An Interview Regarding Social Media Monitoring and eDiscovery

Recently, a reporter asked me the following questions:

1.  Currently, social media monitoring/archiving/discovery/capture software such as X1 Social Discovery ( and SocialWare ( appears to be focused on only a few, major social networks:  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Realistically, is coverage of these three networks alone really enough — given that there are literally hundreds of thousands of discussions forums where an employee might make a post?


It depends.  If the company monitoring the social media activity is a federally regulated entity (such as a financial institution), where any posting containing non-public or proprietary information could irreparably effect a patent or its stock price, only monitoring the “Big Three” would not be enough.  However, generally speaking, due to the number of users, followers, and friends, monitoring the “Big Three” is sufficient because most people want a lot of people to see what they post and the majority of people do not even know that others exist (mostly only tech savvy ones know).

2.  If a law firm asked you which software products/services you believe they should look at as a solution for social media monitoring/archiving/discovery/capture, which products/services would you point them to — and why?

X1 Discovery appears to be the market leader in this space.  It is very robust and the database archiving and retrieval of user data is very powerful.  


Actiance has a product that I am familiar with that can be useful, especially in the financial services/federally regulated industries because it can monitor social media posts of employees before they actually post the information to the social media site itself.  The downside is that employees have to link their social media accounts via an API which allows access to their private accounts in order for this to be effective.


3.  Realistically, do you envision a day when a software product will truly be able to monitor every post on every conceivable social network, discussion board, video upload site, etc.?  If not, will this be troublesome when it comes to eDiscovery?  Why/Why not?

No, I do not think that it is realistic that one software product or solution can monitor every post on every site for several reasons.  First of all, these sites are developed by various programmers in different languages, etc. It is very difficult to gain the appropriate access to the code for every site out there and have another programmer develop the appropriate code to monitor it.  Secondly, it would be extremely time consuming for one company to try to locate/identify “all” the sites in the first place.  Lastly, it would be incredibly expensive to try to accomplish same.


4.  Looking ahead, what do you believe will constitute the ultimate software suite for social media monitoring/archiving/discovery/capture?  What will it be able to do?  What will it still be missing?  How close are we to getting to that software, and which companies, if any, do you believe may get us there?


Great questions.  The dilemma with the next generation of social media monitoring is overcome the inherent privacy issues that exist with monitoring “closed” or “private” pages.  None of the existing software suites can collect data from such sites without having permission from the users (which is highly unlikely if there is a hint of litigiousness in the inquiry).  Logically, people should be smart enough to have their accounts privately protected if they are engaging in inappropriate behavior, nevertheless, you will be surprised to see what people will publicly post.  This is probably the biggest problem and the only way that we will overcome it is determining whether or not social media participation is a public or private endeavor.
5.  Do you have any other insights you’d like to share regarding social media monitoring/archiving/discovery/capture?


One thing that I wanted to add is that many law firms use the Way Back Machine that can point to any webpage on the internet to see what it looked like at any given period of time (going back to about 10 years).  This is useful to show what items/content has been deleted, etc. and allows an attorney to question the company or user why it is missing.  

Next Level Social Media Strategies


Learn strategies that will help you succeed in social media. In this seminar we will teach you how to network your way up the corporate ladder, grow your own business, fine tune your branding and increase your social sales. If you are a novice or an industry professional, this seminar will equip you with an effective combination of knowledge and tools that will catapult you ahead of the competition by teaching you creative ways to engage your audience. 

This first seminar in the series is being offered at an unbeatable rate by two experts in the field with a trusted track record of industry experience. At the end of each of each half, there will be room to answer your specific social media questions for your business.


Part 1: Kevin L. Nichols

  • Career Development
  • Personal Online Branding
  • LinkedIn For Sales And Marketing

Part 2: Kumi Rauf

  • How We Grew To 6 Million Fans
  • Making Sales On Facebook
  • Social Media Time Management

** Photographer Auintard will be taking LinkedIn / Facebook profile headshots for free!Photographer link




Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?



What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

There is street parking and a lot across the street.


Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Contact us


Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Either printed or a copy of the ticket on your mobile device


What is the refund policy?

Due to the limited seating there are no refunds.

My Top 5 Social Media Pet Peeves and Faux Pas


By: Kevin L. Nichols


As an avid advocate and proponent of social media, I am easily frustrated and annoyed by certain practices various individuals and spammers employ to disrupt my fabulous online experience.  It was extremely hard to condense this post into just 5 pet peeves/faux pas, however, I did not have infinite time to compose my thoughts.  Here are the most abrading and most frequent online behaviors that make me want to have a “falling down” moment like Michael Douglas:

    5.       The Rogue Twitter Spammer – Every so often, I receive a foreign mention from an anonymous Twitter follower who adds a mysterious link after my Twitter handle, which more than likely leads to a phishing site that will steal all of my personal information and open up offshore accounts in Mitt Romney’s name.  I regularly have to block these users, so at least they only get one shot to drive me insane.


    4.       Rogue Facebook App Requests – At least I no longer get Farmville requests, but the Marvel Avenger Games, MyCalendar, Flixster, and even the School feeds make me “Coo Coo for Coco Puffs!!!”  I finally figured out how to remove these notifications.  Thank goodness, however, the multiple Event invitations and dreadful shoe “tags” would be a close 6 and 7 if this list continued.


    3.       Twitter’s 2,000 Following Limit – I am not sure if you are aware, but Twitter limits users from following more than 2,000 people unless you have a comparable number of followers yourself.  In theory, this makes sense because it bars people from following tens of thousands of people with the hope that they will follow them back.  Then once the people they followed follow them back, they unfollow them so that it gives others the illusion that they have tens of thousands of followers.  However, for someone like me who nearly follows 2,000 people and has nearly 1,000 followers, I should be able to follow who I want.  I am not abusing Twitter and there are many others that I would like to follow.  This is irksome. 


    2.       Facebook Users Without Avatars – Facebook is a wonderful way to reconnect with friends, family, and sometimes even business colleagues.  The purpose of connecting online is to either get to know the person that you have lost touch with or meet someone new.  How do you do this with the gray outline of a person as your avatar?  It is sort of like having Tom in a white tee shirt representing your avatar on MySpace when that was popular…go figure.  God made everyone in His/Her own image.  Take a picture of yourself and post it.  Don’t be a passive stealth social media participant.


    1.          Generic LinkedIn Connection Requests – This is my worst pet peeve.  Ok, my perspective might be a little skewed since I am featured on LinkedIn’s login screen and tend to get A LOT of requests, but I am an open networker.  If we have no connections in common and are not remotely in a similar industry, I have no idea why we should connect.  Please give me some obscure reason.  A one liner as to why this would make sense, or where we met, or who we know together.  “Since you are a person that I trust…” We don’t know each other.  How do I know I can trust you?  Please give this some thought when connecting to people.

If social media users adopted higher standards of etiquette and sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter further develop ways to prevent spammers from infiltrating people’s inboxes, the social world would be a better place.

Kevin L. Nichols is the Principal of KLN Consulting Group located in San Francisco, which specializes in Litigation, Diversity and Business Development/Social Media consulting.

For more information, please visit
or follow him on Twitter @kevnix or “Like” him on Facebook


May Introduction to Social Media Webinar

Please join Social Media Strategist, Kevin L. Nichols, as he takes you on a live introduction to Social Media, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest.  Kevin has become a social networking expert.  He is the founder of two professional networking LinkedIn groups in the Bay Area with roughly 4,000 members combined, that meet regularly to identify business goals and objectives and facilitate referrals to achieve same.  He organizes monthly and quarterly events to bring the Bay Area business community together and creates career-networking opportunities for those who he encounters.  Mr. Nichols’s social networking prowess and capabilities have been featured on LinkedIn’s Hall of Fame, Yahoo’s Blog, in the Examiner, CNN Money, MarketWatch and the Wall Street Journal.  Millions can see Kevin when they login to LinkedIn.  For more information, please visit and visit to register!

May Social Media Webinar Flyer