How do you monitor blogs?

I’ve been slow to post over the past few weeks because of travel, a number of thunder storms that forced me to shut down the computer during my evening sessions and the desire to catch up on much needed sleep. Today, however, the May-June 2006 issue of Communication World, the magazine of the International Association of Business Communicators hit my mailbox. The cover story featured an interview with Microsoft’s Robert Scoble.

The piece is a great primer for those corporate communicators who are cowering in the corner of their cubicle hoping an executive doesn’t come by asking “what’s this blogging thing all about?” For the rest of us, it’s reinforcement for many of the issues we already understand and look forward to sharing with others not yet embracing the emerging tumult in communications.

I was particularly intrigued by one quote: “When you start putting everything you’re doing in public, you start getting new kinds of input that you didn’t have before. People start working with you.” So, in that spirit, I’m asking a question today; not giving advice.

How do you monitor blogs and message boards for comments on your clients, your employer and topics of interest to them?

I use Bloglines to subscribe to a number of blogs, but don’t make a regular habit of hitting them all. And I use Technorati to search for specific topics at specific times. But what’s the best way to keep an ongoing eye on the whole blogosphere or message boards?

In the old days, we used clipping services that simply filled our file cabinets with tons of newsprint in two-inch-wide strips. And video monitoring services cost a fortune. There’s got to be a better strategy to passively monitor digital discussions on behalf of our employers and clients.

Let me know how you do it.

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