New Product Testing –

Update 2.12.2014
The beta has been renamed Sifter and moved to


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Digital Methods Initiative Winter 2014 Slides

It was a great joy to return to the University of Amsterdam and give this talk to my old friend Richard Rogers and his 100+ attentive workshop attendees.

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Free Gnip-enabled Historical Twitter Estimates

Use search and powerful @Gnip Power Track operators to find the exact slice of Twitter history that you need.

Search every tweet in history

Search every tweet in history via the Gnip-enabled Power Track for Twitter

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Win Historical Twitter Datasets

Just about six hours left to win valuable historical twitter datasets and powerful text analytics software. This is by far our best Facebook raffle yet. To enter:

  1. Login to Facebook
  2. Visit this URL:
  3. Tweet about the raffle, follow DiscoverText on Twitter, or like on Facebook.
  4. Do all three to increase your chances.
  5. Refer friends to do better still.

The winner will get three 10-day historical Twitter  datasets, with Power Track search operators enable by our friends @gnip as well as gratis use of the DiscoverText software platform. Runners up will also get valuable software prizes for a full year.

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DiscoverText Sweepstakes

SIOP 2013 DiscoverText Sweepstakes 
Win One Free Year of DiscoverText Enterprise Individual Access

I would like to invite you to enter the SIOP 2013 DiscoverText Sweepstakes. All you need to do is sign up online for a free, 30-day, no obligation trial:

It should only take 60-90 seconds to sign up. The deadline to sign up is April 19th, 2013 to be entered in this round of sweepstakes. This drawing is not limited to SIOP 2013 booth visitors. You can tell friends, colleagues, professors and students, family, everyone you work with, and anyone else you like about the trial and sweepstakes.

Users report that they love DiscoverText ( and the sweepstakes winner will get a valuable prize.

If you have any questions once you are in the free trial, or about text analytics more generally, I would be delighted to hear from you.

To watch a brief DiscoverText customer testimonial, please visit:

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Joining Vision Critical: Reflections of an Inventor

As of today, DiscoverText is part of a larger company: Vision Critical, a market research technology provider that works with more than a third of the world’s top 100 brands. The thrill of joining a successful and growing firm headquartered in Vancouver is amplified by my pride in what DiscoverText can bring to Vision Critical’s customers, and by my excitement about what we’ll be able to offer our existing customers now that we are part of Vision Critical.

I am personally joining Vision Critical as Vice President for Text Analytics, and while I will still be based in western Massachusetts, I’ll have a chance to work with Vision Critical staff and clients at the company’s offices across North America and around the world. My task at Vision Critical is to work with every colleague to add a new analytic dimension to the integrated product suite. We will further develop DiscoverText so that it becomes a seamless, world class text analytics solution for Vision Critical customers and research personnel.

To that end, we have started drawing on the software engineering expertise and market research experience of the Vision Critical team. As we move deeper into 2013, current DiscoverText and Vision Critical customers will benefit from a growing array of powerful tools, scientifically-informed methods, and access to new data types, all backed by a robust IT infrastructure. Whether you are working with panel survey data, emails, customer service data, or one of the many Gnip-enabled premium social media feeds, my job is to shorten the time it takes you to reach valid and reliable, data-driven insights. “Better insights faster” is the operative theme.

I am honored and deeply grateful to have this opportunity to join Vision Critical. On a personal note, as someone who grew up in Vancouver (and has fond memories of tossing Frisbees with my family on Spanish Banks), it’s wonderful to be joining a company that is one of Vancouver’s great success stories. While it’s now truly a global company, with half its employees based in offices as far-flung as New York, London and Hong Kong, I look forward to regular visits to Vancouver HQ.

The top priority now is to bring a rigorous and innovative approach to the analysis of text into an elegant and ever more useful software framework. I am confident that DiscoverText will continue to grow more powerful in many interesting an unexpected ways. On behalf of my colleague and trusted Chief Technology Officer Mark Hoy, I can say unreservedly we are pumped up to be a part of a vibrant organization like Vision Critical.

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Gnip Power Track Expansion

It’s official. Starting in January 2013, DiscoverText customers will be able to purchase monthly access to four vibrant Gnip-enabled Power Track data feeds. Building on current successes with Twitter, we are pleased to offer unprecedented federated Power Track access to WordPress, Disqus, and Tumblr as part of our social #bigdata offering. Keep an eye on the blog for the launch in early January.
The DiscoverText Gnip Offering

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Smoking Hot Data

We interviewed researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago in the Health Media Collaboratory about their use of DiscoverText and the Gnip-enabled Power Track for Twitter to study smoking behavior. The team, led by Dr. Sherry Emery, explains why it is important to train and use custom machine classifiers to sort the millions of tweets they are collecting from the full Twitter fire hose. The UIC team strongly argues for the combination of good tools and highly reliable data.

Smoking Hot Data and Text Analytics: DiscoverText, Gnip, and the Health Media Collaboratory from Stuart Shulman on Vimeo.

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Tutorial Videos

Thanks to our friends at, we now have our entire tutorial video library indexed in a spiffy new media roll. Learn how to use DiscoverText to archive, filter, search, code, and machine classify text from social media, surveys, emails and more.

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Texifter and Columbia University Launch New Gnip Data Feeds

AMHERST, MA, November 15, 2012

New collaboration brings greater social data coverage to research, education, and commercial users.

Texifter, a text analytics start-up, is launching access to two new major blog data stGNIP Badgereams as part of its collaboration with Columbia University: the WordPress fire hose, which gives access to every comment or post on every WordPress blog, and the Disqus PowerTrack, both provided by Gnip, the world’s largest provider of social data.

“We provide the tools that allow Fortune 1000 companies and market research firms to analyze the massive amounts of unstructured data available from blogs, social media sites, surveys, and email,” says CEO Dr. Stuart Shulman. Dr. Shulman is also a political science professor and director of the Qualitative Data Analysis Program (QDAP) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “We are excited about the collaboration with Columbia University and the acquisition of two vibrant and important blog data streams.”

 Texifter provides cost-effective web-based software for text analytics using unstructured data. Its flagship product, DiscoverText, is a cloud-based software solution that supports advanced filtering, clustering, human coding, and machine learning with unstructured text data. Commercial enterprises, education institutions, and government agencies use DiscoverText for storing and sifting through large amounts of social media data from sources like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. DiscoverText users develop custom, reusable machine-learning text classifiers, which provide fast and valuable insights. The text analytics process reveals common themes in unstructured data as well as unique, infrequent, or unanticipated findings.

At Columbia University, researchers are utilizing these data to study the role of opinion leaders and other intermediaries in the spread of news links via social media.

“By using DiscoverText and Gnip data streams,” notes Dr. Augustin Chaintreau of the Computer Science Department, “we understand this behavior better and can model the role of social networks in creating contextual meaning around important news events.”

Founded in 2009, Texifter‘s current clients include: Google, Volvo, QVC-UK, the National Library of Norway, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Comptroller of the Currency.


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Fear and Loathing on the Social Campaign Trail

Hurricane Sandy kept me from giving this talk titled “Fear & Loathing on the Social Campaign Trail” in San Francisco, so here is it via a Screencast.

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What are your customers thinking?

“The October 30, 2012 Sentiment Analysis Symposium in San Francisco will be the 5th instance of a premier business-focused conference, the only conference that will teach you about technology and solutions that help you discover business value in opinions, emotions, and attitudes in social media, news, and enterprise feedback.

Should you attend the symposium? Yes, if you want to lead the competition – in customer satisfaction and support, brand and reputation management, financial services, product design and marketing, and an array of other business processes – if you understand the advantage you will gain in understanding customer, market, employee, investor, and political sentiment, emotion, mood, and opinion.”

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Hunting Political Fear

The R&D team has been preparing an academic basic research talk I will make at the October 30, 2012 Sentiment Analysis Symposium. The title is “Fear and Loathing on the Social Campaign Trail” and we have been working with a lexicon shared by the National Research Council of Canada listing 14,000 terms associated with eight basic emotions.

Over the final month of the US election, we will be testing and refining statistical language models that capture the use of political fear words in social media. A sample of the words in play is shown here.

Check back on October 30, when we will be launching a new political fear index days before the 2012 presidential election.


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Complete History of Twitter Now Available via GNIP

Texifter BadgeTexifter was the first company to join as a paying customer in the alpha “Snapshot” offering from Gnip. You can still take part in that alpha by submitting a request for a free estimate of a snapshot from Twitter’s complete history.

This is, however, a very fast-moving landscape for for social #bigdata. We are quickly transitioning from the alpha “Snaphot” tests to the beta of a cradle-to-grave system for building estimates for the cost of text analytic projects that feature either the real-time day-forward, Gnip-enabled Power Track (the GNIP BadgeTwitter fire hose), or the new historical Power Track. So if you have ever wished you could go back in time and collect all the tweets from an epic moment in history, your wish just came true. Contact us if you have any questions and submit a request for a free estimate today.

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Heat Maps Arrive

 We are thrilled with the response to v1 of our heat map tools, which provide a unique glimpse into the nature and scope of inter-coder agreement in DiscoverText. This video introduces the beta version of the tool. Overtime, the tool will become more interactive, allowing users to filter multi-coder annotation to weight observations where the preponderance of coders agree over those on which few agree.

Link to the Heat Map Video

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