Social Media Content Mining for Social Improvement

SMP blog post on monitoring Social Media
On my drive in to work, I heard a story by Cheryl Corley, an NPR correspondent who works for the National Desk. “When Social Media Fuels Gang Violence” tells of the use of social media by gang members in a practice called “cyber banging.” Social media is being used by gang members to promote themselves and their gang, and to issue taunts to other gangs. These posts go beyond the digital realm and have resulted in retaliation deaths. Cheryl reported, “This year, [Chicago] police say cyber banging fueled the death of another Chicago rapper.”

It has also been widely reported that social media is a vehicle for cyber bullying. Chicago police have been working to monitor the social media sites and partner with schools and counselors to address some of the violence. Meanwhile, at the university level, research is being done to decode the language that could send triggers to officials working in those neighborhoods.

As I listened to all of this, I thought, how do you monitor all those social media sites and all of the posts out there? What came to mind is that there are tools out there used by business to monitor those same social media sites for managing comments about their products and services, such as Cisco’s SocialMiner.

“Cisco SocialMiner is a social media customer care solution that can help you proactively respond to customers and prospects communicating through public social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, or other public forums or blogging sites. By providing social media monitoring, queuing, and workflow to organize customer posts on social media networks and deliver them to your social media customer care team, your company can respond to customers in real time using the same social network they are using.” [From the Cisco website]

Now, this is written from the standpoint of business but if your “customers” are gang members posting to social media and by monitoring the sites, SocialMiner can relay the information to the “social media customer care team,” aka police and civil violence protection authorities, a product intended to improve business can also aid in the curbing of gang violence through intervention.

Collaboration by Design

“Without a solid foundation, you’ll have trouble creating anything of value.” – Erika Oppeheimer.


  • When it comes to the technology, Unified Communications is built on a computer network infrastructure and like a house, a solid foundation that has been well planned is critical to the success.


  • When planning your UC system, one for one replication of the legacy system may not be the best approach. Legacy system functionality is as it is due to the limitations of the technology and people at the time it was implemented.  Today’s workforce and technology are much more capable and at this inflection point, you have an opportunity to address those pain points experienced in the past.

Build It

  • The migration roadmap to the new system has a great impact on the quality and cost of the project. A phased approach is often necessary due to the size of a project but the transition cost can be reduced and user satisfaction increased if the migration is not drawn out too long. During the migration from one system to the other, two systems are running. This creates two cost points for the business to bear. There will be a point where the cost of the legacy system is so high per user that accelerating to finish the migration will be more cost-effective than continuing to have both in use.


  • Many users are very content in how they do things now and if you only replicate functions without providing some advantage to the end users, their satisfaction and adoption rate may diminish. User communications on what is coming, why and what is in it for them are effective tools to gain user support. Involve the users, make them part of the process.
  • Training is very important, don’t just drop the technology and run. Provide training in different ways to reach people with different learning styles.

Do It

  • Unified Communications is not just a phone system. It is also the basis of video communications, real-time text messaging, user presence and current availability and all this integrates to create a communications package that is not a set of towered, isolated applications but a homogenous blend that enables group collaboration.