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Ex-Bazaarvoice CMO Returns With Mass Relevance

  |  December 20, 2010   |  Comments

Sam Decker is CEO of a new venture whose first product lets marketers leverage Twitter conversations about their brands.

Running a live Twitter feed alongside a live broadcast of an NFL game could be a dicey proposition. You never can be sure what a disgruntled - or overly excited - fan might type in the heat of play. But NBC Sports chose to display real-time tweets during its Sunday Night Football Web broadcast this past weekend using TweetRiver, the first product from a new company called Mass Relevance.

Mass Relevance is the brainchild of Sam Decker, previously the CMO of Bazaarvoice, which is one of the leading providers of online customer comment and ratings systems. TweetRiver is designed to let marketers use Twitter conversations about their brand on a variety of platforms without having to worry about comments being irrelevant or inappropriate.

TweetRiver "has advanced curating and filtering capabilities, as well as the ability to output streams of Twitter conversations in various formats," said Decker. "There's over 30 variables in a tweet and 100 rules you can set within the platform to make sure tweets that come out the other end are relevant with the context of the situation, whether you want to put them in a mobile phone or in display or on TV or next to a live video like we did with NBC Sports."

Mass Relevance , which is based in Austin and boasts five employees, recently received $1.7 million in Series A funding from Floodgate and Austin Ventures. The company has other products beside TweetRiver in development, but all focus on the same idea: helping marketers make practical use of social media content.

Decker said the funding would go mostly toward business development and sales. "We're going to be focused on entertainment, media and retail, primarily," he said. Other current clients include Cisco and RIM.


Douglas Quenqua is a journalist based in Brooklyn, NY who writes about culture and technology. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New York Observer, and Fortune.

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