There is hardly a person who would be surprised at online mass media monitoring; the first such systems emerged as early as in the distant 20th century. However the web has been developing at a terrific speed, and now online monitoring services allow meeting a wider range of challenges. One challenge is to monitor comments to articles.

Why is it important to track comments?

While commentators value more their reputation, say, on forums, in blog services or in social webs knowing about a possible ban or trasuring their relations with online friends, users are more emotional, categorical and frank to comment on articles hiding behind a nickname.

The analysis of comments is a rich source of insights. Apart from commentators’ frankness, important factors also include an occasionally large size of the “focus group” and a “brainstorm” effect.

A level of comment of an article is used as one of the efficiency factors considered by PR specialists and shows that this or that author or blogger is promising.

Interview-like discussions with your company’s or a competitor’s director are a good source of what market participants do sincerely think about your company and its chief executive.

For those who run blogs, corporate pages in social webs, as well as for PR specialists a high level of comment of an article is a factor that helps rapidly find the most stirring topics.

For production and service companies comments to articles mentioning their products or products of their competitors are a feedback which helps correct a promotion strategy and improve products.

Always well informed

Monitoring of comments to a particular article can be done manually, but such approach suits more to one’s own platforms (blog, web site), which you fully control. If you need to track comments to a lot of articles on various resources, or if you don’t want to miss any comment on your platforms, then you cannot do without an automated system.

SemanticForce is a monitoring system which allows monitoring comments in online mass media. The system supports a limited number of mass media with a possibility to extend and connect almost an unlimited number of extra sources. Technically it is quite a nontrivial challenge, because every site of mass media on the Web is designed in its own way, and to find a “key” to open its doors is an individual challenge which we successfully manage to meet.

Tastes differ

From our experience, there usually exist 1-10 sources in online mass media for a particular brand, which give comments relevant to the company. It’s important to determine them.

As a matter of fact, comments often develop into reviews, and an article about Samsung’s new model can cause other models of the same manufacturer or models of other manufacturers to be criticized or praised.

At the same time, it can occur on any resource that an article on a company’s new positive launch can grow into a sweeping criticism and discussion of weaknesses of products, and that sometimes requires urgent interference.

There is a small example of how NOT to use comments: an author on Techcrunch was addressed in comments by his mom asking him to call her. Is it a perfect way to communicate with relatives perhaps? The artcile about that funny occasion obtained over fifty comments, including one from the heroine of the occasion who has written that her son did call her.

Tatiana Blokhina
Account Executive