The Digital Nervous System

The web can function like a giant extension of the human nervous system. Like a spider at the center of a giant global web, you can collect and observe streams of data coming from all over the digital expanse: searches, tweets, forums, blogs, newspaper and magazine sites, press releases, Facebook and LinkedIn. Each time someone looks for or mentions your company or your product you are alerted, and you can choose in that moment to respond to it, ignore it or wait until you have more information.

Does this sound like anything you are doing now? Someone should be doing this for your company, because marketing has increasingly become an ongoing series of conversations (whether you participate in the conversation or not).

EXPERIMENT: DETECTING INSTANT RESPONSE TO MEDIA WITH THE INTERNET

There are several national TV shows that frequently have book authors as guests (the Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Today Show, Good Morning America). The next time you find yourself in front of one of these shows when an author is on plugging their book, try the following experiment (this will work best with a show with a national audience):

1. Fire up your laptop and go to amazon.com
2. Search in the Books category for the title of the book the author is plugging on the show you are watching
3. Click to the Amazon page for that book.
4. Scroll down past the synopsis and the reviews to the section labelled Product Details. It should look something like this:

The number I have circled is the book’s current sales rank on Amazon.

5. Every few minutes while the author is on the show and for a while after that (until you bore of this experiment), hit function key f5 to refresh the page and watch what happens to the book’s sales ranking.

The rank should get better – in real time – as you are sitting there. I have done this several times when my brother-in-law has done TV appearances to promote his books, and it is amazing. Once he was on Oprah Winfrey and we saw the sales rank improve precipitously from 20-something into the top 10 while he was being interviewed.

Now imagine all the other analogous information streams there are available on the internet. If you could get the monitoring automated, just think of how quickly you will know exactly what the world thinks of your new site, your new ad campaign, your new product. Just think of what you’d be missing by NOT knowing.

EXTRA CREDIT EXPERIMENT #1 – THE TWITTER BUMP

In between rank checks you should do check in on Twitter searches for the author’s name and the book’s name. These should also pop during the author’s TV appearance.

EXTRA CREDIT EXPERIMENT #2 – THE GOOGLE BUMP

After a day or so you should go to Google Trends and see what happened to searches for the author’s name and the book’s name. These should’ve spiked on the day the author did the TV appearance. Google Trends doesn’t provide much flexibility about getting more granular (in time) data in a more real-time way, and it looks like the beta for Google Insights for Search has a latency of a couple of days.

GOOGLE EPIDEMIOLOGY – WHO KNEW THEY COULD DO THAT?

Take a look at the Google Flutrends project (http://www.google.org/flutrends) and you can see what an amazingly useful datasource this would be with access to the full detail in realtime. It turns out that counting Google searches for flu information is a quicker detector of flu epidemics than CDC reports are.

I believe it would be just as accurate in detecting other kinds of contagion sweeping through the world: fads, emerging trends, scares, rumors, accidents, disasters – this is the kind of information that businesses need to know when it involves their products, their brands, or their markets.

70 Responses to “The Digital Nervous System”

  1. antique cheval mirror Says:

    Considerably, the article is really the finest on that worthw hile topic. I concur with your conclusions and also will certainly eagerly look forward to your approaching updates. Saying thanks can not just be enough, for the exceptional clarity in your writing. I can at once grab your rss feed to stay informed of any kind of updates. Genuine work and much success in your business dealings!


  2. Phil Villescas Says:

    Man you are a freak. SICK article


  3. social networking software reviews Says:

    I have been doing my homework on these social bookmarking sites and what the best ROI is with regards to 2010s top social bookmarking software.


  4. Worker Says:

    Greatings, Interesante, no va a continuar con este artнculo?
    Gracias

    Worker


  5. Promocja w Internecie Says:

    it was very interesting to read. I want to quote your post in my blog. It can? And you have an account on Twitter?


  6. Thalia Villacis Says:

    Hi there, I discovered your website via Google whilst trying to find a related topic, your site came up, it looks excellent. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.


  7. http://4mo.info/story.php?title=www-doctorhealy-com Says:

    none is greater…

    I saw this really great post today….


  8. stock trading tutorial Says:

    stock trading tutorial…

    […]The Digital Nervous System | Practical Marketing Analytics[…]…


  9. Seating Set Says:

    Hey there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!


  10. heartburn Says:

    I have been browsing on-line more than three
    hours today, yet I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It is beautiful worth enough for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made
    excellent content material as you probably did, the web will be a lot more helpful than ever before.


  11. Issac Maez Says:

    I just want to tell you that I’m very new to blogging and site-building and seriously liked you’re blog. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You actually have beneficial well written articles. Many thanks for sharing with us your web site.


  12. Heather Says:

    Where did you actually acquire the points to post ““The Digital Nervous System | Practical Marketing Analytics”?

    Regards ,Norman


  13. admin Says:

    This all came from personal experience. Some member of my family are in the book publishing business.


  14. Aaron Says:

    I think this is one оof the most vital info for me. And i am glad reading
    your аrticle. Βut want tο remark on few genesral things,
    The ωebsite style is perfect, the artiсles is
    really great : D. Good job, cheers


  15. the seo den Says:

    Admiring the time and effort you put into your
    website and detailed information you present.

    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the
    same unwanted rehashed material. Great read!
    I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.


  16. photoshop tutorials cs6 Says:

    Great post.


  17. get insanity Says:

    We absolutely love your blog and find most of your
    post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content in your case?
    I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on a number
    of the subjects you write related to here.
    Again, awesome web log!


  18. Marisol Says:

    I appreciate how all of your articles are invariably so reliable
    and to the point. Keep up the excellent work.
    I’m a huge enthusiast you have!


  19. right divorce Says:

    Howdy outstanding website! Does running a blog
    such as this require a great deal of work? I have very little expertise in programming but
    I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways,
    if you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off topic however I just wanted to ask.
    Cheers!

    Here is my weblog: right divorce


  20. admin Says:

    I am using a hosting system called page.ly that is build on WordPress. WordPress is a fairly easy-to-use and flexible system for building blogs and websites.


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Get Adobe Flash player