Tech News Trends: Tracking Brand Buzz 7 April, 2007 — Stuart Brown
A statistical overview of the last 6 months in technology
As a result of assembling technology news articles through news aggregator teXpy*, I've got an extensive and well-organised record of the state of technology news coverage dating back to September 2006 - with nearly 100,000 articles and 640,000 keywords associated with those articles, there's a healthy body of data, ripe for analysis.
It's been an interesting 6 months, what with the Christmas period, a healthy flow of new tech products, and the release of Vista. But what effect have these events had in the tech media publications?
The next-gen console wars
One of the hottest topics of the last six months has been the rivalry between the three contenders in the next-gen console market - the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. Whilst the Xbox has been around for some time, we have the data on both the Wii and PS3 launches.
Despite coming off worse in reviews, the Playstation 3 launch had several times more coverage than the Wii - peaking at 2.5 times as many articles. More recently, the European PS3 launch and unveiling of the updated Xbox 360 Elite caused a spike in next gen coverage, although not to the extent of the November US launch.
iPod vs. Zune
Microsoft's purported iPod killer has perhaps fared less well than anticipated, but there's been a steady murmur of Zune press coverage, with the pre-launch price confirmation and the launch itself edging out the iPod, albeit by a narrow margin. Subsequent to the iPhone launch, there's been little in the way of Zune competition.
Microsoft Windows Vista (née Longhorn) was building steady momentum in the run up to the launch this year, so it's no surprise to see a major spike in coverage on the launch dates for Vista. Significant spikes occur for both the RTM and business release, but the widespread public release on January 30th caused the biggest stir.
If there's one thing Apple have mastered, it's the art of the product announcement. The anticipation was palpable during the run-up to the January announcement - don't be fooled by the smaller peaks of the initial coverage, as they're dwarfed by the hundreds of iPhone articles published subsequent to the January announcment.
Figures are based on number of articles published on a given day with relevant keywords in the headline of the article. A list of the tech news publications used is available here.
Graphs show raw daily data in a paler colour, with a rolling 7-day average trend overlaid on top in stronger colour. The timescale ranges from the 20th September 2006 to the 6th April 2007, in equal interval.
*teXpy is in a very, very early alpha state. Be gentle.