We’ve been doing studies of the volume of unique information on blogs and some interesting facts are coming out. With the exception of prominant tech blogs like TechCrunch, there’s a general lack of understanding/belief in the investment community about whether blogs matter or not so we’ve set out to quantify how often original and meaningful information is published on a blog first.
The challenge with blogs is that while they are exploding in volume, they are often junky and duplicative. And sometimes they are outright copies, called Splogs, designed solely to generate advertising revenue.
It takes technology, like ours, to make sense of the blog world and to identify both the quality of the source and the frequency of original posts so we can quickly identify when a unique (original) piece of information appears on a blog first (and earliest). We not only identify uniqueness, we normalize it to typical volumes by company so we can identify when a change in volume is occurring and so alert our user that there is a change in blog volume, from quality blogs, about his/her company.
When we do exhaustive analysis of blog content vs. news content, across all news sources we process (many, many thousands and far broader than retail aggregators like Google News), we see typically one new, material post per month for 80% of the large cap companies. So, if you are managing a portfolio of 100 equities, we are talking about 80 unique, meaningful pieces of information per month that you will miss – completely unacceptable for the institutional investor. And using RSS readers won’t cut it because of the level of junk and duplication – you’ll miss the one in a thousand that was different and original.