Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to monitor major Twitter twantrums


By Helen A.S. Popkin

Who doesn't like to take little time out to enjoy the grumpy goodness of everyday consumers raging against the machine in 140 characters or less?a

That's the hey-what-took-so-long idea behind Twantrum, a freshly launched widget that "monitors brand mentions and different levels of rage towards them – from Mild to Mel Gibson."a

"The Twantrum widget uses real-time Twitter search, powered by anger-related and brand keywords," TheNextWeb reports. "This technology would be a boon for any brand’s marketing and communications department. For example with Comcast, whose customers seem ready, willing and able to hate on them, Twantrum is looking for keywords like: comcast, anger, worst. Twantrum then ranks the kinds of profanity used in tweets," using the aformentioned "mild" to "Mel Gibson" scale.  (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBCUniversal, a unit of Comcast.)a

The mild range are pretty benign — and hence, dull:a

@BestBuy #Fail customer service experiences w/ ur Call Center. On hold hours, disconnected, and wouldn't help. Wish I had shopped Amazona

 Here's an example from the "restrained" category:a

Dear @Vodafone, I sincerely suggest you stay out of my way because if there is one more technical error I'm going to kill you.a

This is from the third-to-most enraged group of tweets, "angry"a

OMG!! I want to eat something so bad but I am stuck waiting for @Comcast to show up.a

Meanwhile, the "Mel Gibson" level isn't defined as the drunken anti-Semetic and/or misogynist rantings of an entitled movie star, as one might assume, but colorful profanity, indecipherable hashtags and blatant abuse of the CAPS LOCK key. Those look something like this, but without asterisks where the naughty words should be:a

Geico says if i got insurance on my truck it would cost $227 a month. F*** THAT!a

Speaking of which, Twantrum offers a six-step Twitter Intervention Guide for those who frequently find themselves in Mel Gibson territory, though the most obvious tip, "Walk away from the computer" isn't offered until step three. No matter. It sounds as if the Twantrum founders are hoping to turn their very basic tool into something bigger.a

"For now, we’re enjoying it mainly for the LOLs — and we’re hoping others will too," Twantrum co-founder James Aviaz told TheNextWeb. "In the longer term, there’s something to be said about its application in the midst of a major event for brands. For example, it would have been interesting to see the effect when there was the backlash against BP — you could measure the velocity of the tweets and really see in one place how people were talking about the brand."a

No doubt. These days, Twitter is a booming eco-system for major corporations to reach out to their customers, even the angry ones.a

More on the annoying way we live now:a

Kids on Internet medley: 'Like YouTube threw up' FTC settlement aside, Facebook still owns your privacy Google reveals its 'Evolution of Search' Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or Facebook. Also, Google+.a

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