Building a Social Media Analyst

A magic wand has been placed in your hands. With it, you can build what you think of as a good social media analyst.

What are the major areas of knowledge you would gather together to construct a social media analyst you would look to for research, analysis and advice?

A recent Digital Tonto post  (about their recommended 2009 reading list) got me thinking about this. I agree with some of their ideas (particularly social media analysts needing to know about network theory, including power laws) on this and have added some others. I’d suggest a good social media analyst should have knowledge about:

1. Networks and network theory
2. Power laws (and the long tail)
3. Anthropology (particularly applied to communication and collaboration within digital communities)
4. Marketing and advertising within digital communities
5. Commerce initiatives within digital communities, including the acceptance (or rejection) of the hard sell within digital communities
6. Insight about the evolving web – or at least, which new capabilities (e.g. semantic technologies, augmented reality) will emerge in the next 2 – 5 years.
7. ?

And aside from reading a lot of Marshall McLuhan (that should go without saying), what would you add to this mix of domains a good social media analyst should have? Why?