|Copyright 2005 Sharon Housley
Ego searches are free and simple searches designed to monitor blogs and news portals for mentions of your company, product, competitors or other specific keywords. Conducting ego searches not only allows you to stay informed, but also allows you to maintain a strategic advantage over competing companies. A number of new Internet services are freely available that make these 'ego searches' painless and easy.
Dynamically created keyword based RSS feeds, update in your RSS reader or news aggregators, each time new information containing the keyword appears in the searched resources. The dynamic feeds match requests against new information, as it comes online in real time. The following free services allow for RSS feed ego searches.
Google News - Simply conduct a keyword search of Google News and then click the text that says "RSS" then save the url of the RSS feed into your news reader. Every time a new article with that keyword appears in Google News the feed in your RSS reader will automatically update.
BlogPulse - Find out what is being said about your products, company or your industry in the blogosphere. Conduct a keyword or url search on BlogPulse. Click the orange RSS icon above the search results and save the feed in your reader. Each time the keyword appears in a blog indexed by BlogPulse you will receive a new item in your feed reader. Another feature of BlogPulse is it will graph the keyword occurrences, providing a picture representation so that trends can be easily visualized. Hovering over the lines of the graph will provide details of actual blog mentions.
PubSub - Search on a keyword, then save and add the feed to your RSS reader using the icons provided. Optionally with PubSub you can direct your search to only alert you of posts in specific areas of interest including Press Releases, SEC/EDGAR Filings, Newsgroup Posts, or Weblog Entries
Technorati - Create watch lists, by entering the search term add item to the watch list and then scroll to the bottom click the blue RSS icon to obtain the url of the RSS feed that can be added to your reader. Technorati is a real-time search engine that keeps track of what is going on in the blogosphere. In order to setup a watchlist you will have to create a Technorati account.
Ice Rocket - Simply search Ice Rocket then click the RSS 2.0 button to obtain the url of the RSS feed that contains your search term. Add the url to your RSS reader or newsaggregator.
Find Articles - Traditional media channels can even be monitored using RSS. FindArticles routinely scans magazines and publications for keyword mentions. Conduct a search then click "RSS Alert" to obtain the url to the RSS feed. Add the feed to your reader to receive instant notification of new articles.
NewsTrove - NewsTrove indexes millions of news articles from a myriad of sources. Build an RSS feed on any topic imaginable. Enter your search words in the search box. Click 'Search' click the orange XML icon on the right side of the search results page and save the feed to your news reader.
BlogDigger - BlogDigger monitors the blogosphere and generally what is said daily in the blogs. Conduct a search on Blogdigger and click the orange XML icon to retrieve the url of the search feed. The feed should then be added to your RSS reader.
DayPop - Conduct a search and click the icon on the right that says XML, save the feed to your RSS aggregator. Only the most recent search results will appear.
Yahoo News - Conduct a search then click "view as RSS" in the right column save the feed in your aggregator. The feed will check Yahoo news for mentions.
Overall, ego searches are an excellent way to stay informed and maintain a strategic advantage over competitors. Knowing exactly what your online competitors are doing provides a competitive edge that can be used to your advantage. Keyword RSS feeds can be used to monitor key phrases for trademark abuses or monitoring the effectiveness of a specific press promotion.
Although they sound daunting ego searches are simply good business sense.
About the author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.comsoftware for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for FeedForDev http://www.feedfordev.coman RSS component for developers.
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