On Social Media Tools, Noise, and Experience

I was driving through the Florida Everglades last week when I thought, “How in the hell does someone survive and get around out here in this vast expanse of nothingness?”  Which made me immediately draw a relation to the water that surrounds the glades being the internet so to speak, and the wispy reeds of sea grass or whatever the hell it is, being your customers or users of the internet.  I then thought, “There’s a lot of noise out there now, was it, or is it now because of social media?  Did social media create the noise?”  Is social responsible for this?

The short answer is yes.

Remember Dr. Seuss’s, “Horton Hears a Who?”  There’s a scene in the movie and in the book, where everyone in Whoville starts to shout in unison, “We are here, we are here”. They are trying to get Horton to hear them.  Social media is like that.  The plethora of platforms and devices has allowed everyone to have that voice, but the challenge for those with voices wanting to be heard, is the choices and platforms are multiplying like rabbits.  For those businesses who want to bridge the gap and find those people with voices-it’s getting harder and harder to sift through the weeds and grass.

In the Everglades, you get around by airboat, which amazes me honestly.  Why?  Everything looks the same.  If you look to your left or to your right, or forwards or backwards, it all looks exactly the same.  So how does one get around?  You have to have an experienced navigator.  Someone who knows the lay of the land.

Here’s the correlation.  I can use the best listening tools and platforms there are, but if I don’t know how to use them or I use them the wrong way, they are totally worthless to me.  I’m going to airboat around the glades and find lots of nothing.  If someone thinks they know how or knows what I want and they still get it wrong-Shame on me.  Does that mean there’s too much noise and one cannot navigate through it?  Does that mean there are no pockets of goodness in that vast landscape?  Not at all.  You just have to know someone who knows how to look and where to look.

A friend of mine, Mack Collier, earlier this month wrote a blog post on whether marketers should use social media personally before they use it professionally? I think we know the short answer again to that is yes. But I will end on this.

Just because you can get the boat in the water, start the engine and take off, doesn’t mean you know where you’re going or how to get there.

What Does Fully Engaged Mean?

Earlier this week, Ants Eye View posted The Cisco Social Media Listening Journey.

It was interesting to see Cisco’s evolution

But I was struck more with the final stage of the listening journey.

Food for thought. How fully engaged is your company? How fully engaged are your teams?

Monitor your social space with 7 tools and 16 minutes of setup.

If you’re the average person, you don’t have time for paid monitoring tools; and furthermore, you really don’t want to mess with complicated social media monitoring tools or setup either. So what do you do if you want to monitor your space, your company, your name and your competition?

You check out these 7 easy tools with even easier setups.

With the advent of blogs and micro-blogs, there’s a constant online conversation about breaking news, people and places — some famous and some local. Tweets and other short-form updates create a history of commentary that can provide valuable insights into what’s happened and how people have reacted.

1) Meet. Google Replay. To check out this feature, do the following:

Go to the Google homepage, click on the show options link, and then click on updates. Make sure you have already typed in a search term and then see what happens. A waterfall of real time data coming from Twitter. Time elapsed: 30 seconds

2) Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Time to set up: 5 minutes

Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:

  • monitoring a developing news story
  • keeping current on a competitor or industry
  • getting the latest on an event
  • keeping tabs on your local news or teams

3) Monitter is so simple its scary, just plug in words or terms in each of the three columns and go watch the firehose of data coming from Twitter. Time to set up: 1 minute

4) I’ll add Social Mention, though sometimes the results are a bit odd, but the  setup might take one minute, which is what we’re talking about here. Time to set up: 2 minutes

5) and 6) The next 2 are great for seeing where someone might have a social profile setup. Knowem and Usernamecheck are both solid. Set up time: 7 minutes

7) Backtype takes about 30 seconds and allows you to monitor stuff. Time to set up: 30 seconds

Honorable mention: Watchthatpage Notify.me

Crowdsourcing-Social Media Listening Grids

Over the last 8 weeks @jasonbreed and I have had some tremendous #socialmedia Unpanels at Hashtagsocialmedia.com. Last Tuesday, David Alston of Radian 6, hosted a session titled Developing Corporate Listening Grids. the comments and the discussion was at such a high level, that developing a deck from it was a no-brainer. But obviously it doesn’t happen without the participation of the attendees and their voices.

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Top reasons to put off social media

David Alston of Radian 6, who is a good person, and will be hosting an upcoming session of our #socialmedia discussion on HashTag Socialmedia, cranks out some pretty good content every once in a while.  This slide deck is no exception. In this deck he puts together the top 11 reasons to put off social media and the top 10 conversations to listen for.

How to listen in a bad economy- 67 social media/web/reputation management tools and sites

You know we listen all the time don’t we? We keep telling companies to do it, but sometimes we just leave it at that.  Or even worse, we don’t get specific. well here u go. Here’s the specifics. Here’s a mix of sites, tools and companies that do some kind of listening, monitoring or reputation management  for you. Some are free, some are not, and some are good and some are not, but here they are. I know there might be more but these are the ones that I have found through numerous sources.

1. Google Alerts:

Easy to use and easy to manage


2. Scout Labs A powerful, web-based application that tracks social media and finds signals in the noise to help your team build better products and stronger customer relationships-tag line $100 a month

3. The Search Monitor-Monitor paid search, news, blog and websites is the tag line. Starter at $99 per Month (50 Keywords) They had a demo, but it forces you to fill out a lengthy form and “request” the demo

4. Umbria– One of the most confusing web sites claiming to have a social media monitoring tool or service or is it..

5. Buzzlogic– I’ve heard some buzz about them, but I hate when I have to contact a rep or search for more info and that’s certainly the case with their Insights product.

6. Cymfony– Man, talk about a busy page, there is a lot on this site. Coming from TNS Media, They would be better served with a more user friendly site. 5 areas of interest for me, but again I have to contact a sales rep.

7. Biz360 Opinion Insights  is there consumer-opinion measurement solution that uses technology to capture and interpret vast amounts of customer-opinion data—to deliver insights that lead to better business decisions. But you have to contact them and fill out a big-ole form again.

7. Nielsen Online– formerly Buzz metrics thi site delivers so much data, FREE data as well, I might add, with the ability to pay for other services and products. It’s always a good one to check in with, from time to time.


8. BrandIntel-BrandIntel translates consumer-generated content into predictive consumer insights. You have to request—>fill out a form for a demo, and I have no idea how much it costs, but the site is clean. 🙂

9. DNA13 The global leader for on-demand software for real-time reputation management, dnaEnterprise provides complete visibility into global reputation, request a demo, no pricing…

10. Motivequest– Looks like they do everything in house, so that might not interest you “do it your selfers”

11. Market Sentinel according to their website uses the technology behind the popular website myrss.com. It won its first customers in the technology sectors and now operates in the UK, US and Europe, serving customers in areas like the automotive, pharmaceutical, internet, telecommunications and financial sectors.

12. Converseon They have a  proprietary product called Conversation Miner™  which scours public, online discussion areas – including blogs, newsgroups, social media, and more – to capture, understand and report the issues, opinions and ideas that costumers share between and among themselves. But you have to contact them…

13. Onalytica Is a leading supplier of services that transforms online buzz into actionable intelligence. Through analysis of what is being published and debated online we help some of the world’s most respected brands measure, understand and improve the effectiveness of their MarCom activities, improve their responsiveness and predict the future. Translation: They monitor the conversations about your brand online. The site was pretty bad and had me going in a perpetual loop.

14. BurrellesLuce Media monitoring, media analysis and media measurement.

15. Attentio Look…something tangible! Attentio Brand Maps  launched two months ago. Currently, they have two types of Brand Maps available – correlation maps, that are based on multidimentional scaling (MDS); and segmentation maps, that are based on correspondance analysis (CA). Sorry though, it looks as if it’s for European countries only. 😦

16. Sentiment Metrics With Sentiment Metrics social media measurement dashboard you can monitor and measure social media and gain actionable business intelligence, allowing you to develop more targeted marketing, improve products and increase profits. The skinny: It’s only available in the UK, Though Starting at only £259 a month for single user accounts.

17. CIC China data anyone? The skinny: CIC is the first Internet Word of Mouth (IWOM) research and consulting firm in China. To put it simply, they help their clients make sense of the buzz found on blogs, BBS and other IWOM platforms.

18. Media Miser The skinny: Take control of managing your media coverage with MediaMiser Enterprise. MediaMiser Enterprise is a media analysis and public relations measurement solution that shows you how the news is affecting your organization

19. Radian6 Ok, so I’m biased, I know a few folks who work there, the product is easy to use, effective and its inexpensive. Good combo.


20. WaveMetrix Online Buzz research


21. Techrigy SM2 is a software solution designed specifically for PR and Marketing Agencies to monitor and measure social media. Create a free account and get up to 5 Search Words/Phrases, and store up to 1000 results.


22. Keibi Keibi Technologies provides solutions and services for the moderation and classification of user generated content, allowing our customers to safely leverage and better monetize this fast growing medium. FYI They mention they are on Twitter: They are following 2 people and they have 11 followers…

23. Relevant Noise aka Zeta Interactive See what these “citizen journalists” are saying about your brands across social media – and the impact they’re having – in real-time. The skinny: ugly site.

24. Unica Enterprise marketing management software Integrated solution for engaging customers in cross-channel dialogues.

25. Milward Brown Precis They can track and provide analysis from online news sources, blogs and message boards to help clients understand the tonality of online consumer comment and evaluate the success of online communications.

26. Socialmention A  social media search engine that searches user-generated content such as blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, videos, and microblogging services


27.  Facebook-Lexicon Facebook Lexicon counts occurrences of words and phrases on Walls over time

28. Lotame Allows brands to build and target customizable consumer audiences.

29. Visible Technologies Provides  strategic solutions supported by proprietary technology and measurable results. Whether it’s building or managing reputations across popular search engines, or helping companies track and participate in influential consumer created content channels, they empower brands to do more online to build their businesses and bottom lines


30. Customscoop Customizable media monitoring technology and analysis solutions in Public Relations, Sales, Marketing, Investor Relations and Competitive Intelligence. 2 week free trial..

31. Pythia Analytics internet marketing toolsets designed to track the entire marketing narrative, on- and offline, and measure its effects on a business.

32. Collective Intellect Collects real time market intelligence, providing direct insight into consumer opinions for marketing professionals. Here’s a quote: ”

We can answer any question that marketers and researchers have, and produce the most relevant and actionable intelligence Faster,More Cost-effectively, and with Better Data Purity than any other method.

33. Repumetrix Provides products and services that peruse mainstream media, blogs, chatrooms, message boards, social networks, videos, images and Web sites worldwide to retrieve communications and activities initiated by employees, competitors, consumers, shareholders and interest groups, enabling organizations to pre-empt attacks on corporate reputation, assess competitor moves, monitor industry-specific mergers and acquisitions, or guard intellectual property-WHEW!

34. Blogscope Is an analysis and visualization tool for the  blogosphere  being developed as part of a research project at the University of Toronto. It’s currently tracking over 34.39 million blogs with 696.05 million posts. BlogScope can assist the user in discovering interesting information from these millions of blogs via a set of numerous unique features including popularity curves, identification of information bursts, related terms, and geographical search.

35. Sports Media Challenge Protecting and enriching sports brands, Buzz Manager constantly searches the internet for information about your organization or specific individual subjects. It measures and analyzes the “Buzz,” and then accurately presents the results in time saving, easy-to-use reports. It can even proactively engage conversations to protect your brand before rumors spread.

36. Claim ID ClaimID is the free, easy way to manage your online identity with OpenID.


37.  FindMeOn Instead of collapsing all of your network identities onto one site, FindMeOn helps you manage your circles of friends, family, colleagues and others… respecting the divisions of your real life online.

38. CheckUserNames Find out which social media usernames have already been taken.

39. Garlik Garlik helps people take control of their personal information and protect themselves against identity theft and financial fraud

40. MyOpenID OpenID states “start using the last username and password you’ll ever need.Apparently  myOpenID gets you:: Secure control of your digital identity, Easy sign-in on enabled sites and Account activity reports.

41.  Spyshakers Spyshakers builds  spyware blockers for websites.

42. Naymz– Manage your professional brand.

43. Rapleaf Businesses use Rapleaf’s search service to better understand their customers, learn how their customers use the social web, and offer their customers new and enhanced services.

44. Repvine RepVine allows individuals and companies to collect and display references. The site allows you to see what people say about themselves and what others have to say about them

45. Reputation Defender ReputationDefender’s goal is to search out all information about a person and/or their child on the Internet, wherever it may be, and present it in a clear report. Also, to destroy, on command, all inaccurate, inappropriate, hurtful, and slanderous information about a person and/or their child using proprietary in-house methodology.


46. Boardreader Boardreader is search engine for Forums and Boards

47. Forumfind Find what people like you, think.

48. BigBoards The largest message boards and forums on the web

49. Boardtracker is an innovative forum search engine, message tracking and instant alerts system designed to provide relevant information quickly and efficiently while ensuring you never miss an important forum thread no matter where or when it is posted.

50. Monitor This With Monitor this, you can subscribe to 20 different search engine feeds at the same time. Enter a search term and click the ‘make monitor.opml’ button to get a list of rss feeds in OPML format.

51. Keotag Tag search multiple engines, tag generator and social bookmark links generator. Buzz Monitoring.


52. Comwat Organize your profiles (communities, forums, social networks, blogs etc.) and invite your friends. Decide who you want to show where you’re online. Find new friends or interesting profiles using tags and search terms.

53.  onXiam onXiam is a site that lets you consolidate all of your online identities and easily tie them back to a single point of reference.

54. Profilebuilder Eliminate the need to constantly build profiles on multiple social sites.

55. Profileomat is a shareable profile aggregator that lists all your personal Websites, Social Networks, Blogs, Contact Info, Photo Albums and other Profiles in one profile. Plus: People can leave a message in your profile (this is something between a guestbook and reputation system).

56. Simplifid organizes online networks, screen names, profiles, blogs, bookmarking services and URL’s with unique IDs. Categorize your info for different audiences; one for chat friends, one for business and another for family.

57. Socialurl is a social community platform enabling you to organize your online identities. Connnect to all your social network sites with one URL.

58. Venyo The Venyo Project – to build a free and universal online reputation management tool.A personal reliability index.

59. Zoolit is a shareable Web page that lists all your personal sites. Your Zoolit Landing Page is always current and up to date, providing the world with all of your personal Websites, Social Networks, Blogs, contact info, and Photo and Video Sharing sites.

60. Trackur Online Reputation Monitoring & Social Media Monitoring Tools, If your reputation is being discussed in the social media, Trackur will alert you. 14 day free trial.


61. Backtype Whenever you write a comment on a blog or other website, BackType attributes it to you. It gives your comments a home where they can be discovered, followed and shared. Receive updates whenever a search term is mentioned in a comment – delivered by e-mail (immediately, or in daily or weekly digests), RSS or your Dashboard.

62. Monitter real time Twitter montioring, though it looks more like Twitter on crack.

63. Sideline Here’s Yahoo’s version of Tweedeck. The tag: Watch search and monitor the Twitter public timeline in real time


64.  Filtrbox Monitor your brand and reputation across millions of sources in one place.

65. Watchthatpage is a service that enables you to automatically collect new information from your favorite pages on the Internet. You select which pages to monitor, and WatchThatPage will find which pages have changed, and collect all the new content for you. The new information is presented to you in an email and/or a personal web page

66. Google Trends With Google Trends, you can compare the world’s interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most.

67. Factiva offers a collection of business intelligence and news sources, along with the content delivery and information management tools enterprises need to find and use information more effectively. Factiva’s broad collection of targeted products includes solutions for media monitoring, sales lead generation, taxonomy, and credit risk management.