As the New York Times reports
The rise of blogs and social networks has fueled a bull market in personal opinion: reviews, ratings, recommendations and other forms of online expression.adding that
online opinion has turned into a kind of virtual currency that can make or break a product in the marketplace.
As with many practices in the world of social media,the art is at an early stage but services are starting to appear including Scout Labs and Jodange
Both seek to provide services to enable decision makers to better understand who and what is influencing their customers, competitors, marketplace and therefore their company.
The FT has set up Newssift that
that tracks sentiments about business topics in the news, coupled with a specialized search engine that allows users to organize their queries by topic, organization, place, person and theme.