Welcome to the February 2021 edition of Top Conversations in Technology, where we break down which topics are leading, rising and falling each month to help technology marketers maximize relevance and adapt to changing market dynamics. In this month’s analysis, we focus on variations in news and blog citation volumes month-over-month (versus January 2021) and year-over-year (versus February 2020).
Top 10 Analysis: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies maintained the top two spots in February, as both continued their upward climb in citation volume (up 17% and 9% over January). Smartphones held firm at #3 (down 8%), as did #4 Ecommerce (up 8%), while Video Conferencing moved back into the top five (up from #7 with 8% more citations).
The real jumps are versus last year: Bitcoin is up 135%, Cryptocurrencies up 104%, Ecommerce 82%, and Video Conferencing 432%. Color me shocked as I click “buy” in my Amazon cart just before joining my next Zoom call. (Maybe I’ll do it with bitcoin next year.)
Of others in the top 10, Blockchain jumped up from #16 to #8 on 35% more citations, while Supply Chain (#6, up 1%) and Layoffs (#9, up 3%) also showed gains. Misinformation dropped from #5 to #7 on 9% fewer citations as media moved on from the election. 5G (#10, down 5%) also posted declines.
Outside the Top 10: A few topics had 1 spot shifts – Artificial Intelligence moved up to #11 (10% volume gain), while Cybersecurity (up 1%) and Wi-Fi (down 10%) dropped one spot each to #13 and #15. Contract Tracing/Tracking (#12, down 11%) fell out of the top 10 for the first time since the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020. Drones (#14, down 22%) also dropped out of the top 10. Contract
What’s Rising: Four low-ranking topics showed big gains in February, including #181 Emotional AI (up 508%), #179 Compute Service (up 116%), #160 Process Analytics (up 107%) and #184 Utility Computing (up 106%). These lower–volume topics tend to be highly volatile, spiked by company-driven news. For example, Emotional AI citations spiked as Elamachain stock surged in February. Other gainers include:
- #46 Gig Economy was up 99% as reporters covered the pandemic’s impact on gig economy workers (especially women).
- #53 Digital Wallet was up 69% due to U.S. charges against three North Korean hackers over cryptocurrency attacks.
- #126 Supply Chain Security was up 94% as the Biden administration moved forward with aggressive vaccination plans.
- #149 Voice Technology was up 81%, #176 Attention Model was up 75%, and #127 API Integration was up 74%.
What’s Falling: #20 Disinformation was the highest–ranking topic to show a notable decline (down 26%). Others that lost ground include #173 Humane Technology (down 66% after a January book launch), #172 Location Tracking/Privacy (down 52%), #144 Streaming Media (down 43%), #94 Identity Management (down 36%), #81 Consumer Tech (down 34%) and #139 Encryption Keys (down 34%).
Moving into March, we are already seeing much coverage of the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 shutdowns in the U.S. It will be fascinating to see how the numbers coalesce in year-over-year comparisons. Stay tuned…
Questions? Comments? See a topic we are not tracking? Please share below, and we will address in future installments.