Welcome to the May 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 April 2022) and year-over-year (versus May 2021).
Big Picture: Technology seems woven into the fabric of all trending topics in the news right now. From Elon Musk’s freedom of speech arguments tied to his proposed Twitter takeover, to author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance’s Senate run in Ohio, to ongoing ransomware attacks linked to geopolitical posturing, everything comes back to tech. Based on our analysis, tech conversations reversed their April losses to return to “normal” levels in May, whatever normal means anymore. For the month, 130 topics posted gains in conversation volume, versus just 16 in April. Comparatively, 81 discussions lost ground, versus 195 in April. So, what is everyone is talking about now?
Top Ten: The top three topics did not change. #1 Cryptocurrencies (down 8%) and #2 Bitcoin (down 7%) held position despite marginal drops. #3 Supply Chain posted a 14% gain. #4 Smartphone and #5 Blockchain switched places, this time because Smartphone mentions only fell by 2% while Blockchain was down 13%. E-commerce held at #6 and had virtually no change from April to May (down less than 1%).
And this is where it gets interesting. Venture Capital, which has hovered around #35, jumped up to #7 in May. Mentions were linked to politics, including Vance’s Ohio campaign, Blake Masters’ candidacy in Arizona (currently COO at Thiel Capital), and Ritchie Torres’ run in New York (“a liberal case for cryptocurrency”), just to name a few. That doesn’t even account for discussion about Elon Musk’s trolling for dollars to fund the Twitter acquisition, or broader venture capital trends as the economy shifts and investors become more risk averse.
From there, it is mostly just more minor shifts. Drones slipped one spot to #8 (down 13% in volume), #9 Artificial Intelligence climbed one spot (up 19%). And #10 Cybersecurity dropped two spots even though its volume was pretty much unchanged month-to-month. 5G was the only topic pushed out of the top 10, falling from #9 to #13 and registering a 6% drop.
What’s Climbing: Outside of #7 Venture Capital, only a few topics in the top 50 posted gains over 20%, including #25 Robotics (up 43%), #49 Facial Recognition (up 36%), and #18 User Experience (up 20%). Nine topics showed gains of more than 50% from April to May, but these were primarily lower ranking topics including:
- #211 Threat Telemetry – up 450%
- #198 Serverless Tech – up 141%
- #140 5G Security – up 102%
- #167 IT Service Management – up 96%
- #100 Data Governance – up 95%
- #206 Enterprise Video – up 61%
- #142 Supply Chain Security – up 52%
What’s Falling: Reversing massive drops in April, only 81 of 212 topics lost ground from April to May, compared to 195 topics that declined from March to April. Losses were less substantial as well, with only 11 topics shedding more than 30% of their coverage volume, compared to 111 in April. Loss-leaders included:
- #209 Utility Computing – down 70%
- #178 API Integration – down 66%
- #190 Cloud Access Security Broker/CASB – down 62%
- #193 Growth Hacking – down 50%
- #203 Asynchronous Video – down 48%
- #210 Event-Driven Applications – down 48%
- #194 Customer Education – down 48%
Only a handful of the top 50 terms showed losses, and all were less than 20%. This included #37 Domain Name (down 19%), #22 Malware (down 15%), #28 Multimedia (down 14%), #5 Blockchain (down 13%), and #8 Drone (down 13%). Of note here, the top two terms – #1 Cryptocurrencies and #2 Bitcoin – posted their second month of declines in May, with both falling to their lowest monthly volumes this year.
Looking Ahead: June has already been action-packed, with events including the first post-pandemic in-person RSA Security conference and Apple’s 2022 WWDC. Also: the publicly aired January 6 hearings, ongoing election primaries in battle ground states, heightened concerns about supply chain issues and gas prices, and the war in Ukraine. We will be watching to see what grabs editorial focus after riding the e-bike to vote in our local primaries.
Questions? Comments? See a topic we are not tracking? Please share below, and we will address in future installments.