Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down…

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What a week.  I spent most of it either in meetings or on airplanes (save for that happy detour to Fenway Park, which still has a smile on my face).

Speaking of which, it’s April 20, 2012 — the official anniversary of the 100th year of Fenway’s existence.  Happy birthday to all my friends in Boston, and to people everywhere who adore Fenway Park — of which I now count myself a happy one.

FYI, for the hardcore Fenway fanatics, Sports Illustrated is offering up a very nice tome about the history of Fenway for $21.00 US.  You can find it here.

But boy, what a week otherwise.  The jokes about today being 4/20 aside (a point which many marketers are taking advantage of…for example, the Magnolia bio-documentary about Bob Marley, entitled simply “Marley,” is out today…And Austin is unveiling the new Willie Nelson statue today at 4:20 PM this afternoon.  Coincidence?)

You can read all about the marketing advantage being taken of on this date from none other than the Wall Street Journal.

No, I was more referring to the bummer news about Dick Clark and Levon Helm.  Helm, of course, was the drummer in Bob Dylan’s original backing band, “Levon and the Hawks,” before going on to co-found the band named, appropriately enough, “The Band.”

Helm died of throat cancer earlier this week, and in recent years had been most known for his “Midnight Rambles” at his studio in Woodstock, NY, which earned him three Grammys in recent years.  But of course, “The Band” fans remember classics like “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Up On Cripple Creek.”

Bob Dylan had this to say about his old friend and former band-mate on his own website: “He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation. This is just so sad to talk about. I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him. We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I’m going to miss him, as I’m sure a whole lot of others will too.”

Surely we will.

But we’ll also miss Dick Clark, a radio and TV personality who’s “American Bandstand” helped grow generations of music fans, and helped launch or boost the careers of an endless stream of renowned musicians, ranging from first guest Elvis Presley (who used to sign my mom’s arm during his Louisiana Hayride performances!) to Smokey Robinson to the Talking Heads…the list of musical acts featured on “Bandstand” goes on and on and on.

And never mind us welcoming Dick Clark into our homes, and the subsequent New Year, every New Year’s Rockin’ Eve starting in 1972.

We’ll miss you both terribly, Dick and Levon.  May you both continue to find the musical beat in the Great Beyond.

How fitting, then, that the very same week, the friends who brought you some of the great hack attacks of the late 2000s, Anonymous, announce they’re putting together a social music platform, one that pulls up songs streaming from all around the Internet (including from the likes of YouTube), and lets anonymous users put them into playlists and share them — all while intending to shield the service from being shut down by lawsuits.

Ladies and germs, welcome to “Anontune.”  This short video (featured on Wired’s Web site) indicates it will focus on “information about the music.”

We’ll wait and see if Anontune makes it past the first “bridge,” but my read on the situation is that this move could revitalize Hilary Rosen’s career (CEO of the RIAA from 1998-2003, Rosen led the organization in its successful efforts to bring down Napster).

The World Series Of Social Media

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Baseball is like church.  Many attend but few understand.  — Wes Westrum

I cannot tell a lie.

I’m extremely excited that my Texas Rangers made it to the World Series for the second year in a row.

Growing up in north Texas, the Rangers were a team we loved to hate…or is that hated to love?  They had no pitching.  They rarely had winning seasons.  But they were our team.

IBM and USC Annenberg have partnered to use analytics technology to catch Major League Baseball fan sentiment via the social media for this year's MLB World Series matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers beginning tonight in St. Louis, Missouri.

And they still are. Tonight, in Saint Louis, they’ll be playing the Cardinals in the first game of this year’s World Series.

Which is why it’s also exciting to note that today, IBM and the University of South California Annenberg Innovation Lab announced a new social media analysis project focused on Major League Baseball during the World Series.

The USC Annenberg Social Sentiment Index is being compiled by students and relies on IBM Social Analytics technology to analyze millions of Tweets in order to assess public social media engagement and opinion from sports and film to retail and fashion.

Students from USC have done an initial analysis of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) and will now broaden the index to follow the World Series games beginning today to determine “social media MVPs.”

The goal is to uncover hidden insights from Twitter followers that could help better understand player and team sentiment, and illustrate how advanced analytics technologies can help identify important trends.

The students have used the technology for an initial test of more than 1.5 million public baseball-related tweets during the National League Championship Series, gauging positive and negative nuances and establishing overall sentiment rankings among a sampling of NLCS players.

Initial index findings show:

  • The Cardinals’ Chris Carpenter garnered the highest number of tweets indicating sentiment at 1,573 — 61.4 percent positive and 21.6 percent negative.
  • However, fellow Cardinal David Freese, a fan favorite and official NLCS MVP of the pennant race, garnered 768 tweets; 89.3 percent of his tweets were positive and only 15.4 percent negative; securing one of the highest “T’” scores — winner of the most uniformly positive tweets.
  • The Texas Rangers are winning the Twitter buzz battle: the American League’s social media champion was the focus of more than 56,600 tweetsfive times more than the St. Louis Cardinals — with 79 percent of the tweets being positive. While the Cardinals are behind in the number of postings, they have matched the Rangers’ level of enthusiasm in their tweets. St. Louis garnered 11,500 tweets, 80 percent of which were upbeat.

For baseball fans everywhere, social media is now as integral a part of the game experience as keeping score or enjoying hot dogs and peanuts.

In fact, during the post season, a banner behind home plate has been encouraging spectators to connect using the hashtag #postseason, giving fans an opportunity to both share and learn from others instantly, and providing researchers with an unfiltered voice of the fan that is ripe for analysis.

USC and IBM are collaborating to broaden student skills in analytics and demonstrate how Watson-inspired technologies, such as sophisticated semantic and linguistic analysis software, can provide new insights into public opinion by crunching complex data in real-time.

Analyzing Data Is Not A Game

“Analyzing data is not a game – it’s an important way to understand different constituencies and gain competitive advantage,” said Rod Smith, Vice President of Emerging Technology, IBM. “Whether it’s analyzing fan sentiment during a sports event, hospital patient data for personalized treatment programs, or the latest fashion trends for more targeted marketing campaigns, organizations are realizing the value of analytics to better respond to customer needs.”

The ability to glean insights into viewpoints from Big Data — structured and unstructured information — carries value across all aspects of baseball, from the media outlets covering reactions to the game and players, to businesses marketing to the fans, and most importantly, to the players and coaches themselves.

In fact, analyzing data to generate actionable insights in the baseball world has already afforded major league teams better decision-making to create productive ball clubs year after year. For example, Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane has become famous for his [explain what he did for people like me that don’t know] through the use of analytics, made famous by Moneyball: The Art of Winning An Unfair Game, the best-selling book and motion picture.

IBM’s collaboration with the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab is part of its continued efforts to advance student skills in analytics across academia. IBM is working with more than 6,000 universities around the world to develop curricula and provide training, resources and support for business analytics.

The USC Annenberg Social Sentiment Index on baseball is being conducted as part of the 2011 IBM Information on Demand and Business Analytics Forum taking place next week in Las Vegas, October 23-27. (Blogger’s Note: I’ll be in attendance blogging the general sessions, and Scott Laningham and I will be LiveStreaming from the IOD Expo floor.)

The index on baseball will be updated during the World Series on asmarterplanet.com to illustrate the ongoing shifts in fan sentiment throughout the series.

For more information about IBM and analytics, visit www.ibm.com/analytics.

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