My company is building products around this. My industry is business intelligence (me specifically, healthcare, I am a Director of Analysis and Research). In the “old days” of 5 years ago, industry was interested in “Key Opinion Leaders”, or in other words, in healthcare, who were the most influential doctors, who are the experts, who were the physicians that other physicians looked up to, who were clearly influencing policy. Now, its influencers, because social media is expanding the sorts of people who influence healthcare. So industry is interested in what doctors are saying, what their competitors are say, what patient advocacy groups are saying. We mine and analyse tweets (among lots of other things), and carry out sentiment analysis; are good or bad things being said. We recently launched a Coronavirus Influencer product, which actually has generated a lot of interest in the broader corporate world. You may have noticed, for instance, Cathy Pacific is scaling back its flights to China by 90%, and overall flights by 30%, and sending staff home on unpaid leave. They really want to know what is happening with this virus, what is true, and what is not. A British company, Oxford Nanopore, is doing rather well out of this, having just shipped 200 DNA sequencers to China, as they step up the diagnostics effort.
In the old old days, you would attend a conference, and there would be keynote speakers; the people everyone would crowd into to listen to, and take note. They would have an influence on you. Now its multiplied.
The next challenge is to work out the non-English speaking world, because the internet, rather than bringing us all together, is increasingly fracturing.