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Intelligence économique et veille : pour que l'information se transforme en action

World Diabetes Day and dataviz

Strictly speaking, this post is not a post about competitive intelligence, its tools, etc.

It’s a mapping survey carried out on World Diabetes Day which was held on 14 November.

It aims to show how mapping tools can easily enable an overview of stakeholders to be drawn up for a short event, as well as the keywords used to mention an event.

 1) Collection elements

The items mentioned in the maps below are tweets. Collected through several linking statements, all the tweets (well, a maximum number of tweets) were mined since they comprise one of the following keywords:

  • diabetes
  • #wdd, which is the official hashtag of World Diabetes Day
  • Diabeticos
  • Diabetic
  • Diabetes
  • 糖尿病
  • 糖尿病患者
  • diabetique
  • diabetiker

It’s therefore a collection covering a fairly large number of languages if it is borne in mind that the word diabetes is written in the same way in a very large number of Romance languages.

Thus we collected 36,500 tweets over 3 days (13, 14 and 15 November), of which more than 20,000 were posted on World Diabetes Day, demonstrating the high level of activity linked very closely to the event.

In addition, the act of extending the collection to words other than the single word WDD enables us to reconstruct the event in its Twitter ecosystem, bearing in mind that the majority of average Twitter users are not particularly familiar with hashtags and are probably even less aware of the official WDD hashtag. As diabetes is a matter of concern to the general public, it is  vital to be open about the query so as to reproduce the most faithful image of posts about WDD, even if the latter comprise neither the hashtag nor the word WDD. Continue reading “World Diabetes Day and dataviz”

Influence, Klout and API

Influence is a word that keeps cropping up when online reputation and its implementation are addressed.

Influence is considered first and foremost as one of the analytical keys for  its community ecosystem, clients or even detractors, but also as one of the weighting keys for its opinion leaders whether they’re pro or anti.

I will not return to the notion of influence. It has been defined, redefined and contra-defined whether that involves the academic definition or the online reputation point of view.

For my part, I like defining the influence of an individual or medium as its ability to influence the behaviour of those with whom he or it interacts (reading, conversations, promotion, activism, etc.) What’s more, I don’t think I’m the first to uphold this definition and even less the person who first mentioned it.  Many psychologists or sociologists have drawn up and enhanced this definition by also attempting to determine the levers for exerting influence.

But here’s the problem. If this influence could be easily measured in a vacuum, if it’s conceivable to determine it for a signal that is broadcast and can be accurately and clearly isolated by the person receiving the influence message (typically an advertising campaign specific to a time t), it’s far more difficult at the level of the Web, especially if there may be multiple and varied influence messages.

This then raises the question of the influence measurement for a website, a blog, a tweet or an anonymous person on its or his community of friends.

And although I despise the notion of influence reduced to its pure quantitative analysis, i.e. an artificial figure which is derived from the crude compilation of several observable metrics (number of followers, number of videos posted, number of likes, etc.), I’m forced to admit that Klout is an operational tool that’s far from perfect, but one which  has several advantages for those who wish to have a useful indicator at their disposal.

Continue reading “Influence, Klout and API”

Twitter and RSS feeds: make monitoring easy on Twitter

Some weeks ago Twitter changed its search results pages and removed the links pointing to the RSS feed for the search results. This was probably done in order to limit calls on its infrastructure by software not using its APIs which could therefore affect the proper working of its infrastructure.

Anyway, these RSS URLs have not completely vanished into nothingness. The URLs are still usable, but you’ll need to know their structure so you’ll then be able to add them to your newsreader or monitoring software.

Let’s imagine you do a search on the word “KEY_WORD”, your RSS feeds will look like this:

http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q= KEY_WORD

It is also possible for you to include a filter by language in the results:

http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?lang=fr&q=KEY _WORD (for English, use en instead of fr.)

Searching for two key words is hardly more complicated:

http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=KEY_WORD+KEY _WORD2

By knowing a little about the conversion of characters and advanced operators, you can also reconstruct its RSS URLs quite easily; for example, for a request such as “competitive intelligence” OR “strategic monitoring”, you’ll get the following RSS URL:


More simply, to re-form a RSS URL very easily: do a search using the Twitter search engine that’s available at http://twitter.com/#!/search-home

 Copy everything that’s directly after “search/” (which, for example, gives the following copied string for the above request: %22intelligence%20%C3%A9conomique%22%7C%22veille%20strat%C3%A9gique%22

And add right what you’ve just copied right in front of it: http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q= , which finally gives the URL previously shown: http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?lang=fr&q=%22intelligence%20%C3%A9conomique%22%7C%22veille%20strat%C3%A9gique%22

That was today’s very useful tip and trick. Simple and effective.

Some time ago I published the same tip and trick on Flickr in the same style with these two posts: Tag Flickr and RSS [FR] and Going further with Flickr’s APIs [FR]

Competitive intelligence and monitoring: future and evolution

L'Avenir de l'intelligence economique et de la veilleIt wasn’t very long ago that I was contacted to take part in producing a collaborative white paper on monitoring and its future in 2011 (to be published shortly).

I turned down this invitation for various reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the purpose of this post. The fact remains that the subject interests me and it seemed pertinent to me to take the time to answer this question.

I’m not a soothsayer and consider myself even less to be a guru, so these predictions will obviously need to be taken for what they are: my vision, or even my desires or my illusions of what monitoring could become in 2011 and, let’s go mad, perhaps even in 2012.

Continue reading “Competitive intelligence and monitoring: future and evolution”

Latest Google tips and tricks: finding an image

Google is a search engine that never stops innovating. All around me I hear people saying that its monopoly in the West may be a curb on innovation by looking coolly at where we were ten years ago and where we are today in terms of information search, but you don’t need a photo to tell the difference.

This takes me straight – subtle change here – to a brief look at image search.

I’m assuming you’ve heard about the fuss about the man without swimming trunks on running into the water that an absent-minded photographer forgot to crop out when editing. There’s a fuss, more fuss and yet more fuss… and incidentally the journalist involved has probably caused the biggest peak in traffic experienced by La Redoute’s site in the last decade.

So, we can measure the fuss with appropriate monitoring / online reputation / social media monitoring tools. And that works well with fusses that are text-based. But in this instance here the very core of the fuss is based around an image.
So, how can this image and its misappropriations be tracked then?


Before we would have typed “La redoute” into Google images, perhaps adding filtering by date…But that wouldn’t have worked well.

A search for one week of the type: fuss AND “la redoute” provides more appropriate results, but these still have a large element of noise.

Fortunately, from now on Google offers the possibility of uploading an image or even entering its address and then seeing if there are images based on it that have been created, subverted or redistributed. This can be done right next to the button on Google Images for inputting keywords:

All we have to do now is give Google with a suitable image (the original one or even one that’s already been subverted); this one for example:

And then by a miracle of technology, you’ll find the images that Google has in its database that are based on this initial image.

The proof:

A miracle of technology indeed.

Google sceptics will tell me that it’s not the first to do that, to which I will retort far from it and also say that I had dealt with the case of the www.tineye.com search engine or even Retrievr, amongst others in this old article, “Image search by similarity [FR]”.

However, it is clear:

  1. That Google has managed the feat of achieving something impressive with an index of a size that’s more than substantial, all at the disposal of the general public,

  2. That Tineye doesn’t work (and what’s more that’s what led me to Google). I tested it on the same search and got the small matter of… 0 results.

Here it is, a simple and effective tool working for community managers who want to be able to search for an image by using an image. I won’t say anything more, but there’s a pseudo-European French-speaking/French multimedia search technologies pseudo-project that would do well to wake up a little.

Other possible uses for this search engine :

  • to track forgeries of your photographic works or at the very least their illicit commercial use and commercialisation
  • to track and identify improper use of your logo
  • and generally also to identify logo busting attempts (that is, if the hijacked logo has been created from your original official logo). Of course, you need to understand that what Google searches for first and foremost is a file that has the same “signature”.