Internet Monitoring for Companiesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
This article may explain some of the "difficulties" this discussion board has been experiencing for the past few months.
From CNBC and the Wall Street Journal Business Section:
Watching Your Electronic Back
"Watching your electronic back Services offer Internet monitoring for companies as early-warning radar, tool for crisis management By Brock N. Meeks MSNBC WASHINGTON, July 25 Five years ago, an irate customer with a bad attitude would fire off a letter to company headquarters. The letter might as well have been dumped into a black hole. No longer. That same customer now becomes a CEOs worst nightmare simply by electronically spray painting disparaging comments onto the Internet, hitting send and watching the firestorm. Just how quickly does it take for a companys reputation to go from top dog to toast? Mrs. Fields Cookies knows: Eight minutes. Where we find that theres simply a bit of misinformation out there, we have found that by correcting it, we are able to protect our reputation, or, at minimum, have the debate be a factual debate.
BILL MCCLOSKEY BellSouth spokesman
AN ERROR-FILLED STORY SAYING Mrs. Fields had supplied free cookies to a victory party thrown by jurors in the aftermath of O.J. Simpsons acquittal on murder was broadcast on the tabloid TV show Hard Copy. Eight minutes later, the story first appeared in newsgroups. Calls to boycott Mrs. Fields swelled.
Within four days the companys sales had noticeably slumped. And there was no sign of letting up. The company, desperate to find the source, turned to eWatch to help it fight the digital rumor mill, said James Alexander, the companys vice president of marketing and co-founder.
e-Watch, then an independent company and now part of Wavo, a Phoenix-based, publicly held data broadcasting company, tracked the spread of the rumor on newsgroups and identified dozens of Web sites highlighting the boycott, Alexander said.
So the decision was made to go into the boards and to individuals who had posted to inform them that this wasnt true, Alexander said. Within about seven days, everything was back to normal, and the rumor was dead.
Alexanders company and others like it are at the forefront of a growing industry making sure corporate America doesnt get caught with its pants down, said Brady Thomas, CEO of Cyveillance, which bills itself as an e-Business intelligence company based in Arlington, Va. PICK YOUR FIREHOSE
These Internet monitoring companies use a variety of computer applications and humans to sift through the hundreds of millions of Web pages, search-engine entries and comments on the 50,000-plus newsgroups that make up the Internet. Prices range from free, for relatively basic services of Tracerlock, to $100,000 or more for the full range of services offered by Cyveillance.
eWatch provides its clients with a daily update of everything being said about a company. Notices are delivered by e-mail with hot links that, when clicked, take the user to a Web site where they can get a fuller report. Cyveillance, by contrast, provides a bimonthly update as part of its CySpeak service, which helps track online rumors related to a specific company or monthly updates, via a service called CyMarketplace that more broadly tracks business-specific trends based on criteria Cyveillance analysts develop from company feedback. Tracerlock, which monitors only the Web, delivers a daily e-mail with hot links to Web pages.
Thomas says Cyveillances clients found themselves inundated with too much material for daily updates. However, e-Watchs Alexander says daily updates are crucial.
When youre in response mode, when youre in a I have to know whats going online today mode, you need that report every day You cant wait until the end of the month to get a wrapup, Alexander said. The news cycle on the Internet is real time, so if youre going to respond to something, youve got to know when that something hits. WHEN THE IT HITS THE FAN
Monitoring services serve as an early warning radar for companies, often allowing a strategic response to be formulated before the rumor or misinformation leaps onto the national stage.
What we do is try to look at where [a problem] starts hitting decision-makers, where it starts getting to a point where its going to start showing up in the traditional media and to try and identify those issues and address them before they get there, says Ken Deutsch, vice president of Internet strategic communication for the Washington, D.C.-based company Issue Dynamics Inc. What we do is try to look at where [a problem] starts hitting decision-makers, where it starts getting to a point where its going to start showing up in the traditional media and to try and identify those issues and address them before they get there. KEN DEUTSCH Vice president of Internet strategic communication for Issue Dynamics Inc.
IDIs Internet monitoring service is more of an issue-riented service, not one that scans the entire Internet and though it uses computers to make the first cut at information it gathers, the work is done by people poring over the results, Deutsch said. IDI packages its services based on narrowly tailored criteria of what issues are important to its clients.
What we do is more look at placement (of comments) and trends to see if there are new issues developing that our client should be concerned about, Deutsch said, Its really looking at the various discussions to find out whether or not its hitting a critical mass.
BellSouth, one of IDIs clients, finds the service allows it to target specific users on specific newsgroups.
We try to get a feel for the lists and ignore the people that are known to be hot air so we dont fuel the flames, said Bill McCloskey, a BellSouth spokesman. But where we find that theres simply a bit of misinformation out there, we have found that by correcting it, we are able to protect our reputation, or, at minimum, have the debate be a factual debate.
BellSouth used such tactics recently to head off another round of Internet bit tax rumors, McCloskey said. The company was advocating an issue related to Internet telephony and found its position being unfairly skewed online. The trend line was easy to spot, McCloskey said.
So thats a case where we saw a flame someway or other that we were trying to do this ugly thing, and we created a Web site based on the facts and then got on that list and explained what we were doing, McCloskey said. BellSouth launched this Web site to combat a crisis of misinformation online. Alexander identifies fives main types of potential problems online:
Legitimate gripes: Someone has a legitimate complaint about a service or product that goes ignored.
Influencers: When you have Greenpeace trying to tell Shell Oil to stop drilling for oil.
Stock manipulation: bogus postings on stock trading boards hyping or slogging a particular stock.
Revenge: disgruntled employees or customers who dont want restitution, they want vindication now, they want to get even.
Dis- or misinformation: where an organization or person posts false information to achieve some end."
-- Rachel Gibson (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 26, 1999
Is this like when some people on this forum including myself thought Poole and Decker and others were maybe more than one person?
I remember someone posting they thought Decker was with the Govt.
Am I reading this right? Would this post go along with those posts? Have we been under attack from corp. America? Maybe?
-- Johnny (JLJTM@BELLSOUTH.NET), July 26, 1999.
This is why the trolls couldn't give a valid answer when asked why they were here.
-- KoFE (Your@town.USA), July 26, 1999.
Johnny and KoFE,
mmm...hmmm Some of the attacks have been much too organized to be simply random, simply someone disagreeing with a point of view. And, when you think about it, both corporations and governments have much to lose if people even think they are going to fail...much less, say so.
-- Rachel Gibson (email@example.com), July 26, 1999.
Are We Ready for the Greatest Wealth Transfer Event of the Twentieth Century?
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 1999.
VERY interesting catch, Rachel. I can see how this company could do it in the public internet newsgroups ("BellSouth, one of IDIs clients, finds the service allows it to target specific users on specific newsgroups.") using automated scanning, but I'm not sure that would work on the HTML-based Greenspun boards like this one. At least not without having high-level access.
BTW, SySops- Seen any of these IP addresses around?
Issue Dynamics Inc (IDI2-DOM) 919 18th Street, NW 10th Floor Washington, DC 20006 US
Domain Name: IDI.NET
Domain servers in listed order:
NS1.ABS.NET 220.127.116.11 NS2.ABS.NET 18.104.22.168 NS2.DN.NET 22.214.171.124 NS3.DN.NET 126.96.36.199 NS.DIGEX.NET 188.8.131.52
Or now that I think about it:
(The) Rendon Group, Inc. (RENDON-DOM) 1875 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 414 Admin Dept. Washington, DC 20009 US
Domain Name: RENDON.COM
Domain servers in listed order:
NS.PSI.NET 184.108.40.206 NS2.PSI.NET 220.127.116.11
I'm not sure I really want to know...
-- (email@example.com), July 27, 1999.
To the top for the SysOps..
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 1999.