Welcome to the October 2020 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 September 2020) and year-over-year (versus October 2019).
We saw more changes in the top 10 than previous months. All 10 topics showed coverage volume increases, compared to only two showing gains in September. While the top three remained the same, Contact Tracing (now #1) and Layoffs/Furloughs (now #2) switched places again, with E-commerce holding at #3. 5G registered the biggest top 10 jump, moving from #7 to #4, bumping Video Conferencing (#5) and Supply Chain (#6), down one spot each. Meanwhile, Misinformation debuted at #7 in our first month of tracking the topic. (It would have ranked #10 in September, so it was another big mover month over month.)
Cybersecurity ranked #8, climbing from #12 in September and re-entering the top 10 for the first time since July. Wi-Fi showed flat volume month over month and slid one spot to #9. Drones rounded out the top 10, registering a 9% increase from September (but still down from its #3 position one year ago). Also of note, these three topics were the only ones in the top 10 to show year-over-year volume declines.
Beyond the top 10, Artificial Intelligence dropped from #9 to #11, and (not surprisingly) Educational Technology dropped from its back-to-school peak at #6 to rank #12 this month. We also saw notable volume and rank gains in Customer Relationship Management (+109%; #82 to #58); Infrastructure Security (+104%, #68 to #52); Digital Twin (+56%, #91 to #76); and Edge Computing (+47%, #75 to #65). Not surprisingly, Identity Protection (+80%) and Election Security (+50%) were also among the top gainers in October as the U.S. prepared for the presidential election.
“Biggest losses” were more modest than big gains, with only four terms – Procurement Software (-67%), Utility Computing (-61%), Attention Model (-58%) and Humane Technology (-50%) – registering a drop of 50% or more. Additionally, only three “biggest losers” slid more than 10 spots in the rankings – Humane Technology (from #127 to #146), Talent Management (#66 to #81), and Fixed Wireless (#106 to #118). Nine of the top 10 losers were lower-volume terms with rankings above 100.
As discussions evolve, we continue to add topics to our analysis. We have added 20 topics over the past two months, with the most prominent in the October rankings being: #7 Misinformation, #13 Disinformation, #28 Ransomware, #38 Election Security, #41 Facial Recognition, #44 Data Security and #50 Deep Learning. If you see something we missed, let us know and we will add it.
What’s next? I think there are more questions than answers. With the surge of COVID-19 cases and the upcoming holiday season, we do not expect to see drops in E-commerce, Video Conferencing, Supply Chain or related topics. But it will be interesting to see if Educational Technology discussions continue to cool, or if school lockdowns inspire a resurgence in these discussions. What technologies will fit in, and grow, as the new administration steps in in January? And where does 5G fit into it all? We will continue to track it all for you, as the need for speed, bandwidth and real-world technology solutions grows into the new year.
Questions? Comments? See a topic we are not tracking? Please share below, and we will address in future installments.