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August 25, 2005


Matt Galloway


You're ahead of the game to be skeptical of NLP and machine learning. These are both good and valid techniques but both come with their own set of issues. The article you mentioned, for example, implies that Umbria can determine demographics for every post. This is simply ridiculous. These techniques are useful and valid - but like other research methodologies - they have their own set of limitations. It's probably fair to say that NLP can determine within some margin of error the likely age and gender of the speaker for some percentage of posts. As for what percentage and what margin of error? Umbria's not yet saying.

In this regard, I was a little upset with Business 2.0's coverage of Umbria - particularly with their comparision with their competitor Intelliseek. I have discussed this at length in a post here.

In general, I have been following the blog analytics space pretty closely on my blog.

Great post and I'm glad you're reading between the lines.


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  • This blog is authored by Shawn Rossi, vice president for marketing and public relations at the Mississippi Hospital Association. If you have questions or wish to leave feedback, e-mail srossi@mhanet.org.

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