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At the BSF Think Tank in London today, I showed a few of the delegates how I skim twitter and blogs to see ‘woz appenin’. It’s quite a neat use of tools, and I wish I’d thought of it.

I didn’t,  Chris Brogan did, and thank you to Chris for his permission to copy the following from his book and audio / mp3 Trust Agents. Chris refers to this as setting up a listening post

Here goes ..

  1. Get a gmail account. – http://www.gmail.com (or Googlemail)
  2. Log in to Google Reader. This will become your home base for listening. Note the position of the “Add Subscriptions” button (mid top left) – http://www.google.com/reader
  3. Now, go to Google Blogsearch. Type in your query about your company, your organization, your areas of interest, and the like. We’ll use the results in the next step. – http://blogsearch.google.com. **
  4. Note the “Subscribe” links on the bottom left of the page. Right-click the RSS link, and select copy.
  5. Go back to Google Reader, click Add Subscription, and select paste.
  6. Repeat this for as many variations of searches you want for blogs.
  7. Go to Twitter Search. Do the same. – http://search.twitter.com
  8. Fine tune your searches by seeing what inaccurate results come from your first attempts, and replace bad searches with better ones.
  9. Take the payload of all that raw searching and SORT it using Google Reader. By this, I mean the following: when you find something to note, either Share it (Shift S), or email it ( type E on the keyboard). Send only the important stuff.
  10. Most important to the process – DO something with what you’re learning. Figure out the business value of the listening you’re doing, and route it to the right places. Listening isn’t for marketers. It’s for the organization. It’s for customer service, for product management, for the senior team, etc.

** if your query is more than one word, enclose your query in double quotes