This is the second part of a five part series on how enterprise 2.0 tools can work for an enterprise of one, myself in this case. To start the process I mapped out my business workflow. Then I looked at the tools I currently use for each major step before thinking about any further moves into the enterprise 2.0 space. Since I write for multiple blogs and provide blog consulting services to businesses, my work flow in very content heavy.
I decided the three main sections are one: content monitoring, two: content collecting, assembling, and creation, and three: content publishing and archiving. Step two then reaches into both steps one and step three for new content. I also enlisted the help of Gil Yehuda, former analyst at Forrester Research, who helped me think through the issues and, for this step, pointed me to the last three four tools below.
RSS feeds, Twitter search, and Google Alerts are all excellent free resources. I also get a lot of good ideas from the people I follow on Twitter and my Facebook friends. In addition, because many friends know about my interests they send me links to good stuff, acting as a human RSS filter. Listed below are some resources for when you want to go beyond these options.
Techrigy is designed to address brand monitoring with a balance of comprehensive analytics, simplicity of use, and a modest price point. There is a limited free version as mentioned above and I am using it now. So far I am very pleased with the variety of reports and the ability to focus searches to reduce false positives. Here is my review - Techrigy Provides Comprehensive Social Media Monitoring and Reporting.
Filtrbox is another web monitoring tool that I am using and pleased with. You can set up filtrs (filters) with a number of qualifiers. It sorts sources by blogs, mainstream media, and Twitter. You can set up 5 filers with the free version. However, the unlimited version is only $10 a month and offers more analytics. Here is my review - Filtrbox Offers Market Intelligence for a Broad Audience.
Yasni.com is a German social search tool that does a nice breakdown of sources (e.g. LinkedIn, Google News, Facebook, Google Blogs Search, general web, etc.) I tried it briefly and it looks useful.
Pipl is a people search tool. It seems to be more a people finder, as well as a resource to check on people who contact you or you otherwise connected with. However, it does show your own web presence broken into categories (e.g., photos, publications, professional and business, web pages, new articles, blog posts, documents).
Socialwhois describes itself as a service to determine who you should follow and why. Here is a Mashable post, Who Is That New Follower? Ask Socialwhois, on this tool where they say it is useful for checking out people who request to follow or friend you that you do not know, a similar function to Pipl. You can also find people with similar interests, which might help in finding bloggers in your niche.
Nathan Gilliatt also offers useful summary post, Monitoring Social Media Before You Have a Budget, that provides additional resources for those of us on limited budgets.
The other major sources of content are the free newsletters and community sites, as well as my free New York Times online subscription. In each case, if they come into my inbox, I always scan them before I delete them. My next post in this series describes what I do if I find something useful. Here are the newsletters and community sites I use the most.
Alltop is an “online magazine rack” of popular topics and is much broader than the other sources listed here. They update the stories every hour. Pick a topic by searching, news category, or name.
Content Management Connection is an “online community for technology practitioners, software companies, and end users to share thoughts and ideas on the changing landscape of content management and collaboration.” It is managed by George Dearing. In addition, it has features like most read posts, ability to comment on posts, quick surveys with instant results, most discussed authors, most active authors, most highly rated posts, etc.
Knowledge Plaza is a new Web-based platform for enterprise search, social bookmarking, knowledge management, information brokerage and expert identification. Here is my post on them.
PSFK was, until recently, called Marktd and before that IF! It provides creative ideas around marketing and often goes into social media. Some of the stuff is simply fun for when you want a change of pace.
Smart Brief Series are email newsletters that cover a number of topics. I subscribe to the social media one that almost always has at least one article that provides an idea for a post.
Social Computing Magazine provides comprehensive news on enterprise 2.0, including a “hot stories of the week” feature, and it syndicates blog posts. They have syndicated a few of my posts, e.g, Deloitte Survey Finds We Are in a 'Media Democracy,' Unexpected Benefits of Phonetic Alphabet Keep Appearing and Predictions on How Twitter Will Change Blogs in 2009.
E20portal.com brings together Enterprise 2.0 news, articles, case studies, events and other useful resources into a single, easily accessible place. I was pleased that they included this blog as one of their first featured blogs.
socialmediaBiz, provides social media tools, info, & strategies for business. They have links for articles/blog posts and data and charts/graphs from analyst and market research firms, as well as news on SMM/SMO-related technologies and services. They have listed at some of my blog posts (e.g., Blogs Are Climbing The Gartner Slope Of Enlightenment.
Social Media Today is a network of bloggers who write about enterprise social media. There is a weekly newsletter with the Blogger of the Week and a listing of the most poplar posts.
There are also a number of other IT magazine feeds that I get but I find they are mostly vendor centric and less useful. I might look at an interesting title but the frequency of finding content I use is much lower. If I am rushed, I just delete them (but don’t tell anyone :).
So this stage involves a mix of old school Web, email newsletters, and Web 2.0 tools. As I review all this content I figure out what to save and them determine how to organize it so it is available for the next steps in my workflow. That will be covered in the next post