Welcome to the October 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 September 2022) and year-over-year (versus October 2021).
Big Picture: October was an interesting month. Lead up to the election. Prep for the holidays. Time to take a step back and consider what’s going on and what’s to come. At least it seems like that looking at the patterns in technology discussions. What we largely saw in our data was a conversational “pause” in October across technology topics, ahead of a very eventful November. But, as always, with a few key exceptions. Drones was the breakout mover in October, up 72%. Sadly, the bulk of this coverage was linked to the war in Ukraine. #7 Semiconductors (up 32%) was the other top 10 topic to show upward momentum (climbing from #9). This stemmed considerably from discussions around “chip wars” with China. Insert nervous emoji here.
Top Topics: Overall there were no changes to the top 10 list, just a lot of movement within it. Seven of ten topics posted drops in coverage volume, including the top three: Cryptocurrencies (down 17%), #2 Bitcoin (down 16%) and Smartphone (down 6%). Drones moved up to #4 (from #8). Supply Chain held tight in the #5 spot (down 4%), followed by #6 Blockchain, which lost ground in both coverage volume (down 23%) and rank (from #4). #7 Semiconductors gained in the rankings (up from #9), while #8 E-commerce (down 5%) and #9 Cybersecurity (down 22%) each slipped one spot. #10 Wi-Fi was steady state in both rank and volume. This holding pattern continued through #11 Artificial Intelligence (down 2%) and #12 5G (up 11%).
From there, something perplexing: #13 Misinformation posted a 34% gain and a six-spot jump (from #19) tied to, you guessed it, election news. #22 Disinformation showed a similar trend, with volume up 28% and gaining six spots in the ranking. By contrast, Election Security lost ground, falling from #67 to #77 and shedding 24% of its September coverage volume. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions on why. And seeing how, all things considered, the election went relatively smoothly, it seems democracy won, at least over misinformation.
What’s Climbing: The highest-ranked topics to show substantial growth in October were #4 Drones (up 72%), #13 Misinformation (up 34%) and #7 Semiconductors (up 32%), but we’ve already talked about those. Other high percentage gainers were lower-volume topics like #214 Threat Telemetry (up 360%) and #190 Cloud Access Security Broker/CASB (up 49%). Middling topics that showed substantial gains included:
- #56 Supercomputers – up 82%
- #91 High Performance Computing/HPC – up 43%
- #68 Quantum Computing – up 33%
- #73 Gig Economy – up 33%
- #52 Firewall – up 29%
Some of the computing traction above was driven by news announcements in advance of the SC22 high-performance computing conference. Others tied back to discussions around “chip wars,” sanctions on China, and the global race for quantum computing leadership.
What’s Falling? There were more losses than gains in October, with 60 percent of topics (131 of 217) posting declines, and an average loss of 13%. As with gains, the highest percent losses occurred in lower-volume topics like #208 Compute Service (down 55%), #187 Location Tracking/Privacy (46%) and #213 Voice Interface (down 45%). Topics with the most movement in the top 100 included:
- #36 NFT – down 32%
- #77 Election Security – down 24%
- #6 Blockchain – down 23%
- #97 Threat Intelligence – down 23%
- #62 Deep Learning – down 20%
- #67 Digital Wallet – down 20%
One standout here is the drop in nearly all crypto-related topics, from Bitcoin and Blockchain to NFT and Web3. But given all that has happened with FTX, we’re likely to see a crypto-related conversation surge in November.
So What, Now What? From the perspective of mid-November, looking at these numbers is curious. Election results, while somewhat surprising, came in largely without controversy. For now, the supply chains seem to be plugging along, but as relations with China are strained and there is no end in sight to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The Twitter implosion and FTX collapse are currently at the forefront of nearly every news report, so we will see how that impacts November rankings. So, what did the Semiconductor say to the Drone? Want some chips?
Questions? Comments? See a topic we are not tracking? Please share below, and we will address in future installments.