TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Guide

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TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Guide is an American-college guide based on what it calls "Internet brand equity" based on Internet data, social media, blogs and the top 75,000 print and electronic media outlets. It ranks what it calls the Top 300 United States colleges and universities. The guide includes specialty and for profit schools including Art, Business, Design, Music, and Online Education. The TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Rankings are produced twice a year by the Global Language Monitor of Austin, Texas.

College brand equity[edit]

The TrendTopper MediaBuzz College Rankings are produced twice a year by the Global Language Monitor. GLM describes their rankings as measuring the Internet “Brand Equity” of the colleges and universities. Time Magazine described internet brand equity as "a measure of who's talking about you online, based on Internet data, social media, blogs and the top 75,000 print and electronic media outlets.[1][2] GLM ranks the schools "according to their online presence -- or internet brand equity ... By focusing on online presence, the Monitor hopes to avoid the biases that characterize other rankings, which commonly rely on the opinions of university officials and college counselors rather than that of the greater public.[3]" GLM believes the rankings provide an up-to-date perspective on which schools have the most popular brand. for example, it cites the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania (ranked fifth in 2010 by U.S. News) fared almost equivalently to Penn State (ranked 47th in 2010 by U.S. News), ranking 22nd and 24th respectively." [4] The resulting tool, the group claims, gauges the relative value of the various institutions and how they change over time.

Inclusion of specialty schools[edit]

The rankings are the only ones that contain specialty schools which are typically assigned to "unranked" or "other' categories. "The rankings include specialty (and for profit) schools as well, such as Art, Business, Design,[5] Music, and even Online Education. Most specialty schools are included in the College category with the exception of the online university, which is assigned to the University category ... The MediaBuzz list also compiles the Best of Class (BOC) from among all, the designation being awarded to those schools that are first in terms of brand repute and impact, either in the overall ranking or in a specific classification, such as Top Catholic College[6] or University.[7][8]"

The TrendTopper MediaBuzz Analysis uses the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s classifications as the basis to distinguish between Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges. The schools were ranked in the last week of December with a mid-year snapshot, and the last day of 2009 as the base.

GLM claims that TrendTopper MediaBuzz utilizes a mathematical model that ‘normalizes’ the data collected from the Internet, social media, and blogosphere as well as the top 75,000 print and electronic media and that the end result is a non-biased analytical tool that provides a gauge of relative values among various institutions, as well as measures of how that value changes over time. The basics of the methodology are available for download directly from the Global Language Monitor site.[9]


TrendTopper MediaBuzz uses narrative tracking technology, where the words, phrases and concepts are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets. This exclusive ranking is based upon GLM's Narrative Tracking technology. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the 75,000 print and electronic media, as well as new social media sources (such as Twitter). NarrativeTracker replaced the controversial PQI index, which had been criticized by a number of linguists, but no media tracking, or computer scientists or other members of the academic community, for its use in the counting of the number of English words.[10]

The Global Language Monitor also sells the TrendTopper MediaBuzz Reputation Management solution for higher education for which "colleges and universities can enhance their standings among peers".[11] The Global Language Monitor states that it "does not influence the Higher Education rankings in any way".[12]

Comparisons to other rankings[edit]

Milwaukee Magazine stated that "a study by Kiplinger’s that buttresses Global Language Monitor’s findings, researchers conclude that UW-Madison is one of the best values in higher education. The study ranked schools based on academic caliber – graduation and retention rates, student-to-teacher ratios and the SAT and ACT scores of incoming students – and affordability".[13] Comparisons are frequently made between the TrendTopper MediaBuzz College rankings and the Princeton Review and the U.S. News & World Report College and University rankings, which suggest that "a brand equity service based on buzz is certainly important, and reflects a more democratic perspective. It is a good contender against rankings posted by U.S. News & World Report or The Princeton Review.[14] However, there are others who question the value of using brand equity studies with higher education.[15]


  1. ^ The Most Buzzed-About University?
  2. ^ Harvard, Yale Beaten
  3. ^ The Most Buzz Worthy Schools
  4. ^ Buzzworthy Schools
  5. ^ Pratt Rankings
  6. ^ Holy Cross
  7. ^ Georgetown
  8. ^ Wisconsin Beats Harvard in Brand Equity
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Enumerating English,
  11. ^ "TrendTopper enhances college reputation". Global Language Monitor. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
  12. ^ "College Rankings". The Global Language Monitor.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Brand power[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Ed-BrandEquity
  15. ^ Wisconsin No. 1 in Internet Brand Equity