Friday, March 28, 2014

Why Did I Join Another Start-Up? Answer: The Buzz of BuzzSumo & Social Tracking

Start-ups are hard work, they get off the ground through passion, determination and very long hours. Despite this hard work most of them also fail.

So why did I decide to join another start-up? The answer has a lot to do with buzz, innovation and a passion for developing new ideas.

Low boredom threshold = love for new ideas 

I have had a very varied career including being a consultant at KPMG and the Director of Resources at a local Council. In 2000 I joined a small elearning company which we sold in 2005, immediately after I co-founded a new company which we subsequently sold at the end of 2012. I now work as a Director for the new owners but I missed the buzz of being involved in a start-up so I got their agreement to make an investment and be a director in a new start-up called BuzzSumo. I am really grateful for their support and I hope I can continue to contribute back what I learn.

My partner complains that I have a low boredom threshold but I prefer to think that I like exploring new ideas. Life is short and there are so many things to learn. I also find working on new projects very creative and energizing. Creativity comes from the intersection of ideas and applying ideas from one sector to another sector or industry. Hence I think working on different projects helps my creative thought processes.

Internet disruption and opportunity

I have always had a passion for internet technology and its potential to disrupt and change how we live and work. My initial focus was on education and the potential for learning, the internet is simply revolutionising how we learn. In recent years my focus has also been drawn to social networks. I have been intrigued by the potential to use social networks as a content discovery layer and in the power of social analytics and social tracking. Partly as a consequence I started writing a regular column for Social Media Today reviewing the latest social media tools called SMToolbox.


In my research I came across James and Henley who had an innovative idea about surfacing great content. Their idea was to filter the content for any topic by the most shared articles. They had already built a beta version of a social tracking tool called BuzzSumo. I had a play with it and loved it. I searched and found the most shared content across all social networks using the tool. I filtered by network, by date and by content formats as I explored the most shared content on the internet. I loved it so much, I was completely engaged with what I was discovering. So much so that I didn’t read my book club book that month, apologies to my fellow book club members, I will make up for it.

The Buzz of BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo was the analytics and content discovery tool I had been imagining. Each day I would use it to search for the most shared content over the last day or last week in topics such as elearning or content marketing. BuzzSumo helped me keep abreast of the trending content. I could also be the first to share it on certain networks where the content had not previously been shared.

Fortunately for me I managed to persuade James and Henley to let me join them for the ride and I became an investor and director at BuzzSumo. The tool has improved a lot since the early days, you can now see not only the most shared content but who shared the content. You can also see what other content that person has shared. With BuzzSumo you can search for key influencers in any topic area and filter by criteria such as numbers of followers or retweet ratios.

Start-Up Excitement

I am excited by the potential to generate useful and practical insights from social tracking and social analytics using BuzzSumo. I am also excited at once again having a stake in a start-up and seeing the passion that drives new innovation. Finally, I am looking forward to building a community around BuzzSumo. The team constantly seek feedback from users on how to improve things and it is great to see the passion that many of our users already have for the product. I have included just some of their tweets about BuzzSumo below.

Sharing My Start-Up Experience

In summary, it is great to be back involved with a start-up, or as my colleague calls it a support group for workaholics. I have decided to share here on my personal blog my learning and my experiences as things with BuzzSumo progress. I have personally been very impressed and inspired by the open and honest way that Joel the co-founder of Buffer App has shared his experiences as he has grown the company on his blog Startups, Learning and Happiness. I hope I can do the same. I am also happy to share ideas and discuss things over a coffee or over a Google hangout. I still have lots to learn. Let’s see where BuzzSumo takes us.

What BuzzSumo Users Say - The Buzz of BuzzSumo

Some examples from Twitter below:

Sean McBride ‏@seanmcbride

BuzzSumo is the best social media dashboard for tracking what is happening on the Internet for any topic. (via )

Saugat adhikari ‏@saugatad

@BuzzSumo : Awesome tool for marketers. Find out what kind of content on ur niche are shared across the social media. 


What are the most popular trends and links on social media today? BuzzSumo will help you find out 

Jade Brennan‏@galoobzzz

Been playing around with this tool the whole day >>>  #Awesome thanks @kirstycarrot for sharing

Martin (Marty) Smith‏ @ScentTrail

Cool Content Curation Tool @BuzzSumo : Most Shared Links & Influencers 

MB Virtual Solutions  ‏@mbvirtual1

I love @BuzzSumo! I have been using this app since day one. Excellent!!

Mira ‏@MiraRama

That BuzzSumo tool is amazing. #contentmarketing

Internetbureau Slik‏  @SlikNL

@BuzzSumo just found out about you guys through the Moz blog. What a great tool! Congrats on the success. #awesome #viral

Rob May  @robinlmay

Everyone should be using @BuzzSumo at  to research and track social media success! Check it out. #awesomeness

 imeldak‏ @imeldak

I love this RT @tomcritchlow: Who is behind @buzzsumo and why am I just learning about them now? Amazing data.

Bryan Harris‏ @Harris_Bryan

@BuzzSumo love it :)

Alexandre Saint-Jean ‏@Xelastjean

Great #Content #Curation #Tool @BuzzSumo: Discover Most Shared Links & Key Influencers | @scoopit via @ScentTrail 

Nuno Bispo ‏@nunobispo

@BuzzSumo Sharing is caring! You guys have really great content and insights

Alexandre Saint-Jean ‏@Xelastjean

Great #Content #Curation #Tool @BuzzSumo: Discover Most Shared Links & Key Influencers

Krystian Szastok‏ @krystianszastok

I love @BuzzSumo! because it's awesome.

Kriks ‏@krikOrianm

Identify the most shared links and key influencers for any topic - brilliant website for content creation 

WildernessWebDesigns‏@wildwebdesigns  is a great resource to discover the top social influences in different areas of expertise.

Rick Skidmore

@BuzzSumo you're my new BFF!

Ryan Tracey

@steverayson @CraigTaylor74 BuzzSumo Rocks!