Recently Waggener-Edstrom, the PR firm, released Twendz, a tool for analyzing Twitter posts for topics. It’s a pretty great tool, and they are making it freely available.
I used it recently to search for “photosmart”, a Hewlett-Packard printer brand. You can see that results of that search.
From this search, I get a sentiment ratio (percentage of positive versus negative posts) for “photosmart”, as well as a subtopic sentiment analysis for the top five subtopics. A word cloud also lets me see other common words used. In many cases, the twitter posts also include a link to a blog post with a lengthier description of the problem/question/topic.
Now there’s no excuse for not monitoring your company and products on Twitter.