As recommendation community sites gain popularity, The Nielsen Company sees an opportunity to advance its Buzz Metrics system while finding a platform that could further link its various business publications. In the works for about a year, Nielsen is currently beta testing a hybrid “opinion engine, part social network and part buzz tracker” called HeyNielsen, Mediapost reports. The site is serving as a tool available only to Nielsen employees, but is expected to go public by the end of September. Oddly, HeyNielsen is not being managed by Nielsen BuzzMetrics, but by the company’s communications department. (Nielsen also is developing an Hispanic version called “Oye! Nielsen.”)
While Buzzmetrics helped develop the concept, a number of other units also contributed, said Karen Watson, Nielsen SVP-Communications and HeyNielsen’s project manager, explaining to Mediapost why it’s being housed separately. The company is also examining ways to integrate content and tools from other Nielsen properties, which reflects the general direction Nielsen has taken since changing its name from the VNU Group a few months ago. However, it’s not clear how Nielsen’s various business trade titles like Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter might be involved or would employ the information. More details at the HeyNielsen blog.