According to the swine flu map that Facebook put online Tuesday night, Texas leads all the states in terms of online postings mentioning the swine flu.
Apparently it hasn't impacted me or the 500-600 other folks who have come together here at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin to talk social commerce these past couple days.
The now apparently annual BazaarVoice Social Commerce Summit provides an opportunity for BazaarVoice customers, digital marketing experts, and people who like to ride mechanical bulls to come together and talk all things crowdsourcing commerce.
If you've ever rated or ranked a product or a story on a Website, then you, too, have participated in the fine art of social commerce.
I've been most pleased with the summit thus far. I've had the opportunity to hang with some local and far away colleagues from IBM, as well as meet some new friends from various vendors and BazaarVoice (Look for increased integration of BazaarVoice capabilities into the IBM WebSphere Commerce product line).
And most importantly, I've done all of this less than three miles away from my domicile here in Austin. (Inside joke: If you've followed this blog recently with any regularity, you know my recent home has been Seat 15F on an American Airlines 757).
And based on the Twitter stream emerging from the conference, there are no "Twitter Quitters" in this audience.
This despite Nielsen Wire posting that "for most of the past 12 months, pre-Oprah, Twitter has languished below 30 percent retention."
I can see the T-shirts now: "Real Twits Never Quit!"
A key meme here in Austin at the Summit has been analytics.
How do we measure the impact of all those ratings and rankings? How do I reassure my CEO that those cool stories people are telling about my brand on my web site are turning into a gazillion dollars worth of new sales? etc. ad nauseum ad infinitum.
So I was pleased to see IBM announce yesterday it is opening a global network of advanced analytic centers, including the initial five in Tokyo, London, New York City, Beijing, and Washington, D.C.
These centers will enable IBM to meet growing client demand for advanced analytics capabilities.
One of our first engagements will be with my dad's home state of Arkansas, which IBM will help to more effectively monitor and manage the use of stimulus grants for improving education programs.
IBM CEO Sam Palmisano remarked about the announcement of these new centers:
"Advanced analytics are increasingly essential to help companies and organizations confronted with vast amounts of data and systemic change, and who are looking to build smarter business systems. All organizations today need to sort through myriad choices, make smarter decisions quickly and accurately, and act decisively. IBM is ready to help."
Now, if you'll excuse me. The New York Times' Jeff Graham is about to tell us about "Using Word of Mouth to Build ROI!"