COM0015 – Blog #1: Tools & Sources

When it comes to listening tools and news sources there are plenty of options to choose from! I personally prefer using Google Alerts (combined with Feeder) and Social Searcher as my listening tools. When it comes to news and updates, I turn mostly to Twitter and The Big Story Podcast (The Big Story, n.d.), but I must admit also turn to traditional media often for my daily news. 

Favourite Listening Tools

1. Google Alerts (with Feeder!) 

Photo by Serpstat on

Google Alerts was the very first listening tool I was ever introduced to, but I have to say, it has always been a favourite! It is very simply to put your keywords into (or remove and change if they aren’t working) and gives you the very simple option of receiving your updates by email or RSS Feed. When you combine this with Feeder, your RSS feeds show up in a well-organized page that you can quickly skim through and click on links for more information. I find this very helpful when I conduct my scan early in the morning. I enjoy this tool over others as is scans the internet and brings all related articles into one place. While I do have to filter out the non-related articles, I have been working on my keywords to help eliminate this. Google Alerts works extremely well in my field and I am always the first to bring the new stories to the office. 

2. Social Searcher

Photo by Armin Rimoldi on

Social Searcher is a program I learned about just a few months ago. This is one of my favourite listening tools as it searches 11 different social media platforms in one shot. Once it pulls up all the relevant hits based on your keywords, you may then click on each link, or look at the breakdown of all the hits based on sentiment, users, what links they are clicking, and what keywords are being most used. This not only helps you understand your audience’s emotions and what they think of your organization, it also lets you get ahead of any problems before they become too large. Additionally, since it gives you common keywords, this helps you update your keywords on other listening tools. Social Searcher also allows you filter your search by language, post types, and social media platforms – this can be very helpful when trying to find information relevant to your geographic area or commonly used platforms. 

Best News Sources

1. Twitter

I enjoy using Twitter as a news source because I can quickly see what is trending and being talked about right on the first page without digging. This is very helpful in my profession so we can get ahead of any major events and be ready to post our response to international crisis. 

2. The Big Story Podcast

I enjoy a variety of Podcasts, but for news specifically, I enjoy The Big Story Podcast (The Big Story, n.d.). This podcast focuses on real Canadian issues, it appears to be well researched and very informative. It also has very informed guest speakers – which makes each episode different and interesting. This podcast discusses topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic, major news stories, and consumer reports. It always provides a unique view and I enjoy listening to it.  

Those are just some of my favourite listening tools and new sources, what are your favourites? Have you used something different? Tell me about it in the comments below!


Feeder. (no date). No title. Retrieved from

Google Alerts. (no date). No title. Retrieved from

Rimoldi., A. (September 21, 2020). Serious student reading document with homework in park. Retrieved From

Serpstat. (August 30, 2017). Silver Imac Displaying Line Graph Placed on Desk. Retrieved from:

Social Searcher. (no date). No title. Retrieved from

The Big Story. (no date). No Title. Retrieved from

Twitter. (no date). No title. Retrieved from

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