I’ve recently started using Google Alerts:
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:
- monitoring a developing news story
- keeping current on a competitor or industry
- getting the latest on a celebrity or event
- keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams
I set up a number of alerts based on various topics of interest and the emails started coming thick and fast (I opted for ‘as-it-happens’ alert frequency in most cases, but you can also specify daily or weekly digests).
What has been most useful is hearing about the various blogs which are talking about the organisation and its website, as well as seeing which sites are linking to us. A large proportion of the alerts come from news sources too, so I can also keep tabs on the media. Not only is this an important Comms issue, but it is also a crucial step in becoming proactive with Web 2.0 technologies in general
Company Buzz is another interesting application, this time for users of Linkedin. Powered by Twitter, this application pulls in links to sites that are talking about your company (for better or for worse!). It also gives you a list of Buzz Words.
With these sorts of tools, as well as through monitoring prominent local and national blogs, I’m hoping to build up a robust ‘early-warning system’ to help us react to the conversations that are taking place. Once this is well established, I’ll be looking to see how we can work it into our strategies for more effectively engaging with web technologies across the board.
After all, if we wish to engage with the conversations taking place, we need to know where they are and what people are saying.