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Over the weekend the reality of big data came into sharp relief as two agency stalwarts, the Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe announced their merger to form a new media powerhouse. But the real news is the reason they decided to merge: big data.

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As a big data platform for social data, we’re always looking for new ways we can innovate to extend our platform to make it easier for companies to filter and receive social data from us. Today we’re proud to announce a new service available today to our customers: DataSift Carrier Pigeon Delivery.

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With the vastness of the information at hand, and ever-greater access to that information, news agencies have to cope with a reality that their readers may never come to them for a headline again. The headlines are already out there, via Twitter, via Facebook, via whatever medium that is your particular preference. In 140 characters, the news is being broken before news agencies even realize it’s news. When your customers are beating you to the product, it changes the game.

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Today, were rounding up this week’s top social media stories from around the web. As the year comes to a close, the web has provided an abundance of data analysis of trends, news, and events that have shaped 2012. From the 2012 Summer Olympics, SOPA, Curiosity Rover, U.S Presidential Election and Superstorm Sandy, social media has captured and shared the global pulse of humanity.

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Here at DataSift, we live and breathe all things social data. We are constantly amazed by the pioneers who are manipulating that data in extraordinary ways that promote innovations we never thought possible and get especially excited about those who use big data for the greater good of humanity.
That’s why we enjoyed our interview with Jake Porway, Founder and Executive Director of DataKind, a non-profit organization that brings together data scientists and social organizations to correlate big data and provide solutions about global social issues.

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When you think about charts and data, “hilarious and witty” are most likely not your first thoughts that come to mind. Big data is all around us – why not make it easy on the eyes? We recently had the pleasure of spending some time with Jason Oberholtzer, blogger for Forbes and co-founder and curator of the popular Tumblr and published book, I Love Charts. As an Internet culture maven and charts junkie, he let us in on how he turns raw data into witty visualizations, the data sharing revolution, and of course, the I Love Charts’ journey from Tumblr to a Nation-wide selling book.

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Your social listening, engagement, marketing, and customer support initiatives – and beyond them, a range of emerging, social-infused business processes (that is, every process that involves people) – require clean, complete, well-structured, and reliable social data. If you’re already a DataSift customer, you surely agree, but if you’re not yet convinced, poke around the DataSift site a bit and I’m sure you will come around.

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Last week, we attended the Social Media Strategies Summit in San Francisco, where Rob Bailey, our CEO, discussed the seven measurable actions that further your company’s marketing and social media efforts. In addition to providing a framework for moving your company’s efforts from beginner to pro, Rob highlighted companies who are thinking strategically about social media, such as Taco Bell, Burberry and KFC.

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With the recent news that our friends at Salesforce.com have signed an agreement with Twitter to access the full firehose of public Tweets, we thought we’d give an insight into what it’s like being on the receiving end of this torrent of data. And of course, we’re not just doing this for Tweets, we’re doing this processing for public Facebook posts, and across nearly a million blogs, forums and news sites.

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If you had traded based on signals today to buy/sell Facebook stock, how would you have done? Probably pretty well! We’ve been closely monitoring Twitter’s social data and its relation to the Facebook stock price. What we found is pretty interesting. The positive and negative views on Twitter mirrored the fluctuations in Facebook stock price today.

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