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03.12.09

Content Monitoring Tools For Your Business

By Bill Ives

This is the second part of a five part series on how enterprise 2.0 tools can work for an enterprise of one, myself in this case. To start the process I mapped out my business workflow. Then I looked at the tools I currently use for each major step before thinking about any further moves into the enterprise 2.0 space. Since I write for multiple blogs and provide blog consulting services to businesses, my work flow in very content heavy.

I decided the three main sections are one: content monitoring, two: content collecting, assembling, and creation, and three: content publishing and archiving. Step two then reaches into both steps one and step three for new content. I also enlisted the help of Gil Yehuda, former analyst at Forrester Research, who helped me think through the issues and, for this step, pointed me to the last three four tools below.

RSS feeds, Twitter search, and Google Alerts are all excellent free resources. I also get a lot of good ideas from the people I follow on Twitter and my Facebook friends. In addition, because many friends know about my interests they send me links to good stuff, acting as a human RSS filter. Listed below are some resources for when you want to go beyond these options.

Techrigy is designed to address brand monitoring with a balance of comprehensive analytics, simplicity of use, and a modest price point. There is a limited free version as mentioned above and I am using it now. So far I am very pleased with the variety of reports and the ability to focus searches to reduce false positives. Here is my review - Techrigy Provides Comprehensive Social Media Monitoring and Reporting.

Filtrbox is another web monitoring tool that I am using and pleased with. You can set up filtrs (filters) with a number of qualifiers. It sorts sources by blogs, mainstream media, and Twitter. You can set up 5 filers with the free version. However, the unlimited version is only $10 a month and offers more analytics. Here is my review - Filtrbox Offers Market Intelligence for a Broad Audience.

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Yasni.com is a German social search tool that does a nice breakdown of sources (e.g. LinkedIn, Google News, Facebook, Google Blogs Search, general web, etc.) I tried it briefly and it looks useful.

Pipl is a people search tool. It seems to be more a people finder, as well as a resource to check on people who contact you or you otherwise connected with. However, it does show your own web presence broken into categories (e.g., photos, publications, professional and business, web pages, new articles, blog posts, documents).

Socialwhois describes itself as a service to determine who you should follow and why. Here is a Mashable post, Who Is That New Follower? Ask Socialwhois, on this tool where they say it is useful for checking out people who request to follow or friend you that you do not know, a similar function to Pipl. You can also find people with similar interests, which might help in finding bloggers in your niche.

Nathan Gilliatt also offers useful summary post, Monitoring Social Media Before You Have a Budget, that provides additional resources for those of us on limited budgets.

The other major sources of content are the free newsletters and community sites, as well as my free New York Times online subscription. In each case, if they come into my inbox, I always scan them before I delete them. My next post in this series describes what I do if I find something useful. Here are the newsletters and community sites I use the most.

Continue reading this article.


About the Author:
Dr. Bill Ives is an independent consultant and writer who has worked with Fortune 100 companies in business uses of emerging technologies for over 20 years. For several years he led the Knowledge Management Practice for a large consulting firm.. Now he primarily helps companies with their business blogs. He is also the VP of Social Media and blogger for TVissimo, a new TV schedule search engine. Prior to consulting, Dr. Ives was a Research Associate at Harvard University exploring the effects of media on cognition. He obtained his Ph. D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Toronto. Bill can be reached at his blog: Portals and KM. He also writes for the FastForward blog and the AppGap blog.

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