This little trick goes on your “must do” list for 2007. It’s so easy that my techie friends will laugh at my simple explanation, to follow.
Forget them. This blog is for the un-cool, the rest-of-us, the “real people (who) don’t blog” as my husband called them in the opening line of The Corporate Blogging Book.
He’s wrong of course. We do blog, many of us. We read blogs, almost all the rest of us. But that’s the whole point of the book and of Time Magazine’s 2006 Person of the Year – You!
Why you should RSS yourself
This is not an exercise in vanity, BTW. It’s your no-cost, real-time way of monitoring the blogosphere and then engaging where appropriate or as time permits. I love leaving comments on a new blog where someone is kind enough to mention my book. The blogger is always astonished that I “discovered” his/her blog. But really, it’s so easy…
How to RSS Yourself
There are two steps to RSS’ing yourself:
1. You create persistent keyword searches
2. You subscribe to those search results via RSS
The basic idea is that you use RSS (my RSS 101) to set up persistent keyword searches. You search on your name, your company name, product, brand, service, etc. And any keyword phrases related to your industry or your interests.
I have keyword searches set up on “debbie weil,” “the corporate blogging book,” “corporate blogging,” “corporate blogging guidelines,” “ceo bloggers,” etc. You get the idea.
Then you have the results of those keyword searches delivered to you through your RSS newsreader. Technically, you “subscribe” to your keyword search results just as you would subscribe to a blog.
Set up persistent keyword searches using Google, Bloglines and Technorati
For example, type your name “in quotes” into the Technorati search bar (as below). When the results come up, look for the little orange “Subscribe” icon on the right. Click (or right-click) the icon to copy the link. Then insert that link into your RSS reader of choice as a new “subscription.”
I use Bloglines because it’s Web-based and I find it simple to use. Some folks like Google’s Reader. (Both are free.)
Below are what my keyword search results look like in my Bloglines account. The first screenshot shows you the RSS results for a Google news alert search on “debbie weil.”
1. Google News Alert on “debbie weil” viewed through Bloglines
2. Technorati results on “debbie weil” viewed through Bloglines
3. Bloglines search on “debbie weil” viewed through Bloglines
Why three separate searches? They deliver different results
If you’re wondering why I use Google news alerts, Technorati and Bloglines to do the persistent searching, it’s because they deliver different results: mentions on blogs, in news articles, in other languages, etc.
RSS searching is still an imperfect science. But hey, it’s free. And it’s useful. No more excuses… go for it in 2007!
P.S. Another useful idea
Writes Anil Dash on his bio:
RSS 101 (my 5-step guide to get started)
RSS: Should You Bother? (great round-up of links and resources by Mark Goren)
Untangle the World Wide Web With RSS (Reuters – Dec. 29, 2006)
Blogging, Podcasting & RSS 101 (my round-up of links)