Tag Archives: social media

Social Discovery’s Time Is Now

by Barry Murphy

social discoveryThe 80/20 rule tends to apply in all aspects of life, and it is certainly applying to social discovery, at least in terms of who “gets it” and who doesn’t.  I say that because, when I talk to folks about social discovery, about 80% of them feel that it is a fringe issue that will be something to deal with in the distant future.  Only 20% realize that social discovery is happening now and that getting ahead of the curve presents a huge opportunity.

On the surface, it would seem problematic that so few embrace the realities that social media is here to stay in the business world.  According to Forrester Research’s The State Of Consumers And Technology: Benchmark 2013, US, “consumers of all age groups use social networking. From the 85% of Gen Zers to the 57% of the Golden Generation who visit Facebook at least monthly, social networking is ingrained in the Internet experience for all generations. Consumers use social media to interact with companies, too. The average US online Facebook user “likes” 14 brands on Facebook, while almost seven out of 10 social networkers engage with brands on social media.”  That social media content is discoverable is not up for debate; the argument tends to be around whether actual social discovery is mainstream yet.

The proactive management (e.g. archiving) of social media is not yet a mainstream practice in US enterprises.  In talking to a colleague at an archiving vendor, the primary reason for this is cost.  Yes, there is a lack of maturity in policies (both usage and retention) and a fear that simply journaling social media into an archive will just bloat digital landfills, but the primary issue is cost.  This is because most of the solutions for capturing social media into an archive are hosted and have recurring subscription and storage fees.  As a result, the starting cost – just to add social media to an archive – is over $25,000.  For most enterprises, that additional cost is a non-starter.

Just because proactive management of social media is not mainstream does not mean that social discovery as a practice is not.  I can look at the sales numbers for X1’s Social Discovery (X1SD) product and tell you that the growth rate is such that it is clear the practice is widespread.  I have also heard from service providers that are doing over 30 Facebook collections per week.  To me, that indicates that social discovery is a mainstream practice.  With X1SD, the cost issue is averted because the starting cost is less than $1,500.  Plus, the filtering capabilities allow investigators to only pass potentially relevant content downstream in the eDiscovery lifecycle.  And, being a desktop install means that no custody or control issues will pop up (especially important in the law enforcement use-case).

Most of the coverage of social media tools focus on the marketing use-cases – for example enterprise listening platforms and social relationship platforms.  Those use-cases serve important business functions, but discovery platforms need to meet a higher standard.  They need to show defensibility and have great control over custody of the data.  With such capabilities in place and in use today, it is only a matter of time before enterprises connect the dots and begin addressing social discovery with as much discipline as they do collection of email and other enterprise content.

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X1 First To Offer Social Discovery Certification

by Barry Murphy

Education, training, and certification programs are foundational elements of any profession.  When it comes to relatively new functions like social media discovery, the importance of good training and certification options is amplified.  There is a dearth of expertise coupled with the need for corporations and law firms to address challenges quickly – that combination creates an immediate need for formal and effective training.

The activities within the eDiscovery profession tend to be specialized.  For example, forensic disk imaging requires a specific skill set that is very different from the skill set required to run predictive coding review workflows and projects.  As a result, generic eDiscovery certifications have yet to gain mainstream traction in a meaningful way.  This is not to say such programs are not valuable; they are.  However, given the lack of a standards board or independent third-party that has published a treatise on what it means to be qualified to perform “eDiscovery,” it is difficult for any one certification to be an industry standard.  Further, the eDiscovery profession is a sum of many tasks, most of which are performed by various team members (as opposed to one person being responsible for, or capable of performing, all).  What I hear from eDiscovery professionals when it comes to certification is that there is simply not enough definition as to what it means to be a certified eDiscovery professional.

One type of certification that is more important than ever is vendor-specific (or tool-specific) certification.  Previous eDJ Group research had validated the fact that training and education programs are critically important for the practice of eDiscovery.

Vendor certifications

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For years, it has been critically important that forensic investigators be certified on the tools they use – such as Guidance Software’s Encase (EnCE, EnCEP) or AccessData’s FTK (ACE).  Likewise, the Relativity Certified Administrator credential (RCA) from kCura has gained significance in the hosting and review market.  As such, upon joining X1, I was very pleased to hear that the company will offer certification for our X1 Social Discovery tool.  Why is certification for the Social Discovery tool so important?  First, social media is now ingrained in our business lives.  eDJ Group research from September 2013 shows that almost two-thirds of workers now use external social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn for business purposes.

Social Media Part of Business

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Second, social discovery is still fairly new and requires in-depth training.  With X1 Social Discovery, users need to understand how MD5 hash values of individual items are calculated upon capture and maintained through export. They need to understand the automated logging and reports that are generated. They need to be educated on the key metadata unique to social media & web streams that are captured through deep integration with APIs provided by the sites and how this metadata is important to establishing chain of custody and authentication.  Given these new challenges, a certification program just makes sense.  Even better, X1’s Social Discovery tool will be the only one on the market with a certification program in place.  That will be an important distinction in the market, especially given the large amount of law enforcement customers for the product (doing things by the book is extremely critical in law enforcement investigations).

The X1 Social Discovery Certification course, offered by DigitalShield, will cover:

  • Introduction to the foundational skills and knowledge needed to understand social media collection, analysis, review and delivery
  • Best practices for locating and collecting social media
  • Providing investigators, digital forensic examiners and eDiscovery practitioners with the technical skills to use X1 Social Discovery
  • Hands-on training using X1 Social Discovery to collect, manage, and analyze data from Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, webmail and websites

To sign up for the training or to learn more, click here >  

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Filed under Social Media Investigations, Training and Certification