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I've been tracking industry news here on Social Media Analysis since 2009; before that, I did something similar on my own blog from 2007–2009. As far as I know, it's the only source for the business-centric view of the market that I'm doing here. Ten years in, I have a question for you: Should I keep doing this?

I subscribe to hundreds of blogs, PR feeds and mailing lists from everyone I can find who has anything to do with social media analysis. I follow vendors, consultants, academics, associations and outside specialists, and—of course—I use some tools to catch industry news wherever it appears. It's work.

Updating the model
When I started the site, I was selling buyer's guides and advising a mix of vendors and investors in the emerging field of social media analysis through my company, Social Target. SMA supported that business, but I stopped selling the reports years ago, and the opportunities coming to me today are business strategy projects in less mature markets.

I still enjoy this project and especially the people I've connected with. But it's time for SMA to pay its own bills. To that end, I've set up a Patreon page for SMA, and I'm asking for your support.

The point of this site was to create a sort of online industry trade journal. If I'm not creating enough value for the companies in the industry to support it, I should shift my effort to something else.

What do you get?
In case you haven't picked up on the editorial calendar for SMA yet, this is what you're already getting:

  • Company news when it happens
    I post about major product announcements, investments, mergers, acquisitions and shutdowns when I find out about them. Sure, the major tech sites report what industry leaders are doing. I catch news from the smaller and regional players, too. I give you a brief summary and link to all the original sources.

  • Weekly roundups
    Research and white papers on Tuesdays (EST); product updates and upcoming events on Thursdays (Friday morning for APAC).

  • Investment and M&A tracking
    Keep track of the history with the M&A Scorecard and annual reviews of investments and financial exits.

  • The directory
    Easy access to company profiles, social media accounts and coverage in SMA for 600+ companies working with social media data. We've come a long way since the original Guide to Social Media Analysis.
You can get all that information without SMA. The major tech sites will cover the big announcements, and you can filter through all the customer-oriented content on your competitors' sites to find their news. Or, for the cost of an hour or two of an intern's time, you can tell me to keep going.

What else?
Patreon gives me the ability to offer special content to supporters, and that's something I might do. Lately I've been thinking about the tradeoffs between privacy and surveillance, the tensions inherent in business models that combine free expression with data mining, and what Twitter's sudden prominence in politics means to it and the companies who use its data. I have the beginnings of a look at risks in SMA. If you're interested, these could be topics of special posts, papers, or discussions. Just let me know what interests you, and we'll figure out what to do about it.

If your business gets value from what I do here, please support SMA today, and I'll keep looking for the information you need.

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