The Big Boulder Initiative Launches To Drive The Social Data Industry

Chris Moody, COO of Gnip, kicks off the conference with a talk about the social data ecosystem and introduces the Big Boulder Initiative. 

Chris Moody of Gnip

At the beginning of of Big Boulder, Gnip COO Chris Moody, launched the Big Boulder Initiative — a way for industry leaders “to establish the foundation for the long-term success of the social data industry.”

As Chris noted, Big Boulder isn’t just a group of people coming together but the leaders of social data, one of the most important industries to develop in the last two decades. The attendees consume over 4 billion social data activities every day that ultimately serve 95% of the Fortune 500.

Chris asked attendees for the next two days to leave their titles behind and instead to think of themselves as the leaders of the social data industry. And as leaders they all need to think about where social data is going and how to address our collective challenges/

Big Boulder is only two days out of the year, so the Big Boulder initiative will allow the leaders of the industry to come together multiple times a year.

Chris outlined the five questions the industry is facing, and wants to hear what others are thinking as well. The issues were the following:

  • Return – How do we remove any remaining doubt about the value of social data? There are open-ended questions around consistency, bias and measurement that need to be addressed.

  • Trust – How do we build trust and understanding with the most important people in social media, the content creators?

  • Access – We’re only able to analyze a fraction of the public social data that’s out there. How can we get access to more data to improve our products?

  • Sustainability – How do we convince the world to make long-term investments in an industry that is so new?

  • Costs – How do we manage the growing costs to store, index and serve ever-increasing volumes of data?

For those that weren’t able to attend Big Boulder but want to be involved in shaping industry issues, they can learn more at

Big Boulder is the world’s first social data conference. Follow along at #BigBoulder, on the blog under Big BoulderBig Boulder on Storify and on Gnip’s Facebook page.