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Social Media Portal interview with David Chivers from Dow Jones & Company

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 12 June 2012

Social Media Portal interview with David Chivers from Dow Jones & Company

Profiled - David Chivers, vice president, Factiva products at Dow Jones & Company

Factiva logoSocial Media Portal (SMP): What is your role at Dow Jones?

David Chivers (DC): I am vice president, Factiva products at Dow Jones & Company.  I have global responsibility for the strategy, development and management of Dow Jones’ Factiva product portfolio.

SMP: Briefly, tell us about Factiva. What is it and what does the service do?

DC: Factiva is one of the largest, most global digital business aggregators and archives in the world. Geared for business decision making on desktop and mobile environments, its global news collection includes more than 35,000 sources from nearly 200 countries in 26 languages.

SMP: How does the service choose content that it sources?

DC: Factiva sources content from nearly 200 countries and in 26 languages. The content in Factiva is based on the business needs of our customers and focuses on relevant geographies, roles and industries of interest. We look to obtain content across all mediums including newspapers, newswires, publications, social media, multi-media, etc.  

SMP: How can resources let you know about where they are and the content they produce?

DC: We have a content licensing team that identifies the content, evaluates it for relevance and indexes it appropriately for inclusion into Factiva.  However, you can submit content sources for evaluation by contacting our customer service team at or +1 877 798 0787.

SMP: Who are your target audience and why?

Phootograph of  David Chivers, vice president, Factiva products at Dow Jones and CompanyDC: Our target audience is any business professional globally that consume information as part of their job function – so essentially anyone in business is our audience.

SMP: Tell us a little about the new Twitter content added to Factiva, how does it work?

DC: Factiva leverages a combination of technology and editorial staff to curate content from Twitter’s “firehose.”  The curated Twitter content in Factiva covers 31 industries, including energy, financial services and technology with a focus on the most influential tweeters from around the globe. The real time content is available via Factiva Snapshot, a news dashboard that helps businesses to efficiently gather intelligence and identify trends, opportunities and risks. And, this is just the start. We expect to continue to add services involving Twitter content.

SMP: What industries does it cover?

DC: The curated Twitter content in Factiva covers 31 industries:
  • Accounting/Consulting
  • Advertising/Public Relations
  • Aerospace/Defense
  • Agriculture/Forestry
  • Airlines
  • Automobiles
  • Banking/Credit
  • Biotechnology
  • Business/Consumer Services
  • Chemicals
  • Clothing/Textiles
  • Computers/Electronics
  • Construction/Real Estate
  • Consumer Products
  • Energy
  • Environment/Waste Management
  • Food/Beverages/Tobacco
  • Health Care
  • Hotels/Restaurants/Casinos
  • Insurance
  • Internet/Online Services
  • Investing/Securities
  • Leisure/Arts
  • Machinery/Industrial Goods
  • Media
  • Metals/Mining
  • Paper/Packaging
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Retail/Wholesale
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation/Shipping

SMP: Why is it relevant and useful for your audiences?

DC: It is important for our customers to have the full landscape of news and commentary across all mediums. We know that there is real business intelligence available on Twitter, so we’ve placed that intelligence in a dashboard alongside our traditional and blog content to give Factiva customers an up-to-the second look at what influential individuals in various industries are talking about. Customers benefit from receiving only the most meaningful industry-specific tweets without all of the noise.

SMP: How can others such as blog add their services to Factiva or let you know?

DC: You can nominate a blog for our review by contacting Factiva customer service at DJsupport @ or +1 877 798 0787.

SMP: How did you initially attract users to your site and services, and how do you do it now?

DC: Factiva was initially used by information professionals at global enterprises when it launched more than 10 years ago. Since then, Factiva has evolved for modern businesses and is used by knowledge workers that require information and content to perform their jobs effectively. We have a terrific sales team that meet with our client organisations to ensure they’re getting the most out of our tools and services.

SMP: What are the low moments of what you have been doing so far (with Factiva)?

DC: The low point for the information industry as a whole happened when there was an expectation that all content should be free due to the availability of free content on the Web. I believe this trend significantly devalued premium content and professional journalism.

As a result, professionals were making business decisions based on content from non credible sources and learned the hard way that not all content is the same or can be trusted, which ultimately impacted their business. The industry in transitioning again as more publishers are putting their content behind pay walls and professionals with a need for credible premium content expect to pay for it. We welcome the experimentation with business models and are strong advocates that credible premium content is worth paying for.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far (with Factiva)?

DC: Our primary focus is our customers. We’ve redesigned Factiva, added an iPad app and added new features and capabilities around easy setup and regular monitoring of industries, topics and companies. All of this makes Factiva easier to use while providing even more tools that allow our users to really connect news to ideas, risks and opportunities. Our customers are outspoken, and they responded to these changes with such enthusiasm that it pushed us to innovate Factiva even further and faster. This change not only invigorated our customers but energised our team here at Factiva as well.  

SMP: What do you see as your biggest challenges and opportunities?

DC: Our biggest challenge is keeping up with the ever changing needs of our customers and ensuring we are providing the highest quality content and tools to fit a wide range of roles in the enterprise. It is really about making Factiva extremely relevant to specific roles and industries by giving them the full landscape of the news they need across all mediums.

Also, we know that sometimes your biggest challenge is also one of your biggest opportunities. Technology is moving at lightening speed and at the heart of our strategy is innovation.   Factiva is a powerful information tool and the opportunities lie in using these new technologies to make premium business information effortless to find, analyse, share and most simply – use on an everyday basis.  

SMP: What are the next moves for Factiva in terms of social media?

DC: We plan to extend our curation to include more business relevant social media content and allow users to filter, search and alert on that content. We’re always evaluating new networks and content sets to add to our content mix.

SMP: What’s the next big step for social media and networks?

Managing the noise to signal ratio and making content relevant for end users. This is where we think Factiva can really help. Our customers know that social media is important, but one of their biggest challenges is separating the volume of irrelevant content from the key conversations around their products, services, industries, competitors and customers.

SMP: What was the most challenging part of building on the brands presence in digital environments (including social media)?

DC: There are a couple key issues at play here. First, fragmentation (and the speed of this change) across devices, operating systems and emerging platforms/networks keep business professionals scrambling to understand social interactions. Second, sifting through the volume of conversations and interactions to identify the impactful discussion present a challenge. But, the good news is that there are smart people evolving these tools. Businesses are learning fast and consumers are learning even faster about what’s important to them digitally.

SMP: What’s going to be the most interesting aspect regarding social media / technology throughout 2012 and into 2013?

DC: Social media will be something that everyone in an organisation will start to familiarise themselves with and use, extending beyond marketing to include C-level executives, customer service, product management, business strategy etc. This will lead to more innovative enterprise tools and ways to access social media.

SMP: What are your top five predictions for social media throughout 2012 and into 2013?

DC  replies with:
  • Moving past just brand awareness, companies will start focusing heavily on social media conversations to directly influence sales.
  • Intelligent personalisation – we’ll continue to see improvements that blend individual filtering and sifting while technologies continue to improve on serendipity and discovery through passive personalization and behavioral targeting
  • Companies will continue to embrace social media more than ever as a way to engage with their audience real time, creating digital experiences that drive loyalty (and we’ll continue to see missteps as companies experiment to get it right)
  • Social media is created by the masses, so it becomes a barometer of changing sentiment. Harnessing the sentiment of social media and building investment models around that will be one of the next big steps.
  • Social media monitoring and measurement vendors have good revenue potential. However, the marketplace is getting crowded and the entire social software suite is still fragmented leaving buyers confused. Consolidation in this area is starting to happen and will accelerate over the next couple of years.

SMP: What are your top five social media tips for brands?

DC  replies with:
  • Keep content fresh and relevant
  • Regularly monitor the comments about your company, brand, and products.
  • Include thought leadership tips without feeling compelled to constantly promote the brand in every post
  • Walk the talk. If you say "we are listening", follow through and respond in a timely manner. The key is engagement.
  • Manage frequency of updates. This can be different for each social network. For example: tweets can be 2-3 times per day but Facebook posts can be 2-3 times per week.

SMP: Is there anything else you’d like to add or share?

DC: I alluded to this before, but it’s worth restating. Cutting through the clutter in social media is key. There are a lot of companies trying to solve this on their own, and other companies offering up services. We think the most effective way to do this is a combination of technology and editorial expertise. Factiva leverages technology to narrow the filter around the 31 industries that we’re following on Twitter. Then, our content experts curate the tweets, people and topics to deliver influential social content.

SMP: Best way to contact you and Factiva?

DC: Personally, I’m very engaged and visible on LinkedIn and Twitter. And we’re very active with Factiva on Facebook and Twitter: http:/;!/factiva

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

DC: I had a delicious handmade breakfast burrito from a great local coffee shop a few blocks from where I live in Princeton, NJ. If you or your readers ever find themselves in Princeton, stop by Small World Coffee for breakfast. They roast their own coffee, partner with local bakeries and make a handful of items fresh to order.

SMP: What’s the last good thing that you did for someone?

DC: I recently helped my little sister move halfway across the U.S. in a moving truck. This was the second time, exhausting, but a great way to get perspective and see some great natural beauty along the way.

SMP: How many hours do you work a week?

DC: I couldn’t hazard a guess. I’m passionate about digital media and what I do at Factiva. The hours fly by.

SMP: If you weren’t working at Factiva, what would you be doing?

DC: I’d be building great digital experiences and products and telling compelling stories. Luckily, I get to do that at Dow Jones.

SMP: When and where did you go on your last holiday?

DC: We took my girls to Washington D.C. for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. It was moving.

SMP: What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

DC: My day starts before I come into the office. Factiva is a very global business. Shortly, after I wake up, I scan the news to see what’s been covered that impacts the world and business, respond to email and take a look at my calendar to see how the day has changed while I was sleeping.

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

DC: I’d like the ability to instantly translate concepts, ideas and language. We’re living at a very dynamic time in which specialisation continues, and we can communicate instantly over space and time. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to instantly and seamlessly communicate with someone else regardless of language, worldview, experience and expertise? I think so.

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