Quote: Build an Internet Listening Station

Title: Trust Agents
Author: Chris Brogan
Author: Julien Smith
Page: 11

Here are a few free and inexpensive tools to help you start to see how people on the Web view you, your company, your products, your services, and your competitors. Use these tools, and use them as a way to understand why someone might choose to trust you — or not.

Start by opening a Web browser, and do the following:

  1. If you do not already have one, set up a gMail account at www.gmail.com. This allows you access to all the various free Google applications. (We like to call accounts like these “passports,” because they let you open many tools.)
  2. Go to www.google.com/reader. This will become your listening station.
  3. Go to www.technorati.com. Type your name, in quotes, into the search bar.
  4. When the results page comes up, right-click on the little orange RSS button and select Copy-Link Location.
  5. Go back to Google Reader, click the blue plus button (+), and paste what you copied into there.

Repeat these steps for as many different terms as you might want to search for (your company, your product, your competitors).

For the bonus round, go to blogsearch.google.com and do the same searches. Then go to search.twitter.com and search there too. Add all these things back into your listening post, and search for other ways to do the same thing. Are you likely to show up on YouTube? Do a search there. Anything new come out that we haven’t mentioned? Check them too.

If you end up with too much in one big pile, Google Reader allows you to build folders. You can start out by labeling one “me” and one “them.” It might help you sort.

I am surprised that www.google.com/alerts was not mentioned. Google Alerts keeps a lookout across the web for your search terms, including News sites, Blogs, Videos, Discussion Groups, etc.

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