Welcome to the August 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 July 2020) and year-over-year (versus August 2019).
In the top 10, there were modest shifts from July to August, with no topic moving more than two spots. Artificial Intelligence returned to the top 10 after a one-month exclusion (from #11 to #10), while Cyber Security dropped out (from #9 to #11).
At the top, Layoffs/Furloughs slid from the #1 spot to #3, while Contact Tracing climbed to #1 despite showing a 1% drop in mentions from July. Still, it remained nearly 300X higher in citation volume than a year ago (wow!). It registered 23,000 more mentions than #2 Video Conferencing (141K+ stories, down 12% from July, its fourth consecutive month of declines).
E-commerce held strong at #4 despite a 3% drop in story volume, while Educational Technology continued its climb to #5 as kids go back to school (whether remote or in person), jumping up from #7 after making its debut in July’s top 10.
Supply Chain fell one spot to #6 after registering an uptick in July. Drones moved up to #7 despite a 2% volume drop (still considerably higher than a COVID-driven drop-off from Feb’20-Jun’20). 5G fell to #8 from #6, Wi-Fi moved up to #9 from #10, and Artificial Intelligence rounded out the top 10 despite showing both month-to-month (-5%) and year-to-year (-6%) declines.
As we saw last month, most of the significant movement occurred for lower-ranked terms, representing eight of the top 10 gains and losses by topics that ranked over #100. This reinforces that lower-volume terms have more volatility, which can be impacted by individual company announcements and/or industry events. (For example, Serverless Platform dropped quite a bit in August after a July spike tied to a Cloudflare event.) By contrast, higher-volume terms like Drones are harder to impact, even for something as newsworthy as Amazon’s drone delivery announcements.
Beyond the top 10, our “biggest gains” chart showed considerably more modest gains from July to August than we saw from June to July. Only one topic—last place Business Services Management—showed a gain over 100% (+200%, equal to 4 stories), but alas is still in last place at #152. Only two other topics—Location Tracking/Privacy (+62%) and Event Driven Applications (+55%)—showed gains over 50%, compared to 10 topics with 50% or higher gains from June to July.
“Biggest losses” this month included reversals for some of last month’s shooting stars, with Serverless Platform mentions down 71% (#149, down from #145) and Utility Computing down 38% (#151, down from #150). In this set, Workplace Safety dropped by the highest volume (3.6K+ fewer stories, -38%), but only fell from #45 to #51 in the rankings. Comparatively, Data Projections/Data Modeling mentions fell by just over 1.3K citations (-39%), and dropped from #72 to #94, the biggest rank change from July to August.
Check out our Top Conversations in Tech page for interactive charts including the full top 150+ topics, as well as prior analyses. Questions? Comments? See a topic we aren’t tracking? Please share below, and we’ll address in future installments.