This news story reports the sale of a “digital sociology firm” named mPathDiscovery:
Richard Neal, CIO of mPathDiscovery, described TBX as a group of investors from different industries that came together in April. The transaction will provide mPathDiscovery with access to TBX’s capital, experience and business connections.
Neal said mPathDiscovery has two employees — himself and President David Goode — and uses an array of contract employees. The company will remain in Kansas City and soon will begin looking for its first office space.
One result of the transaction has been the purchase of the “digitalsociology.com” web domain. Neal said the name had been owned by a cybersquatter who offered to sell it for a profit.
Neal said digital sociology helps companies see who is saying what, when and where about them online. The process can help companies see how marketing messages are being received by the public and analyze attitudes about competitors.
Two things strike me:
- So this is beyond web analytics where companies try to figure out who is visiting their site. (That industry is crowded and there are a number of ways to measure engagement with websites.) This goes to the next level and examines how companies/pages are perceived. I imagine there are plenty of people already doing this – I’ve heard plenty of commercials for site that want to protect the reputation of individuals – so what sets this company apart? This leads to the second point…
- What exactly makes this “digital sociology”? As a sociologist, I’m not sure what exactly this is getting at. Online society? Studying online interactions with companies? The use of the term sociology is meant to imply a more rigorous kind of analysis? In the end, is the term sociology attractive to companies that want these services?