Want to know what is the future from the perspective of online sources?
Recorded Future offers robust tools for temporal and predictive analysis including advanced visualizations and fine-grain Future alerts.
Recorded Future is a new US based service that aims to predict the future. They are even prepared to send you emails about it from here.
Data mining is not new, and search engines have been doing it for sometime to deliver relevant results. These services are similarly crawling vast amounts of the visible web and in particular social media, indexing it, and leveraging the data to create possible scenarios and conclusions. It is possible as storage, search and indexing costs have plummeted in affordability and access to freeware tools. So that while it took a large enterprise to be able to gather, sort and store realistic portions of the web, now just about any reasonably sophisticated company can do it.
In Austalia, Jodee Rich has created PeopleBrowsr who’s
mission is to provide intelligent analysis of social media streams to provide a strategic response for brands and agencies interested in tracking the real-time conversations had about their brands or products online.
The thing about new media, is that there is little way for companies and advertising to mass invade your space, as it does in mainstream media (via television and radio ads that forcibly interrupted your listening/viewing). For companies to spread their message to you online, they have to engage your interest, they have to get you to engage with them. Companies can do this most successfully by going viral, making people spread their advertising in your personal networks.
What data mining of this sort does though is tap into conversations online and see what people are saying about various products and ideas, so that even if when you are not engaging directly with a company they can still get your views.
So what you say online, can now be said to have a value (albeit aggregated), but then it always did.