COMM0015: Tools and Sources


In the world of social media technology provides a large number of opportunities for monitoring news and information that is important to your business and listening to your own customers.  Unfortunately, the availability of these tools and the time required to monitor them can become challenges or even barriers for individuals and companies without a significant amount of time to dedicate to those sites.  As one of those individuals I have tried to find tools and resources that can provide the information I need in a quick and simple interface.  Ideally, with the additional option to ‘dig deeper’ when needed.

As someone whose social media business is entirely based in the online world monitoring website traffic, online influence and listening to our readers are the primary ways we measure success.  My favourite ‘quick glance’ tool to monitor that success is Klout.  Although it does not provide as detailed information as some other monitoring tools Klout does offer a simple and easy to access overview of your online interactions.  Using information from your social media accounts, including sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WordPress, Klout is able to determine our influence score and who it believes we are influencing.  This allows us to develop a better understanding of our readers, of what content they value the most and whether or not that influence is growing or decreasing.

When I have more time or I want to prepare several posts/tweets/etc… I turn to Hootsuite.  Hootsuite provides me with a more detailed analysis of the website and social media traffic as well as the opportunity to schedule posts and tweets.  This scheduling option is key since I may not be available during the ideal times to promote a new article or comment on a product release.  In addition, Hootsuite provides more detailed analytics options than Klout, can track conversations and offers a mobile app which allows you to coordinate the management of your social media accounts from any location.

In the world of science fiction and fantasy fandom there is always something new and if you are not on top of the latest shows, books, technology or convention controversies your content can quickly become archaic and obsolete.  As a result I rely heavily on two key sources of information.  The first is my source of information for all things ‘nerdy’ in the United States and overseas –  Through his blog, YouTube channel and now his television show on BBC America Chris Hardwick (aka – the Nerdist) keeps ‘nerds’ everywhere informed of the breaking news about the things they love.  As a result, his website provides an excellent gateway into most of the information I need.

Of course, one website does not provide all the information I need to listen to what is happening in the science fiction and fantasy fan world.  When I want more information, including specific feeds from Canadian websites, I rely on Netvibes to pull it all into one place. The Netvibes dashboard allows me to see the most recent information on my key topics in one place and saves significant time.

As a result of Klout, Hootsuite, and Netvibes  I am able to stay on top of our own site traffic and comments while also keeping up on the latest information in our industry.  This allows us to steadily grow our site traffic and meet the performance measure targets we have set.

Photo Credit: Steven Shorrock

2 thoughts on “COMM0015: Tools and Sources

  1. I agree with your point about monitoring taking time. Even when you combine feeds into one source, it still takes a lot of effort to watch for new trends or developments. Unfortunately in most organizations this is an “add on” to someone’s already busy daily routine. Interesting to see if this changes any time in the near future!

  2. Lara – I do occasionally monitor specific topics through Hootsuite. Since there is a lot of information in the science fiction/fantasy convention world I usually monitor keywords for specific conventions when it is within one or two months of the convention. How early I set up the keyword search depends on the size of the convention. It can be very helpful!

    Cary – Absolutely! The issue of workload/time is one of the primary reasons my ‘day job’ does not currently have a social media presence. Staff are already struggling to keep up with their current workload and no one has time available to effectively monitor and measure social media.

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