What *is* the point of social media if one doesn’t take the appropriate effort to listen and monitor for the topics they hold close to their business, organization, blog or website?
Admittedly, I feel no shame in articulating just how frustrating I have found in my endeavours in finding various tools and sources that will work the best for *me.* I’ve discovered during the course of my lessons and previous courses, themselves, that not all suggestions that have been made available would be worth serving a blogger, like me. That said, I’ve also discovered that the few methods to monitor trends applicable to a health and Lupus advocate are invaluable, provided the effort is actually made to continually monitor said tools and sources!
I am sorely lacking in the structure needed to fully broaden my listening and monitor capabilities.
From those I do use for my personal web-blog for Lupus and health advocacy, Hootsuite has been a virtual one-stop-shop across my laptop screen for the production of the trends I seek. I am able to set up #searches that streamline the incredibly vast amount of health information into columns that are directly applicable to me. I can also keep track using the app on my mobile phone, which is handy in times of a quick brainstorm of tweets that I can schedule as I think them up. Tailoring my dashboard also allows me the benefit of modifying and adapting to new trends as I see them.
One of my immediate frustrations in my attempt to try to find what works best for me isn’t only the volume of apps and programs to try but invariably the limitations that “free” tools provide without having to upgrade to a pro-type account. It prevents a user, aka me, from seeing just how full a monitoring tool the program could be to the average user.
Google Alerts is only a recent addition to my repertoire of tools in my social media toolkit. Again, like any other program/app, the value is directly correlated to the effort provided to reading them. I have set up a bookmark right at the top of my browser to be able to open the search as I sip my morning java. It is a simple, and free, user-friendly program that is customizable to my basic understanding of monitoring. The emailed alerts absolutely work for me because though I acknowledge the need to improve my monitoring schedule, I certainly check my emails!
Over the past several months I find I have had a success, of sorts, with using Feedly as a source for my most recent news and updates to the topics I hold dear. Lupus, Xbox, the like. *grin* I can appreciate that when I open the program, “the most popular stories in your feedly today” comes into view with amazing content applicable to me, because I chose it. Though, I still have to caution myself to properly structure the time necessary to peruse through the various saved feeds.
Still, I do like the simplicity of going to an actual news site in order to keep up with current trends and topics in the health community. Specifically, Canadian news sources such as CTV and CBC provide me with the content that brings value to my dedication to providing my readers and followers with up-to-date Canadian content in an advocacy world that sorely lacks our geographical perspective.
I have to stress that I’m not above using a paid monitoring program but what I lack is the up-to-date knowledge in a Web2.0 that is saturated with those tools vying to be the best and greatest. Do you feel limited by the free versions that currently are popular? Or, would you invest in the opportunity to find a fuller, more engaging, monitoring tool? Let me know!