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Content aggregation as a means to identify trends: The case of the iPhone 5s
This paper discusses how the inherent problem of information overload in online market research can be solved through the aggregation and curation of syndicated sources to support social media listening. Using a case study approach, the research employs crowdsourcing and content curation to pre-filter a sample of blog posts related to a product launch. Drawing text data from influential blog posts related to the release of the iPhone 5s, the authors use sentiment analysis to understand how influencers feel about the product. The use of sentiment proves to be a useful tactic for market researchers, as discussed in the literature about product reviews; however, rich data context can be gained if data are pre-filtered using the wisdom of online communities prior to performing sentiment analysis. Given that these methods do not require complex or expensive software, the findings of this research may prove especially useful to market researchers working for organisations with smaller budgets. That said, the content aggregation approach may work better for some products than others as it requires a community of active individuals for effective content aggregation and curation prior to data collection and analysis.
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Jaigris Hodson is an Associate Professor in the College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Royal Roads University. Her research concerns online information flows and the ways social media and digital communication technologies can be leveraged to support communication in the public interest. She has previously worked as a Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellow, where she was embedded with Environment and Climate Change Canada, recommending strategies for the effective communication of climate science to the public.