Welcome to the April 2023 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 March 2023) and year-over-year (versus April 2022).
Tech conversations in April 2023 really focused on two things: Security, thanks to the RSA Conference, and AI, because you know, AI. Sure crypto and bitcoin remained unshakable at #1 and #2, but both experienced a down month in April. The broader finding is that 80% of the 242 topics we track showed declining citation volumes from March to April. This decline, which I like to think was due in part to Spring Break (woohoo) and increasing in–person discussions (RSAC), may or may not hold. We’ll see. But one thing is for sure: Shaq getting served in the FTX lawsuit will likely bounce the crypto discussion back in May.
April’s Top Conversations: While there were no substantial changes to the top 10 list in April, there were some interesting trends. Namely, only one discussion – #4 AI – posted a volume gain (up 3%), while all other leading topics through #18 Open Source (down 8%) registered declines.
#1 Cryptocurrencies and #2 Bitcoin each posted a 17% drop, followed by #3 Smartphone (down 9%). #5 Supply Chain (down 12%) and #6 Blockchain (down 11%) each gained one spot in the rankings as #7 Drones fell by a larger margin (down 32%). #8 Ecommerce (down 12%) switched places with #9 Cybersecurity (down 18%). #10 Wi-Fi (down 8%) switched with #11 Layoffs (down 15%). And while Cybersecurity was down overall, crossover discussions like #67 AI + Security (up 54%) and #182 Generative AI + Security (up 77%) showed sizable gains. Want to dig deeper into Security discussions in April? Check out our RSAC wrap up here.
What’s Climbing: In April, only 20% of the topics we monitor (48 of 242) showed gains. Many of these ranked towards the bottom of the list (#230 or above), but #35 Quantum Computing was the fastest grower, posting a 172% increase month-over-month due to India and China advances; IBM’s partnership with Moderna to advance mRNA technology; and updates from Google’s DeepMind division. Other high-ranking topics posting gains in April included:
- #19 Encryption – up 13%
- #23 Generative AI – up 17%
- #27 Malware – up 6%
- #63 Health Technology – up 4%
- #67 AI + Security – up 54%
- #81 Contact Center – up 3%
- #82 Cloud Infrastructure – up 7%
- #85 Cloud Security – up 5%
While many of these gains are less impressive than #240 Threat Telemetry (up 150%), it’s clear that AI and Cybersecurity are fueling both macro and micro conversations across the business and technology landscape.
What’s Falling: As noted earlier, nearly 80% of topics lost ground in April, but nine of the biggest decliners ranked over 200, including #241 Utility Computing (down 87%) and #219 Threat Intelligence Platform (down 60%). More prominent topics (top 50) that showed significant declines were led by #34 Venture Capital, down 51% as the Silicon Valley Bank story faded from its March spike. Other prominent decliners include:
- #7 Drones – down 32%
- #17 Financial Technology – down 31%
- #26 Metaverse – down 34%
- #43 Ransomware – down 23%
- #44 3D Printer – down 21%
- #45 Phishing – down 24%
- #50 Data Security – down 45%
One pattern here is that some topics are coming down off big news-related spikes in March, e.g. drone strikes in the Ukrainian war; bank meltdowns fueling #17 Financial Technology and #179 Financial Software discussions; and Metaverse getting a boost from the AI discussion. Even drops in security discussions like Ransomware and Phishing can be contextualized, since they got a boost in March due to concerns about AI-fueled ransomware and phishing scams. Ebbs and flows are relatively normal and reflect month-to-month shifts in the news cycle. (In other words, ransomware will rebound with the next big cyberattack.)
So What, Now What? AI is the white-hot center of the technology world right now, and it’s impacting other discussions from Cybersecurity to Quantum Computing, and from Fintech to Health Tech. Among the calls for regulation and oversight are new innovations and market disruptions, the likes of which we may never have seen. Or at least not since the introduction of the iPhone. It’s clear to most that AI is going to change the way we live, the way we work, and the way we secure our lives and work. What comes next is anybody’s guess. Except for maybe Shaq. What comes next for him is an appointment with his lawyer.
Questions? Comments? See a topic we are not tracking? Please share below, and we will address in future installments.