There are many tools available to help with your social media listening. Algonquin’s Social Media Program (COMM0013) introduced me to a monitoring solution that is created using a foundation of NetVibes and Yahoo Pipes. After I overcame a couple of simple roadblocks during the building process, I found the finished product to be quite robust for the price – free. Contrary to free versions of other tools on the market, this solution doesn’t seem to have the same limitations – at least where it matters, such as the number of social networks you can monitor. I continue to use this tool, which conveniently displays information provided by numerous Twitter accounts, Google Alerts and Blog posts. This is a great solution if you want a scalable product for thoroughly monitoring an organization without incurring any cost.
I also like to use the free version of Hootsuite for consolidating and managing social media accounts. I use this to monitor a couple of Twitter accounts I tweet from, as well as my LinkedIn updates. Search columns are added that scan Twitter in real time. It’s a very clean interface, and the free offering is adequate for my requirements. It allows me to easily follow my two accounts without confusion, and I’m able to quickly track information such as New Followers, Retweets and Mentions. Another reason I like to use Hootsuite is that I often work with others who have an upgraded version of it. For the longest time I had only looked at and used the information to craft strategic plans – I’ve since enjoyed getting my hands dirty and trying to better understand its entire scope of functionality.
I am a news junkie who uses Twitter as a primary source for news. I’m constantly retrieving information from my handheld device, and I find twitter serves my appetite for up-to-the-minute news. It’s simple to navigate, and I can modify it quickly to meet changing needs or interests. Scanning the news in a Timeline is quick and easy, and a full story is a tap away if I feel inclined to get the details. I follow many of the obvious news sources like the Globe and Mail, New York Times, CBC, etc., but I also track many journalists and bloggers who tweet out news before its released by one of the conventional news sources. And, of course, Twitter allows you to easily follow all news related to a fast-breaking story.
When I’m not looking for time sensitive news, my favourite news source is Business Insider. I find that its emphasis on business and technology is tailored toward my interests, both personally and professionally. It provides top news stories aggregated from around the web, as well as its own analysis. And although I go there mainly for business and technology news, it’s a very comprehensive site that also satisfies my thirst for the latest news in music and sports.
I’m always looking for more current news providers. If you’ve got a news feed that you recommend I’d love to hear about it.