Every year at SXSW, there is activity in the startup communities and new services pop up which attempt to catch the SXSWave and benefit from the attention. This year, SocMetrics has caught my attention. What it does is deceptively simple. It takes data from social event planning platform Plancast (one of my favorites) and ranks attendees by influence.
The influence ranking is imperfect as you'd expect. As of now—it's relying primarily on Twitter footprints and "shares" via Blogger. However where it gets really interesting is in the categorization of influentials. It assigns labels such as "fitness" "food" "moms" "wedding" "design" "tech" "social media" to indicate what category an individual has influence, interest or expertise in. What surprised me about it that as I reviewed some of the labels for several attendees, the categories were in many cases pretty accurate. Not all, but in many and this is significant.
I think there's something here. Events are where social, digital and physical merge and relationships are often forged or reinforced. Having a way to understand the influence levels of attendees and how they break down in terms of the topics they "cover" can be especially useful in identification activities and engagement programs. It's worth watching.