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Keeping Tabs on Social Media
February 5, 2008 9:11 AM   Subscribe

What tools do you use to monitor the Blogosphere?

I'd like to learn more about social media. I am specifically interested in any web sites and/or subscription services (preferably free, but will certainly consider paid) that track key word trends, influence, and traffic metrics for the blogosphere.

I'm pretty familiar with the following offerings: Google Blog Search Technorati, Blog Pulse, Ice Rocket, and Alexa. What are some other cool tools people use to identify influential bloggers and/or trends?

Also, if I were to monitor the blogosphere for a living (let me worry about finding paying clients) what sort of online tools would I need to do the job effectively?

Thanks for your help!
posted by LakesideOrion to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
BuzzFeed is decent for trends.
posted by nitsuj at 9:45 AM on February 5, 2008


There are plenty of scammy SEO companies that apparently make a living by rebranding Google Alerts as their reports.
posted by travis vocino at 10:32 AM on February 5, 2008


Not free, but Andiamo Systems allows companies to track their name or products on blogs, forums, social networking sites, etc.
posted by junkbox at 10:36 AM on February 5, 2008


Memeorandum and its sister site TechMeme track the political and tech blogosphere, respectively.
posted by youarenothere at 12:58 PM on February 5, 2008


Mashable also posted this list of 13 tools for tracking the blogosphere recently, but I found most the sites mentioned to be a bit lacking.
posted by youarenothere at 1:01 PM on February 5, 2008


There is attentio. If it works really well and if it's monitoring itself, Simon will post in this thread (hello, Simon !)
posted by Baud at 2:03 PM on February 5, 2008


Also, if I were to monitor the blogosphere for a living (let me worry about finding paying clients) what sort of online tools would I need to do the job effectively?

I know that it isn't exactly what you're asking, but I have some experience in this area that may be interesting or helpful.

It's increasingly hard to sell a "value added" web monitoring service (ie human filtering; interpretation; narrative reports etc). Increasingly, the emphasis falls towards technology solutions, and there is a rash of commercial monitoring tools available with varied degrees of additional utility to the ones you list in your post, available very cheaply. These are very clearly tailored towards end-users, rather than as tools for use by consultants. While these tools exist and are available so cheaply, the only real value a human-based blog monitoring service can provide is in analysis and consulting based on the monitoring results. While this sort of service is viable, it doesn't really seem to be what you're asking about.

The real problem is that the relative significance of blog content (and to an extent online content in general) is still poorly understood. In order to be taken seriously in the commercial space, then a similar quality of metric applied to online reach; influence; credibility and so on as can be found in market research; media content analysis; media planning would be needed. Even if someone comes up with something commercially credible (nb Google Pagerank and Technorati "authority" scores don't really fit the bill), it's more likely to be of value incorporated into technology solutions than it is to throw a lifeline to human-based providers.

To be frank, Technorati and Google Blog Search are pretty much as good as it gets for basic monitoring. Commercial applications tend to focus on adding value in the form of user interface; flexibility in archiving and report generation etc. All stuff that IMO is not worth spending money on if your business depends on processing search results. The main advantage that you would have as a human provider is to sell the capability to search the invisible web (stuff not indexed by search engines), but navigating social networks and using other, more intelligent / less mechanical search techniques. You're really putting yourself in quite a tight niche by doing this though.
posted by bifter at 2:44 AM on February 6, 2008


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