Welcome to the June 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 May 2021) and year-over-year (versus June 2020).
Big Picture: With so many big news stories in May, June had a tough act to follow. But follow it did with more of the same and few major shifts from month to month. #1 Bitcoin and #2 Cryptocurrencies remained at the forefront with over 200K more story mentions each than any other topics. Ransomware held position at #14, up from #46 in January 2021, the same ranking it held a year ago (#46 in June 2020). So, clearly a much more prominent topic now, and one that seems here to stay. Sigh.
Top 10 Analysis: There were just slight changes in the top 10 rankings. Bitcoin (up 5%) bounced back up to #1 after a month at #2, switching places again with Cryptocurrencies (down 2%). Smartphones held firm at #3 and registered a 10% increase in story volume. Pew Research recently reported about how the digital divide continues to show high percentages of “smartphone-only” internet users in rural areas and among minority groups, only underscoring the importance of both the device itself and the technology driving development.
Subsequent top 10 topics held firm in the standings with minimal volume changes, including #4 Blockchain (up 1%), #5 Supply Chain (up 1%), #6 E-commerce (up 4%), #7 Cybersecurity (up 3%) and #9 Artificial Intelligence (up 15%). #8 5G and #10 Drones moved up (from #10 and #12, respectively), while #13 Video Conferencing dropped back out of the top 10 – from #8 in May 2021, and way down from #2 in June 2020.
Extending out to the top 50, the biggest ranking changes were #36 Educational Technology (down from #28), because, well, July, and #49 Digital Wallet (up from #59), because let’s face it, we’re still buying all of the things online and really, who wants to touch paper money right now.
What’s Climbing: The fastest-growing topics in June were all relatively low ranking. #196 Utility Computing had the highest increase (up 171%, from 7 to 19 stories). #158 Growth Hacking was up 165% (from #178). The topic appeared on the agenda for upcoming MarTech conferences offered both ”Live and On Demand” as conference organizers continue to hedge their bets. Two additional topics – #184 Asynchronous Video (up 106%) and #134 Network Attached Storage/NAS (up 100%) – showed growth of 100% or more. The highest-ranking terms with sizable growth included #65 Security Operations/SecOps (up 61%) and #67 Election Security (up 54%).
What’s Falling: Declines were considerably smaller than gains. Only about one-quarter of topics showed volume declines (48 of 197). Of those, only 10 topics shed more than 20% of their volume, versus 44 topics that gained more than 20% in mention volume. Lower-volume topics took the biggest hits, led by #192 Serverless Platform (down 39%), #193 Humane Technology and #83 Gig Economy (down 34%). The highest-ranking terms showing losses were #36 Educational Technology (down 23%) and #16 Misinformation (down 17%). #64 Future of Work also registered a 17% decline in June but given the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases in July, it’s likely that discussion will heat back up as more companies revisit office opening plans.
Looking Ahead: Although June mostly mirrored May, with minimal rank changes and few big jumps in volume, the stark increase in COVID-19 cases and the rise of the Delta variant in July is likely to impact discussion trends. Video communication remains a hot topic – part of the new normal – with Asynchronous Video showing notable growth even as Video Conferencing mentions decline (down 14%, but still 178% higher than pre-demic levels in June 2019). It’s anybody’s guess if Contact Tracing – last June’s #5 topic, down to #27 this June – will show a resurgence or if the vaccinations will take care of that for us. Wish I still had that crystal ball I bought in college.
Questions? Comments? See a topic we are not tracking? Please share below, and we will address in future installments.