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Real-Time Social Listening in Iceland

March 11, 2011

I just sat in a fascinating panel about Iceland — yup, even Iceland’s in the house at SXSW — and the various ways that the country has used the crowdsourcing model to fuel innovation and change in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis that toppled the country’s banking industry.

One of the things I was particularly struck by was an intriguing use of a social listening platform at a meeting of 1,500 delegates, who had gathered to discuss what a “vision” for Iceland’s future should look like. At this assembly, the organizers engaged in real-time monitoring of what the delegates were saying and, over the course of the meeting, surfaced this information to the delegates so they could get a sense of how the collective vision of the crowd was evolving and taking shape. (Among the benefits of this: everyone felt they were being heard.)

We use conversation monitoring a great deal at JWT — for instance, to inform content creation in our brand journalism practice — but this example from Iceland got me thinking about other ways that we might think about deploying the tools, particularly in real-time. Are there ways that doing this, and potentially letting users/consumers see it, could help us create unique, interactive experiences that would feel (or actually be!) inherently responsive, and therefore help us build stronger relationships between brands and an audience? Think this could be exciting territory.

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