politics and international companies/large NGOs, there’s importance for even us as a relatively small, niche environmental non-profit.

Currently, I believe our press secretary searches Google, Yahoo! News, and Lexis Nexis for the latest organization news, but not the online chatter (hope to work on that in the near future). If Time’s person of the year is in fact you, shouldn’t we be listening to the “yous” out there?

For our work, I think it would behoove us to know bloggers as well as folks making videos, recording podcasts, and taking photos on or about rivers. If Time magazine is on the mark, quantifying as well as acting on the online chatter will inevitably allow us to strengthen our message: healthy rivers, healthy communities.

1 comment:

Serena said...

It seriously disturbs me that I find this cool.