Welcome to the November 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 October 2022) and year-over-year (versus November 2021).
Big Picture: There was a lot of movement but only a few surprises in November. Layoffs shot up to the #6 spot (from #16), with Big Tech bearing the brunt of the impact and layoff trackers keeping a tally of job losses. Misinformation also entered the top 10 tied largely to the whole Twitter debacle (for lack of a better way to put it). Cryptocurrencies extended its first-place positioning thanks to the FTX meltdown. All that ahead of Thanksgiving dinner – at least there was something other than politics to talk about.
What’s on top? Rankings in the top 5 registered marginal shifts. Cryptocurrencies retained the #1 spot and extended its lead in citation volume (577K) over #2 Bitcoin (488K, down 3%), which lost some ground since it was not as linked to the Sam Bankman Fried/FTX story as crypto overall. Smartphones held steady at #3 thanks at least in part to Black Friday deals and holiday demand. Supply Chain moved up to #4 (up 7%) because supply chains remain the great unknown, especially if you are looking for Children’s Tylenol. Blockchain rounded out the top 5, gaining 4% tied in part to how blockchain failed in the FTX world.
From there, more movement. Layoffs/Furloughs registered a huge jump (up 148%) and climbed from #16 to #6, by far its highest ranking, and only time in the top 10, this year. #7 Drones registered a 23% decline (shifted from #4), while #8 E-commerce (up 23%) and #9 Cybersecurity (a minute change of 0.3%) held position tied to the upcoming holiday and related fraud warnings. Misinformation ranked #10 (thanks Elon) as Twitter stopped enforcing its Covid misinformation policy AND reinstated Donald Trump’s account. Good times.
What’s Climbing: Eleven topics showed triple-digit gains in November. While most of them were lower-volume topics, that’s still a lot. Top gains included:
- #211 Utility Computing – up 452%
- #215 Adversary Detection – up 430%
- #68 Location Tracking/Privacy – up 395%
- #73 Cloud Operations – up 318%
- #191 Cognitive Computing – up 159%
- #219 Humane Technology – up 148%
There are definitely some clear patterns to be seen, especially with gains in topics like Location Tracking/Privacy, Cognitive Computing and Humane Technology showing increases in a month where Twitter dominated headlines. Additionally, top 50 terms with big gains included #6 Layoffs/Furloughs, also tied in part to Twitter (are you seeing a pattern yet), #36 3D Printer (up 31%), #30 Misinformation (up 30%), #37 Domain Name (up 28%), #15 Financial Tech (up 25%) and #39 Remote Work (up 25%). Hmmm, I wonder what major social media company’s CEO required all employees to be back in the office “tomorrow.”
What’s falling? About 40% of topics (88 of 218) posted drops in November, but just five of these topics were down more than 50%. As with gains, the highest percent losses occurred in lower-volume topics like #218 Business Services Management (down 69%), #216 Emotional AI (down 67%%), #214 Asynchronous Video (down 56%), #199 Customer Education (down 54%) and #148 Robotic Process Automation (down 50%). Outside this group, topics with the most movement in the top 50 included:
- #13 Semiconductors – down 36%
- #7 Drones – down 23%
- #45 Data Breach – down 23%
- #14 5G – down 14%
- #41 NFT – down 14%
- #22 Video Conferencing – down 13%
- #34 Robotics – down 11%
- #48 Augmented Reality – down 13%
- # 32 Virtual Reality – down 13%
- #16 Metaverse – down 10%
A couple interesting things here: One, this is a lot of movement in the top 50. Five of the topics are in the top 25 and three of them – Semiconductors, Drones and 5G are often in the top 10. Two, mixed reality topics took a hit, but likely with a sigh of relief as criticism shifted from Meta to Twitter. Three, tangential crypto topic NFT fell to its lowest point in 2022 after posting a notable high in September.
So what, now what? We are about to break for the holidays. So far in December the crypto-train is full steam crazy-train ahead, supply chains remain tenuously stable, and the economic outlook is anybody’s guess. We’ll circle back in the new year and recap December’s discussion trends, along with providing a year in review look at 2022. In the meantime, here’s wishing you a peaceful holiday season and a fortuitous new year.
Questions? Comments? See a topic we are not tracking? Please share below, and we will address in future installments.