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Monitoring & Analyzing Social Media

With over 1.5 billion conversations stored, can you afford not to listen?

Category: SM2 Community

Feb 25, 2009 2 Comments

The People Behind Techrigy SM2

One of the best parts of my job is the social aspect. Last week I flew out to the home office to spend time with the Techrigy team in Rochester, NY. In case you’re not aware, I work remotely from northern Minnesota, land of the moose (I thought it was lakes, but I let the guys think that). Techrigy is a total Web 2.0 company. I totally appreciate everyone’s flexibility in working remotely with me daily online!

I always take my camera when I travel, so I can introduce you to the Techrigy guys.


Techrigy is co-founded by Aaron Newman. Aaron’s a serial entrepreneur with 2 successful startups to his credit, DBSecure and AppSecInc. Aaron is also the author of Enterprise 2.0 Implementation. He has said that I work more than he does, but I have to say that he works a lot.









Jay Mari is other co-founder. He created the engines that power SM2. Jay is always very patient with my tech questions. I’ve learned a lot about the internal workings of SM2.


Jim Schwab is our VP of Sales & Marketing. He recently joined us from Harris Interactive. He looks really serious here. (I heard some great lines out of him though, so I think he was avoiding the camera)


Ahad Kamal & Jim Reynolds are everywhere: on the phone with customers on Twitter. They rock! When I took the photo I noticed the banner & had to ask. Ahad & Jim have worked across from each other for four years (prior to Techrigy) so there was definitely a story there.


And behind every great company is an awesome tech guy. Bob Pease does it all! When I was sitting across from Bob, the lack of eye contact was a bit too much for me, so I moved his monitors apart during my time there.


Where’s my photo? Well I was behind the camera. This was taken at the meetup.


A couple of fun lines from my visit were: 1) The first morning at the office Ahad & Jim were pondering the fact that I was ‘real’ rather than ‘virtual’. Jim had the greatest line, “ ‘Connie’ is the code that Aaron wrote”. 2) When Jay came to work they told him that I arrived in a server box labeled ‘Fragile’.

Follow us on Twitter – we’re a very sociable group!


Jay Mari






Jan 28, 2009 0 Comments

Comparing the SM2 Freemium Account and SM2’s paid Professional Accounts

As part of Techrigy’s outreach to the growing social media marketing community we offer a Freemium (free) version of SM2, our best in class social media monitoring and analytics solution. SM2 Freemium is a fully functional version of the Pro paid versions of SM2 with several minor differences:

  • Keywords are limited to five keyword phrases. Pro Accounts have unlimited keywords. Both accounts have unlimited search Profiles.
  • The number of Results (conversations) you can have in your SM2 Freemium Account is limited to 1000 while the Pro Accounts start at 20,000 results. With both types of accounts results can be cleared and new searches run.
  • Freemium Accounts do not support Advanced Boolean search operators. They do support the use of the AND operator and excludes.
  • Freemium Accounts do not have some of the board and review site sources included in the Pro Accounts.

We designed the Freemium SM2 version to provide robust search and analysis capabilities nearly identical to our paid versions. They carry no expiration date and there are no limits on users. Freemium accounts are an excellent way to evaluate SM2 by monitoring small brands and campaigns or for sampling results and analyzing those sample sets.
Freemium users considering an upgrade should contact us for a product demo and a fully featured Pro Test Account at

Nov 21, 2008 0 Comments

Keyword Phrase Refinement in SM2: Some Basics

SM2 is a complex piece of software that accesses a large database of social media results. The key to accessing its power lies in the way you set up your keyword phrases. This is why every user of SM2, including the Freemium users, gets offered a live demo after you sign up. No folks, it’s not strictly a sales call! We understand that helping our users become power users is not only good business, it helps you take full advantage of SM2’s extensive analytics capabilities.

When setting up your initial keywords you open a new Profile, name it after a client, brand or campaign and then you are offered a keyword set-up wizard that walks you through the process of choosing your keyword phrases. You can skip the wizard and simply add them yourself which can be quicker for basic searches. Here are some tips to help you get the most relevant results with SM2:

  • Avoid overly broad terms like ‘Google’. You’re going to fill up your account with irrelevant results. Instead use the AND modifier to refine your search like this: “Google” AND “search wiki” (use the quotes, spaces and caps like that). This will only bring back results that include both of those terms.
  • If you are using simple keyword phrases and the AND operator, use the Basic search option. Advanced search gives the ability to use operators like NEAR, OR and combinations like: “Google” AND (”search wiki” OR “knol”).
  • If you put keyword phrases on their own lines rather than using OR, each becomes a category you can use to sort results in the Reports area in SM2. This is useful for comparing trends, separating out results for a single keyword phrase, etc.
  • Keyword phrases are not case sensitive
  • Keywords entered in another language will bring back results in that language, however the application remains in English only at this point. Sentiment Analysis in English-only, however we are adding German and will be adding other language dictionaries in the near future.

We monitor the keywords our users are searching. So you may get an email from us suggesting changes that will bring back better results. We also provide assistance in setting up your keywords as part of the testing process for those evaluating our Professional Accounts. Just send us a note at support at…

Sep 16, 2008 0 Comments

Leveraging LinkedIn Groups: Social Pros

Social Pros is a new Group on LinkedIn with a simple yet ridiculous goal: To be the largest LinkedIn group for Social Media Professionals.

First, what are Social Pros?

  • marketing and PR people who get social media
  • community managers who build and moderate social media for companies and organizations
  • pundits, consultants, analysts, prognosticators, seers and makers creating new social media applications and services
  • connectors, hubs and spokes
  • Communicators!

Why LinkedIn Groups?

  • they’re focused on business (hence the ‘Pros’ moniker)
  • ROI is measurable via connections and introductions
  • using the pre-eminent business social network will attract business people who only marginally understand social media, helping us cross the chasm
  • Safe For Work

I could go on but instead I want to wear my mad scientist lab coat and declare:

We are out to take over the world!

Join us. And invite others -you know, like virally… ;-)

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Aug 25, 2008 0 Comments

The wave is breaking

Crossing the ChasmImage via Wikipedia

As we start into fall and summer wanes the wave that has been building in social media is about to break and flood us all. To beat the metaphor, the flood is the realization that social media is a critically important business communication tool that isn’t going away. More and more senior marketing people are stating that social strategies are becoming mainstream marketing communications tools for brand development, PR, customer support and satisfaction, and community-building. Companies like Dell are making it central to their marketing efforts. The key word here is ‘central’. This is not a tactic to be delegated to the hinterlands, it is the next iteration of global business communications.

What does this mean?

It means that there is the beginning of a move out of the early adoption phase. In that famous bell curve detailed in Crossing the Chasm new ideas have to break out of the early adopter phase to begin growth into the mainstream. Social media started as something used by an elite few bloggers and nascent social networks created for students. In business the adoption was very slow to take root as many simply questioned the reasons for doing a corporate blog or building an online user-community.

It took some well-publicized PR disasters to wake up the first of the big mainstream businesses to dive into blogging. Dell had well-publicized customer support problems that spread around the blogosphere long before they realized they had a problem. Their response, though belated, was a real turnaround and they now are fully engaged with social media.

I suspect that the turning point is upon us based on my admittedly parochial view of things. 99% of Techrigy’s marketing is social and much of it has been taking place for the first time during this summer when our target markets are typically in vacation mode. Yet, I’m seeing a strong response that is growing as we swing back into fall work mode. Our free community users are increasingly coming to us for professional accounts and service. Agencies are building us into pitches and the brands we’re tracking are growing in stature. Our recent crossing of the half billion mark for results in our social media warehouse is another clue that there is a lot of activity out there.

May we live in interesting times…

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Aug 12, 2008 0 Comments

Ning Thing

Ning is Marc Andreesson’s white label social network platform. It’s super simple to use which means anyone who wants to build a social network around any subject can do so in literally a few minutes. Our Techrigy network for SM2 users, Conversation, is built with Ning.

I spent a little time recently building one for a place me and my friends like to go to for live music and libations (a bar in other words) . It is really interesting watching it grow.

These things are so simple and so feature-rich that I think they change the dynamic of the Internet. Just as blogs are rapidly replacing conventional static websites, these social network platforms are replacing portals for any kind of subject.

Of course we index Ning sites in SM2.

Aug 11, 2008 0 Comments

541 million social media search results and counting

Our social media warehouse, the place where we store and index the collective search results brought back from SM2 searches, has reached a milestone: over one half a billion results collected. Not surprisingly blogs are the biggest source with over 400 million blog posts collected. Twitter, though added after our launch late last year, accounts for 43 million results, dwarfing those from any other microblog.

We save the results of user searches and store them in our ‘warehouse’ to create a historical reference in addition to our real time discovery results. Our analysis tools have also indexed all of these for the individual data fields we provide (as many as 35 per result) which include things like demographics, indications of sentiment and location, trends, authority, etc. Any SM2 user can tap into this data.

I suspect we’re going to hit the billion mark very quickly as we continually add Freemium users and as more professional power users enter the system. Anyone who thinks you can ignore the power of social media should take heed: These are just results from very specific brand and reputation-focused searches. As such they represent the tip of the iceberg in social media activity.

Jul 11, 2008 0 Comments

Slideshare: Social Media Monitoring

Jul 11, 2008 0 Comments

Slideshare: SM2 Analysis Guide

Jun 12, 2008 0 Comments

New Community features in SM2: It’s good to share

The ability to connect different applications and needs is an important aspect of social media with its interlinked model of friends, followers, groups, etc. Last night we launched the first of our community features in SM2.

First a little background: We use a concept called folders to help categorize the results you get in SM2. There are default folders and you can create your own. You set the rules (attributes) for the folder (legal-related, positive sentiment, Bill Clinton, etc) and anything you find is automatically placed in relevant folders if those keywords are found in context. You can then analyze by folder categories, compare folders, etc. It’s a very useful way of filtering results.

As more and more users joined the SM2 community we realized that we could make it possible to share folder rules that worked well for you and vice-versa, saving time and helping expand the discovery experience in SM2. This is now enabled- you can add a folder rule by sharing it and go into a shared area to find folder rules that might help with your analysis. And if you try one and it’s not for you, clear it in your account- it won’t affect your search results.

More community features coming soon.