Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Who is Vocus?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-11-13


An odd little referral popped up earlier.  My guess (and it’s only a guess) is that the reports of the Victorian government buying real-time blog/newsfeed monitoring software a little while back are true, and it’s in production.

So this URL to spruik the features of real-time news monitoring packages from Vocus meshes with the following URL in my list of referrals:

http://vocuspr.vocus.com/VocusPr30/XR/Profile.aspx?BrowseMode=&Entity=News&Section=&Page=1&Reference=NewsProfile&EntityID=22283562&ReturnURL=%2fVocusPr30%2fXR%2fBrowse60.aspx%3fBrowseMode%3d%26Entity%3dNews%26Page%3d1&ReferringEntity=News

Yep… someone was using the customer portal in Vocus and grovelling through the site with the Entity Id of 22283562, which I assume is me.

Now, if I’d been writing this software, I wouldn’t be passing on the referrer details (it’s a trivial thing to do), and this sort of software don’t come cheap.  My guess is one of their clients clicked instead of right-clicked.

A little beforehand, another wierd referrer arrived, starting with “http://linkedin.com/home?report%2Esuccess=7B…”.  These two, one after the other, hints at the possibility of a stalker with a big pocket.

Anyone else seen URLs like this?  Does anyone know if Vocus won the deal with Joh Brumby’s government?

Vocus certainly works for the federal government: this AIC.gov.au report on technology enabled crime refers to an area that isn’t publically available… here is the snippet:

National Crime Prevention Council 2007. Teens and cyberbullying.
http://vocuspr.vocus.com/VocusPR30/Temp/Sites/2623/57d586957e1d404ca0f0d5f6d0b18996/Cyberbullying-Exec%20Summary-FINAL.doc

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2 Responses to “Who is Vocus?”

  1. Jacques Chester said

    More to the point, what does Vocus provide that Google Alerts can’t?

  2. zombinol said

    Jacques,

    It provides a proprietary and countervailed public service with a neat little invoice to the government department that needs this sort of service, it would also provide for the need for “seminars” and interstate/overseas thought leadership sessions for the ministers and high level staffers.

    Google Alerts is more is less countervailing for the people and you don’t need a neat little invoice or junket trail. So I could see why a government department wouldn’t have thought it an option…

    Also given its a Brumby thing this is another reason to have Vocus around.

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