How can you track links to your site and monitor mentions others make of you on other web sites? Ego searching, ego-surfing, buzz and conversation tracking are online services set-up to gather all the info about you so that you never miss the opportunity to join a conversation.
Photo credit: cybermarti
Web 2.0 is all about conversations and interaction with other people. Tracking what people are saying about you or your products and services, is very important if you want to improve your profile, positioning, and online reputation. But often, conversations are difficult to monitor over time, as they can start on one web site, and then splinter into multiple locations.
For example, a user comments your video on YouTube, then another user tweets that comment on Twitter, and then somebody replies to that tweet on FriendFeed. How can you monitor such a scattered stream of thoughts without losing time and efforts?
There are many web tools that can efficiently track, monitor and bring together links, citations, mentions and references so that you can easily make sense of the buzz which is generated around you, or your web site.
No matter which one you choose, among the several I have selected here, the approach is always the same:
a) You input your name, between quotes (such as in "Robin Good") or the URL of your web site (or of a specific article)
b) The service goes out to find links and mentions of your site / name or URL and reports them back to you.
To help you out, I've personally selected in this guide the best free tools to do ego-searching, buzz tracking and social media monitoring of yourself or of your web site.
To facilitate your choice among these different tools, I have also identified some basic criteria you can use to evaluate which service may be a best fit for your needs:
- Sources: Content and news sources used to search.
- Notification: Supported notifications systems for alerts.
- Trend Tracking: Feature that monitors your "status" over time.
- Type: Nature of service (web.based, software browser plugin).
- Comparison: Ability to compare multiple profiles, people or sites.
- Widget: Feature that allows you to embed a widget to show the conversation related to your web site.
Here all the best ego-searching, buzz monitoring and trackers of social media mentions out there:
Best Buzz Tracking and Social Media Monitoring Tools Comparison Table
Buzz Tracking and Social Media Monitoring Tools
- Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a web service to monitor specific keywords and automatically receive alerts on your Gmail inbox. After registering for a Google account (if you don't already own one), to create a new alert you just have to choose some search terms, set what you want to monitor (news, blogs, videos, groups, the Web, or all of those), when (once a day, once a week, as-it-happens) and choose a valid Gmail address. Google Alerts will then constantly track the Internet and send you notifications accordingly. No embeddable widget available for your site.
Technorati is a blog search engine. You can use Technorati to search for blog posts, blog sites that matches your keywords of interest. To let your be indexed just register to the service and submit your URL. You can then publish a small widget on your site which shows your "authority", it is the number of blogs linking to your web site in the last six months. The higher the authority, the more your blog is involved in conversation around the Web. No trend monitoring or comparison features available.
Bloglines is a social search engine that allows you to crawl the Web for mentions, blog posts, and RSS feeds. You can also track selected keywords over time, in a range from one to six months. Auto-updating notifications are available via RSS feed. If you register to the service, you can also access a customizable dashboard where you can compare sources you select for a quick overview over all your search results. No widgets available for your site.
Icerocket is a search engine that allows you to track the Web for mentions of your blog or your social profile. You can search the Web, blogs, videos, images, news, Twitter, and MySpace. You can compare the sources in the result page and access them via RSS feed. The sources can auto-update in a time range you decide. No embeddable widget available, but great feature that allows you to monitor trends on the web selecting a set of keywords and a range of time (from one to three months).
BlogPulse is a complete solution for buzz tracking, blog searching and blog trends monitoring. You just have to choose a set of keywords and then you can monitor and track citations, referral links, and analyze the trends for a blog. BlogPulse indexes blogs, news, videos and then delivers your results via RSS feed. No embeddable widget available.
- FriendFeed Search
FriendFeed built-in search engine allows you to do ego-searching and buzz tracking among all the conversation created and followed by FriendFeed. Just register to the service, and type your keywords or choose the advanced search options to refine your search indicating if you want to track a specific user, site, language, or more. You can also follow the results stream via RSS feed, but it does not auto-update, so you cannot monitor searches over time automatically. No embeddable widget for your web / blog site.
- Twitter Search
Twitter built-in search engine allows you to search tweets for specific keywords. The results page auto-updates to let you monitor your searches over time, even via RSS feed. You can also use the advanced search options to track tweets from a particular tweeter, a given language, hash tags, and more. Twitter search works only with Twitter and has no embeddable widget you can add to your site.
UberVU is a powerful social media monitoring tool that tracks the buzz allowing you to follow a conversation splintered off on multiple web sites, blog comments, or tweets very easily. Just paste any URL (or use the dedicated bookmarklet), and let UberVU aggregate all the conversations in a threaded stream of data which will automatically auto-updates over time. You can also request the UberVU API to have your readers monitor your social media presence directly from your own web site. No notification like e-mail or RSS feed available at the moment. UberVU is currently in private beta, but is expected to go public soon.
- Social Mention
Social Mention is a web-based buzz tracking and social media monitoring tool to do ego-searching on the Internet. Social Mention allows you to track the Web, blogs, comments, microblogging services, Q&A pages, bookmarks, comments, events, images, news, videos and audio. To search, just type your name (or use the advanced options to refine your search), and the service will show you a customized search result page you can follow via RSS feed or download in CSV / Excel format. Social Mention also allows you to see what's your ranking inside social media by telling you how many times you're mentioned online and where. Search results do not auto-update, and no embeddable widgets for your web site is available.
Commentful is a comment / follow-ups search engine. After registering for free to the service, you can search, track over time, and receive e-mail and RSS alerts whenever your keywords are mentioned on blogs, social media, forums, Digg, and a few other sources. No embeddable widget available for your site.
Trackur is a social media monitoring tool that tracks the Web for your selected keywords over time. The service searches social media, news sites, blogs, videos, images, and many other sources. After registering to Trackur, you can search and access your results via RSS feed or set e-mail alerts to hit your inbox. You can also easily set the trend monitoring feature to track your keywords over time. No embeddable widget. Trackur offers a 14-days free trial, and then you can purchase one of the advanced pricing plans starting from $18/month (for individuals).
Surchur is a web-based service to do ego searching on the Web and track the buzz around yourself, your company, and your products. Surchur can search on social media, blog, pictures, products, video, and news. Your results can be syndicated and will auto-update each time there's something new. No embeddable widgets for your site, nor proper trend monitoring but you can access a "history" of the previous search on Surchur related to your topics of interest.
EgoSurf is a buzz tracking tool that monitors search engines, news sources, blog search engines, and social bookmarking sites. You just enter your name (or any keyword of your interest), a domain site, and EgoSurf crawls its sources to find mentions about you and your own blog / web site. EgoSurf can also take care of monitoring keyword trends over time, so you can easily take care of your online reputation ranking. You can access the results of your searches via RSS feed. No embeddable widget available for your site.
Samepoint is a conversational search engine that allows you to discover where and when someone is talking about you or your web site on the Web. Samepoint searches social media, news, bookmarks, wikis, Q&A pages, microblogging services, events, images, videos, and many other sources. You can subscribe to an auto-updating RSS feed of your results to follow your conversations more easily. No embeddable widget, nor trend monitoring feature available.
Addict-o-matic is a buzz tracking tool that allows you to monitor conversation scattered around the Web. Addict-o-matic crawls news sources and major social media sites and delivers your results in separate modules for easy comparison between the sources. You can also personalize your page so that it matches your specific interests, by selecting the news sources yo want to search. No RSS feed to check your results, nor embeddable widget to add on your site. Trend monitoring over time is also missing at this stage of development of the service.
ZoomInfo is a search engine that allows you to find people or companies easily. The service crawls the Web and collects information from different sources, then providing a social profile from the individual or company you were looking for. It is not clearly specified which news sources are used. Results are not syndicated via RSS feed, and no trend monitoring or embeddable widget are available.
Keotag is a social media monitoring tool that allows you to search on popular blog, social media, and news sources like Google, Yahoo!, Technorati, YouTube, Bloglines, Digg, Twitter, and many more. You can access your results via RSS feed or download an OPML file that contains all the feeds of the sources you searched. You can also embed a small button on your site to let people use Keotag for their online reputation searches. No trend monitoring feature available.
BoardTracker is a forum search engine that looks for your relevant keywords inside forums, and monitors their trend over time, so that you never miss an important conversation you want to join. After registering (free), you can search, set e-mail alerts or subscribe to RSS feeds of your results for easy access. New beta version expands the sources you can search to social media, news, videos, images, and more. No embeddable widget available.
- Talk Digger
Talk Digger is a search engine for conversations that take place anywhere on the Web. Unlike other similar services, Talk Digger asks you to search for URLs instead of keywords. The results will show all the sites that link to the URL you entered, separated by search engine. News sources monitored are Google, Technorati, MSN, Yahoo!, BlogDigger, and a few others. Results are conveniently delivered via RSS feed and auto-update over time. No embeddable widget is available from Talk Digger.
MonitorThis is a meta search engine that allows you to subscribe to 20 different search engine RSS feeds at the same time. Just enter your selected keyword to get a list of auto-updating RSS feeds in OPML format that you can read in your RSS reader. MonitorThis currently tracks a lot of sources, including: Google, Technorati, del.icio.us., MSN, Flickr, Icerocket, and many more. No embeddable widget available.
- Yahoo! Sideline
Sideline is an Adobe Air app from Yahoo! designed to help you in your social media monitoring job. Sideline tracks Twitter for mentions of your selected keywords and can also monitor your trends over time. Keywords can be selected depending on the tweeter, her attitude, and other criteria that allow you to refine your search. Your search results will auto-refresh as the Twitter timeline gets updated. No notifications or widget available.
Tinker is a web-based buzz tracking service that you can use to check the Twitter timeline for keywords representing topics you want to monitor. Tinker "Event Streams" auto-update as new tweets are added, and can be easily tracked over time. Tinker also has an embeddable widget you can add to your web site to let your users know about the trends you are monitoring. Twittering directly from widget is also possible. No notifications via RSS or e-mail available.
HowSociable? provides a simple way to measure the visibility of your brand on major social media sites. Just enter the name of your brand in the search box and HowSociable? returns you a set of results from specific sites like Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, and many more, where you can immediately see where your brand is mostly present. You can also measure your brand popularity over time and receive monthly updates on your social presence just by providing your e-mail address. No embeddable widget is available to show your online presence on your own blog site.
BingTweets is a web-based buzz tracking tool that works by integrating real-time results from Twitter Search and Bing. When you launch a search, you get a live updating stream of the tweets and the result pages on Bing that contain what you are looking for. You can also tweet the results obtained or share them using your social media or e-mail. No notifications nor trend monitoring are supported.
Originally prepared by Robin Good for MasterNewMedia, and first published on March 30, 2009 as "Buzz Tracking And Social Media Monitoring: Best Tools To Do Ego Searching And Find Out Who Is Talking About Me - Mini-Guide".
Originally written by Robin Good and first published on MasterNewMedia.