Welcome to the March 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 February 2021) and year-over-year (versus March 2020).
A look back: Let’s face it. In March 2020, the world stopped. Then it turned upside down. And shook itself up like a snow globe. Supply Chain and Video Conferencing quickly became the top two tech conversations (up from #3 and #13) as toilet paper shortages and work/school from home took effect. Bitcoin, which had ranked #1, slid to #5. Educational Technology entered the top 10 (#7).
Fast forward one year. Toilet paper is plentiful. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies hold strong as the #1 and #2 conversation topics for the fourth consecutive month. Contact tracing slides to #16, its lowest ranking in 12 months. So maybe, just maybe, the snow is starting to settle in the globe.
Top 10 Analysis: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies maintained the top two spots in March, with citations up 0.3% and 9% over February. Smartphones held firm at #3 (up 17%). Supply Chain moved up to #4 (from #6) due largely to coverage of the Suez Canal debacle, as well as chip supply issues and COVID-19 vaccine distribution. E-commerce ranked #5 (down from #4) despite an 11% gain in mentions. Of the others, Blockchain (#6, up from #8), 5G (#8, up from #10) and AI (#10, up from #11) showed rank and volume gains. Video Conferencing (#7, down from #5) and Misinformation (#9, down from #7) slipped in the rankings. And thankfully, Layoffs/Furloughs dropped out of the top 10, moving from #9 to #11.
What’s Climbing: Six low-ranking topics showed gains of 100% or more in March including #172 Asynchronous Video (up 218%), #134 Encryption Keys (157%), #129 Identity Protection (149%), #186 Thermal Monitoring (138%), #154 Function As a Service/FaaS (121%) and #182 Serverless Platform (100%). Other gainers included #46 Digital Health (up 43%) and #29 Remote Work (up 41%), so clearly the pandemic isn’t done influencing discussions. The highest–ranking topic with the biggest gain was #6 Blockchain, up 37% from February tied to the ongoing cryptocurrency boom.
What’s Falling: For the second month in a row, #39 Disinformation was the highest–ranking topic to show a notable decline (down 60%). Others that lost ground include #188 Business Services Management (down 71%), #151 AI Ethics (down 58%) and #187 Utility Computing (down 49%). Something interesting to note: Only 36 of 188 topics shed volume from February to March, compared to 152 that showed increases.
Moving into April, we know retail spending is on the rebound and the price of lumber keeps going up thanks to – wait for it – supply chain issues. Cryptocurrencies continue to be at the forefront thanks to the Coinbase IPO. So, what will this mean for conversation rankings? Tune in again in April to find out!
Questions? Comments? See a topic we are not tracking? Please share below, and we will address in future installments.