Dave, I’m impressed! My review of Growing Your Business with Google hadn’t been up for much longer than an hour before you had already commented on it — and posted the review on your own website. (Embarrassingly before I corrected a few typos in my own article.) You have this blogging thing down to a science! Which leads me to my question: What secret weapon (or weapons) do you use to keep so up-to-date on who is writing or blogging about you on the web?
Thanks for the splendid review, Craig! (see his review wherein he says “Every graphic designer who earns part of their living designing websites should be required to read at least chapter 14 of Dave Taylor’s book Growing Your Business with Google.”)
I don’t know if I have a secret weapon, per se, but I do use NewsGator Online — or NGO as us blogheads like to call it — to keep track of the almost 175 different RSS feeds that I track, and two of them are focused on industry and site references.
If I pop into the My Feeds area (My Settings –> My Feeds) and scroll down a ways, here’s what I see:
As you can see, one keeps track of references to “Dave Taylor”, omitting anything related to that other Dave Taylor who is with the LA Kings professional hockey team, the second looks for the title of my book and the third, which I think is the most interesting, looks for mention of any of my main domain names. That’s the secret weapon right there.
Now it’s important to remember that NewsGator Online is Web-based, so it’s as easy as clicking a bookmark to get the latest news, financial information, world events, tech stories, and blog buzz, including these nets that fish throughout the entire blogosphere, all five quadzillion blogs out there. And so, I do. At least every 2-3 hours I spin through and see what’s new in the world, including once around 10pm or 11pm to see if there’s any breaking news happening overseas.
In a lot of ways, being able to include BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Reuters, BBC News, etc etc really lets me create what I’ve wanted for decades: a customized, personal newspaper that has the stories I am interested in reading about (blogging, corporate ethics, higher education) and skips the stories I am completely uninterested in (professional sports, celebrity news).
NewsGator Online is also free, so let me show you how you can quickly set up a custom feed like this for yourself too.
Log in, then click on Add Feeds, which will reveal the following navigational choices:
Scroll down just a bit and you’ll see where you can enter a keyword or phrase to monitor and a list of your current searches:
Now here’s something that NewsGator doesn’t make very clear: you can actually use a variety of patterns to make your search more sophisticated than the default “OR” word matching. I recently wrote about that here: Sophisticated searches in NewsGator Online.
Enter your desired pattern, click “Add” and it’ll show right up as a new feed in your aggregated reader view and each time you “mark all as read” you’re caught up until it matches another entry in the RSS data stream, even from sites that you don’t ordinarily have on your subscription list.
Hope that clears up some of the mystery!
Note: Craig paid a small fee to increase the priority of his question, and this answer was posted within 12 hours of his submission. If you have a question that can’t wait around for a few weeks until I can get through my daily mail deluge, you too might find that prioritizing your question can help us both out!