AUDIO: The Twitter Predictor Earns Patent

February 20, 2013 by · Comments Off on AUDIO: The Twitter Predictor Earns Patent 

Twitter analysis

Are you using Twitter to help promote your campground? Do you wonder about the impact or potential of this social medium? Click here to listen to a brief audio interview with Johan Bollen, inventor of “The Twitter Predictor.” The interview and accompanying story were posted on www.inside

The media called it “The Twitter Predictor,” and some scoffed at the idea that by analyzing activity on the social media tool one could predict economic markets like the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But today, Indiana University associate professor Johan Bollen’s work received a rare form of validation: a United States patent.

Working hand-in-hand with Indiana University’s Research and Technology Corp. (IURTC), the professor of informatics at IU’s School of Informatics and Computing called receiving the patent license “a quantum leap for us” and a “huge milestone.”

IURTC actually sought and received the patent — bringing IURTC’s total number of active U.S. patents to 171 — and will license use of the invention formally titled “Predicting Economic Trends via Network Communication Mood Tracking” to Bollen’s start-up company, Guidewave Consulting. IURTC is a shareholder in Guidewave and holds a revenue-bearing license agreement with Guidewave that allows the university to collect royalties from sales.

Bollen and his Ph.D. student Huina Mao, co-inventor of the mood tracking system that analyzes hundreds of millions of tweets each day, first gained attention after posting a research paper, “Twitter mood predicts the stock market,” at the open access online science archive arXiv on Oct. 16, 2010. After two days, Google had returned nearly 70,000 hits on the title, media picked up on the story, and within a few months hedge funds were offering to invest millions of dollars in their system.

But it’s today’s official issuance of U.S. Patent No. 8,380,607 that confirms Bollen’s and Mao’s work as unique, novel and worthy of protection.

“It’s an important milestone for a start-up to receive a patent, as it is very likely to help make the company successful,” said IURTC Director of Technology Transfer Bill Brizzard, who worked with Bollen on the patenting process that took over two years. “Would-be partners who might have been reluctant in the past will now see this as a safer investment.”

The patent also means competitors will be excluded from using the same system. Instead, they’ll need to buy the information from Guidewave.

“The past two years have seen tremendous growth in this industry, some of it possibly inspired by our work,” Bollen said. “So the patent is quite relevant to the success of our business. Our efforts are being acknowledged by its issuance.”

The network tracking system calculates indicators of the public mood state along a multitude of dimensions. The original work used six mood categories — tension, depression, anger, vigor, fatigue and confusion — but those have since been expanded to provide an even more accurate and complete picture of changing public and economic conditions. By tracking the content in real time of what is now up to 500 million tweets per day, the network system can detect subtle changes in public conditions that are correlated to specific entities like the Dow Jones and various other financial and economic indicators. Bollen describes it as a process that is constantly on the look-out for interesting statistical patterns in social media, finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.

“A lot of companies can ask people how they feel about a specific brand, product or topic, but we’re probing the underlying mood state of entire communities,” Bollen said. “We’re focused on offering our analytics, the data, to a wide variety a domains, from hedge funds and banks to government agencies and even personal investors.”

The partnership between IURTC and Guidewave has been a strong one, both Bollen and Brizzard noted, and the patent and licensing process has been one designed to benefit IU and Indiana.

“The purpose of us licensing from IURTC is to give back to our school, the university and the state of Indiana,” Bollen said. “We want to make sure that the community benefits from our work.”

“We’re trying to provide a benefit to the public by making use of the research that happens at IU,” Brizzard added.


Tweeting Scores Big during Super Bowl Outage

February 4, 2013 by · Comments Off on Tweeting Scores Big during Super Bowl Outage 

Power outage darkens part of the Super Dome in New Orleans during the Super Bowel. Photo courtesy of

Editor’s Note: Are you still wondering whether Tweeting is a beneficial tool for promoting your RV park or campground? Then take a look at this story from today’s (Feb. 4) edition of Ad Age to see how some quick-thinking marketing executives used the half-hour power outage during Sunday’s Super Bowl to their advantage.

For all the planning and millions of dollars that go into the creation of Super Bowl commercials, arguably the best ad of the game last night was a tweet.

CBS’s broadcast of the Super Bowl was thrown into confusion and delay in the third quarter on Sunday when power in half of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome went out, prompting a surge of attempts at humor on Twitter, temper tantrums on the sideline and a decision by the network to let commentators riff without commercial break.

When the game resumed, commercials did, too, but not before disrupting the Ravens’ momentum in a blowout against the 49ers — who scored their first touchdown only after the long interruption and scored another touchdown soon after. CBS even displayed a presumably unprecedented stat on the screen: “Total Yards Since Power Outage.”

Baltimore ultimately held on to their lead and won the Super Bowl. But viewers and the network were distracted from the traditional game-and-ad spectacle — if viewers stayed around instead of switching to the “Puppy Bowl” over on Animal Planet during the interlude. CBS seemed to repeat commercials that had already aired.

Some quick-thinking brands, however, jumped into the disarray. Bud Light and Speed Stick bid on promoted tweets pegged to the term “power outage,” so people who searched for that phrase saw their tweets.

“Power out?” Oreo posted to Twitter. “No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” The tweet was retweeted 10,000 times within one hour.

The Oreo graphic was “designed, captioned and approved within minutes,” according to Sarah Hofstetter, president of the cookie brand’s digital agency of record, Dentsu-owned 360i. All the decisions were made in real time quickly because marketers and agency members were sitting together at a “mission control” center, or a social-media war room of sorts, at the agency’s headquarters in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan. Among those who were there were two brand team members from Oreo, and nearly a dozen creatives, strategists, community managers and social-media listeners.

The agency acknowledged that it was able to make decisions so quickly because the Mondelez-owned cookie brand was a broadcaster advertiser in the Super Bowl, and so was closely monitoring chatter and interaction with consumers on all social media channels. It’s arguable though, that 360i’s simple little execution overshadowed Oreo’s far more expensive TV ad, filled with stunts, that ran in the game before the blackout. That ad was done by independent shop Wieden & Kennedy.

A few other brands used the opportunity well, reacting quickly and with wit. Audi, whose spot ran before the blackout, used the power outage as an opportunity to take a jab at rival luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz — sponsor of the Superdome in New Orleans. Mercedes-Benz USA remained mum on its Twitter feed and didn’t respond to Audi’s zinger.

Tide and VW posted cute, lighthearted messages pegged to the surprise occurrence, too.


Twitter Drives More Traffic to Press Releases than Facebook

November 14, 2011 by · Comments Off on Twitter Drives More Traffic to Press Releases than Facebook 

Twitter trumps Facebook

PR Newswire teamed up with digital marketing platform Crowd Factory to analyze the activity surrounding thousands of press releases over a number of months, the PRNewser reported.

According to the research, 48% of press release sharing happens on Facebook and 37% on Twitter. However, each share on Twitter results in 30% more views.

Ken Dowell, executive vice president at PR Newswire, said in a statement, “We have known for some time that Twitter was more heavily used for news and business purposes, and the numbers confirm that Twitter takes the lead for driving traffic back to press releases.”

The study also found that multimedia components drive more traffic to a release than text only. Adding a photo increased engagement by 14% and adding a photo, video, and audio increased engagement by 3.5 times.

The info graphic at left that sums up the research findings.

RealVideo Campsites Launches New Service

April 30, 2009 by · Comments Off on RealVideo Campsites Launches New Service 

RealVideo Campsites, the Internet provider of Video Directory for RV campgrounds, announced the launch of Technology Marketing. 

Technology Marketing is a series of consulting services, specifically designed to assist RV campgrounds in increasing their business through the use of technology, according to a news release. These consulting services range from website design, creation and implementation to integrating Twitter/Facebook into the campgrounds’ marketing strategy. 

These new services are provided in a cost-efficient manner and each program is custom designed for the unique differences between campgrounds. 

“We believe that our services are very affordable with complete website services, including hosting, starting at $1,200,” said Keith Bennett, founder of RealVideo Campsites. 

Technology Marketing will bring technology based promotion to the business plan of privately owned RV parks. Areas of the new offering include technologies such as: website services, Twitter/Facebook, brand creation, partner programs, blogs/podcasts, video promotion, trade show management, packaging consulting, electronic newsletter and electronic guests services. 

RVers have a high use of technology and use technology in their RVing activities, Bennett noted. “Younger RVers (30 – 45) expect RV parks to have technology and they use new social networking technology to gather information about RV parks and where they want to spend their travel dollars,” he said. 

“Economic conditions have changed and will continue to change the way RV parks reach out to potential customers,” he continued. “It will also affect the way RV parks stay in touch with their customers as the lifetime value of a customer has just become much more important. Technology must be used while maintaining a “personal touch”; high tech and high touch will be the key success drivers in the future.” 

Additional information can be seen at: 

RealVideo Campsites was started in 2008 to provide the Internet’s only video directory of RV campsites.