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Mere mentions wouldn't work, because you need to distinguish "I hate XXX"
from "I love XXX", plus you need to make sure it's a metric of the
firm in question not something that sounds the same.
Imagine the difficulties I have finding information on the firm "Perpetual Energy Inc".
Unfortunately it would have to be something backtestable.

What you're describing is 'sentiment analysis', which is a bit of a hot topic right now in social marketing/social analytics circles...Companies are quite keen to understand what the world at large thinks of them; and there are a number of commercial packages available that do this sort of thing.

If I were to pursue building a 'twitter screen' of sorts, I would want to include not only sentiment analysis, but also the ability to track the efficacy of each of the twitter sources over time. Doing so would help me identify the best stock touts in tweet land, so that I could focus more on them and less on the surrounding noise.

Another non fundamental metric that works and is easier to come by is a customer satisfaction survey.

Another off the wall metric to consider is the 'Diversity Index':

They have index constituents from prior years also on the site; and the claim is that companies with better diversity tend to outperform those that don't - although I haven't taken the time to validate that claim.
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