ContextVoice. Romanian SeedCamp winner UberVU just launched ContextVoice in the hopes that inquisitive companies will "track the web's conversational graph". In other words, we're about to see a smorgasbord of brand commentary and all the social media trimmings will be there.When PR agencies encourage corporate executives to engage in public dialogue, they tell them to "embrace the chaos". As of today, chaos has a measurement API, and its name is
Similar to OneRiot, the original UberVU product was created with the intent to aggregate real time comments, trackbacks, blog posts, articles and social media dialogue for a particular site. Today we spoke with CEO Vladimir Oane, the man at the helm of UberVU's eight person team.
"We found people asking us if we had an API as soon as we launched," says Oane. "We launched ContextVoice to differentiate the two products and offer others the chance to measure the conversational data they need to make decisions."
ContextVoice has already helped Disqus, Google Reader Firefox extension GReactions and web-based Twitter interface Tweetvisor. Based on the initial UberVU tool, there are obvious uses for the API including blog plug-ins and white label buzz trackers for media companies, corporations and PR agencies. Oane also suggests that the programming interface will unlock a variety of new and interesting utilizations.
He says, "In the past, community managers for social networks have focused inward. But now we've got people seeding external communities, talking on outside forums and using new methods of outreach. Our API lets them measure these efforts ."
Oane also suggests that the API can be used to gain important social media metrics, rising trends, public opinions and industry feedback. He suggests that there may even be a market for financial projections based on the conversational graph of a company. Although it may seem strange to factor opinions on Twitter and Friendfeed into quarterly forecast calculations, we've already seen forward thinking companies like Zappos reap the rewards of netizen dialogue.
With ContextVoice, companies can either choose to display their data publicly or privately. Some of its interesting features include automated scaling, keyword tracking, collection of conversational metadata and batch URL and blog post trackbacks. The company is currently offering a non-commercial service with a limit of 5000 authenticated calls per day for free testing. White label Pro Accounts are priced at $2000 per month for up to 200,000 authenticated calls per day and email support. For more information on features, pricing and set up, visit contextvoice.com.
As always, the success of this conversational API is reliant on developer buy-in and the readiness to create line items for social media metrics in product and marketing budgets. And herein lies the rub. It's unlikely that unresponsive companies will take the time to use a ContextVoice-style feedback mechanism. After all, if they cared about our feedback, they'd probably already be doing something to improve. But for those enlightened executives looking to learn from their audiences ContextVoice could be a truly sound investment. Of course, the real value comes from how the data is used to contribute to community, branding and the bottom line.