Welcome to the August 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 July 2021) and year-over-year (versus August 2020).
Big Picture: As hot data summer draws to a close, security discussions were down from their peak, Drones pushed further into the top 10, and Cryptocurrencies remained everyone’s favorite topic to not actually understand. High profile security topics like Cybersecurity (down 18%) and Ransomware (down 50%) showed big drops, but a few security sub-topics like Data Breach (up 47%), SecOps (up 103%) and Supply Chain Security (up 61%) bucked that trend. But this is all likely just a short reprieve as the U.S. Treasury Department recently took steps to curb ransomware attacks, setting up a new surge in the fall for both nefarious and eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious reasons. Yes, that’s a real, though obscure, word.
In virus-related discussions, Vaccine Mandate was the hot topic, surging nearly 300% (160K+ story mentions). Disinformation was up 14%, and Misinformation mentions were basically level (down 1% month-to-month). Contact Tracing showed minor gains (up 4%). With vaccination rates climbing and what looks like at least a plateau in cases in September, thankfully, one can only hope the misinformation train is at least slowing down.
Top 10 Analysis: There were no changes in top 10 topics from July to August, but there were some minor shifts in placement. Cryptocurrencies moved back to the #1 spot and registered a 5% increase, while Bitcoin dropped to #2 and posted a 3% decline. Smartphone held at #3, while #4 Blockchain (up 10%) switched places with #5 Supply Chain (down less than 1%).
E-commerce ranked #6, its rank since April, while Drones jumped from #10 to #7 (up 39%). Misinformation held at #8, followed by #9 Cybersecurity (down 18% in volume and from #7 in the rankings), and #10 5G (down 4% and one spot in the rankings). The top 20 mirrored this trend with only one major exception: Ransomware fell from #16 to #31.
What’s Climbing: Three topics showed over a 200% increase from July: #178 Asynchronous Video (up 298%), #78 3D Design (up 272%) and #188 Utility Computing (up 245%). Four additional topics registered gains over 100%: #157 Video Messaging (up 127%), #144 Growth Hacking (up 107%), #183 Embedded Payments (up 106%) and #57 Security Operations/SecOps (up103%). Of the remaining 121 topics that posted gains this month, only eight more posted greater than 50% gains, and all those topics ranked below the top 50. Additional high-gain, higher-ranking topics included:
- #55 Metaverse – up 52%
- #42 Data Breach – up 47%
- #38 3D Printer – up 40%
- #7 Drones – up 39%
What’s Falling: Roughly one-third of the topics we track (67 out of 195) decreased in citation volume from July to August, with only four topics registering drops greater than 50%. Of note, two of the biggest falls came from Ransomware-as-a-Service (down 68%) and Ransomware (down 50%). Other substantial losses included:
- #179 Computer Aided Engineering/CAE – down 67%
- #193 Serverless Platform – down 52%
- #77 Infrastructure Security – down 40%
- #150 NoSQL – down 39%
- #174 Process Mining – down 38%
- #191 Compute Service – down 38%
- #48 Smart Homes – down 28%
- #37 Encryption – down 23%
Looking Ahead: Heading into fall, we’re starting to see shifts in the financial markets, government focus on ransomware, and heightened supply chain concerns take some of the spotlight. We’ll be watching to see if governmental acceptance of cryptocurrencies continues to grow, or if rejection generates more coverage. And my bet: Supply chain and ecommerce discussions will grow as people look to buy early and often to avoid holiday gifting disasters. Happy Fall Ya’ll.
Questions? Comments? See a topic we are not tracking? Please share below, and we will address in future installments.