COM0015-Blog post #1-The most reliable (and/or fun?) listening tools and sources of information

Facebook is the form of social media that I use the most, but in terms of “listening” and “monitoring”, my favourite social media monitoring tool for personal purposes is definitely youTube (http://www.youtube.com/). I find it addictive – after watching one video I’ll see another video I want to watch in the suggested video list, and before you know it, an hour has passed. In videos, you can hear and sometimes see people speak, so you get more of a feel of their personalities; it feels like more of a personal connection. I also find it very entertaining to read the comments at the bottom of the videos, with so many people willing to be negative but refusing to identify themselves – the infamous internet trolls! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)) It astounds me what some people will actually say!
Blogs/websites are another of my favourite forms of listening. I have specific blogs that I refer to regularly. I usually use youTube in combination with blogs – if I see something interesting on a youTube video, I will visit that person’s blog or vice versa. I like blogs that include a lot of research – this is important to my professional development because once you find a site with trusted content on it, it becomes your ‘go-to’ site for accurate information. There are so many blogs now, that you need to find a valuable or enjoyable source for your information. I work in career advertising, so I enjoy visiting sites like charityvillage.ca, workopolis.com, monster.ca, etc., to see how the sites are set up and if there is anything new in how they’re presenting the information.
For me, my two best sources of news and updates are the Ottawa Citizen website and msn.ca. I visit both of these sites on a regular (usually daily) basis. The Ottawa Citizen delivers local and national news and msn.ca offers a collection of news, but also weird and unique articles from across the world. MSN is more of a fun tangent for me because I like the quirky videos and strange stories that the site sometimes has.
I have the most experience with (and have found great value in) using Netvibes as my main career-related listening tool. When combined with Google Analytics, it is easy to compile statistics related to my organization’s website and discover the viewing patterns of our site visitors. I was quite interested to note a distinct cycle of site visitors – most of our visitors look at our site on Mondays and Wednesdays, with medium volume on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with visits trickling off over the weekend. Our site visits are generally between 1:00 and 2:00 in the afternoon. This information helps us build a profile about our visitors and helps us to better time our advertising. It’s also interesting to use Netvibes to listen to what others are saying about our site, to respond to comments, and to use the information to improve our website.
After researching more listening tools recently, I believe that I will look into using Social Mention as well. But only if it’s fun. 😉

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