Welcome to the August 2022 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 July 2022) and year-over-year (versus August 2021).
Big Picture: Conversation volumes stayed remarkably consistent from July to August. Just under half (42%) of topics showed a less than 1% shift month to month, and another fifth of topics posted gains of less than 10%. It seems conversations blended as smoothly as a jazz riff from July to August.
What’s On Top: #1 Cryptocurrencies and #2 Bitcoin are prime examples of steady-state topics. These two haven’t budged from the top of the charts for the past few years. They both showed marginal increases (less than 1% each), but no other topic comes close in overall volume. #3 Supply Chain, which at 339K stories remained 100K+ stories behind Bitcoin, registered a 6% gain and displaced #4 Smartphone (up 0.5%) in the rankings. Blockchain held steady at #5, up 1% tied to discussions on hacker attacks, bitcoin valuation and Ethereum’s planned merge in September.
Drones climbed to #6 and showed the most growth (up 47%) of any topic in the top 10. This was tied in part to drone usage in the war in Ukraine, along with strikes in Afghanistan and other contested areas. Semiconductors held the #7 spot for the second month in a row, posting a 20% gain tied to weather-related production concerns and ongoing discussion about the impact of the CHIPS act. Ecommerce ranked #8, posting a 6% gain but slipping in the rankings only because it was outpaced by drone and semiconductor growth.
#9 Cybersecurity showed the biggest rank jump as it returned to the top 10 (from #12) and grew 45% in mention volume. 5G rounded out the #10 (up from #11), gaining 12% from July. #11 Wi-Fi (up 1%) and #12 Artificial Intelligence (up 7%) dropped out of the top 10, due to higher gains in other topics more so than declining interest.
What’s Climbing: A few of the lower-volume, higher-ranked topics showed the most pronounced gains including #204 Thermal Monitoring (up 174%), #211 Adversary Detection (up 164%) and #208 Event-Driven Applications (up 89%).
Lower-ranking topics that showed impressive gains included:
- #65 Cloud Security – up 109%
- #14 Misinformation – up 51%
- #22 Disinformation – up 48%
- #13 Metaverse – up 48%
- #21 Web3 – up 37%
Cloud Security discussions highlighted market projections for strong growth. Misinformation and Disinformation both grew in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago search and seizure and ongoing January 6 investigations. Metaverse gains were tied to chatter about MTV VMA’s Best Metaverse Performance award and Mark Zuckerberg’s avatar woes. Metaverse attention also set up growth in related discussions including #161 AI Ethics (up 27%), #183 Surveillance Capitalism (up 26%) and #130 Social Commerce (up 22%). Web3 gains were fueled, like Blockchain, to the Ethereum update along with recent crypto thievery that resulted in millions of dollars in losses.
What’s Falling: Not that much. Only 42 of 214 topics lost ground, and 39 of those were less than 10% declines. The three biggest drops were #191 AI Data Mining (down 26%), #95 Election Security (down 16%) and #187 Enterprise Video (down 14%). The Election Security loss is somewhat misleading; even with its 16% drop, the August total – 6,791 stories – was still higher than the 2022 average (6,274). July represented the topic’s second highest point this year. Outside these topics, 12 others (all ranked higher than 100), shed between 3% and 8% of their volume. Moving down the chart, lower-ranking topics that lost ground included:
- #59 Contact Tracing/Tracking – down 2%
- #58 Facial Recognition – down 1%
- #19 Compliance (Tech) – down 1%
- #45 Call Centers – down 1%
Overall, we’re seeing marginal losses in lower-volume topics coupled with zero to marginal gains in mid-level conversations. There was not a lot of movement and no major drops from artificial peaks. Basically, steady-state discussions that progressed through the summer.
What It All Means: It’s now fall y’all, and we’re watching to see if conversation threads that started in summer push on into Pumpkin Spice season. While there were no major mid-summer shifts, as mid-term elections draw closer and the temperatures start to drop, we’re watching to see if discussions on crypto-piracy, semiconductors and supply chain maintain their momentum, or if a new variant comes in to play. Did I miss anything? Let me know and we’ll add it.
Questions? Comments? See a topic we are not tracking? Please share below, and we will address in future installments.