Free Listening Tools to Monitor Your Online Buzz

Nowadays, managing online reputation has become part and parcel of online marketing, thus you will need to have some good online listening and monitoring tools. There are many tools out there and some are costly tools (such as Radian6 and Scoutlabs), not forgetting some of those greedy agencies and consultants that will charge you a bomb by doing the service for you.

I have compiled here some good tools that you can use to monitor online buzz for your brands and the best thing is these are all FREE tools.

1. Google Alerts

This is the most important and basic automated tool that can help people and businesses monitor the Internet for developments and activities that could concern them. Google currently offers six types of alert searches: News, Web, Blogs, Comprehensive, Video and Groups and results are sent to subscribers daily by e-mail or via RSS feeds.

2. Addictomatic

Addictomatic searches the best live sites on the web for the latest news, blog posts, videos and images. It’s the perfect tool to keep up with the hottest topics, perform ego searches and feed your addiction for what’s up, what’s now or what other people are feeding on. Addictomatic shows you results from Twitter, Friendfeed, Bing News, Google blog search, Digg, Delicious, Technorati, Twingly, etc. You do not even need to register on the site!

3. BlogPulse

BlogPulse is an automated trend discovery system for blogs, a free service by Nielsen Buzzmetric. It is actually a blog search engine that also analyzes and reports on daily activity in the blogosphere.

4. Boardtracker

This tool specializes in monitoring forums. Boardtracker is currently following more than 66 million topics on more than 37,000 forums.

5. Bloglines

Bloglines is a free online service for searching, subscribing, creating and sharing news feeds, blogs and rich web content. Bloglines can be used to start monitoring the sources you are interested in.

6. Commentful

Commentful is a service that watches comments/follow-ups on Blog posts, Digg submissions, Flickr galleries, and many other types of content. When ever there is an update, i.e a new follow-up, Commentful notifies you instantly.

7. Ice Rocket

IceRocket is an Internet search engine specialized in searching blogs. It also offers a search module for Myspace, and this makes it the only tool of these that does so.

8. HowSociable

HowSociable provides a simple way for you to begin measuring your brand’s visibility on the social web. You can have your Google Blog Posts score, Twitter score, Flickr score, Youtube, Myspace, etc, on the same page. This tool can be very useful to measure the impact of your actions across the social networks.

9. Facebook Lexicon

Lexicon is a tool to understand what Facebook’s users are talking about on Walls. Use the tabs at the top to explore different trends in the topics listed in the drop-down menu. Lexicon never looks at messages, Chat, searches, or other private data.

10. Keotag

Keotag allows you to search content tags. Once you have picked a tag, Keotag lets you choose the sites you want to it search for you. Of course, the classics among the choices are: Google, Twitter, Technorati, Reddit, Digg and others.

11. Social Mention

Social Mention is a social media search platform that allows you to easily track what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. It monitors 80+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.

12. BackType

BackType is a conversational search engine that index and connect millions of conversations from blogs, social networks and other social media so people can find, follow and share comments.

Of course there are a lots more listening tools available, especially for social media e.g. twitter which I will need to talk about twitter monitoring tools in my next blog. But I think the above tools would be a good start.

Last but not least, you can also use Yahoo! Pipes to create your own online buzz monitoring tool. Yahoo! Pipes is a web application from Yahoo! that provides a graphical user interface for building data mashups that aggregate web feeds,web pages, and other services, creating Web-based apps from various sources, and publishing those apps.

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