Everyone is talking about listening.
As more and more takes place online, listening becomes a vital aspect of engaging with the web. Hearing what others are saying about your organisation or about topics you’re interested in will start to become one of your routine tasks. Even if you’re not confident in (or even interested in) setting up a blog or joining a social networking site there is a mass of information out there that could help you to do your job more effectively. The widespread availability of free tools makes it easy for you to listen to what is going on with your funders, your competitors, your supporters and your clients.
Are you currently listening to what people are saying online?
Six approaches for social media adoption - listen http://whitehallwebby.wordpress.com/2008/08/14/six-approaches-for-social-media-adoption-2-liste/
Building a nose for news www.waugaman.org/blog/2008/08/18/building-a-nose-for-news/
Listening and learning http://nten.org/blog/2008/09/03/nten-is-listening-and-learning
Why putting on your listening ears is the first step http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2008/09/wearemedia-why.html
What are the best first steps and a few advanced tips for listening. What are the best how to resources? http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2008/09/wearemedia-what.html
What kind of information can you listen to on the web and how do you do it?
By taking the example of a small community arts group in Canterbury, there are a number of sources of information that you might want to tap in to:
- RSS feeds from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport with the latest initiatives and funding news
- RSS feeds from Canterbury City and Kent County Council with similar news and funding opportunities
- Twitter search for posts tagged with #artsinkent
- Twitter posts from people you know talk about the arts
- Blog posts from key performers and artists in Kent
- Blog posts that feature keywords such as “arts”, “community”, “kent”, “canterbury”, “dance”, “theatre” etc
- RSS feed of a Google search for sites containing the name of your organisation
- You Tube videos that people have made at your events (to make it easier to collate, you may want to tag them with the name of your organisation)
- Bookmarks that other people have saved on subjects relevant to you on a site such as Delicious or Magnolia
- Photos that people have taken at your events and posted on Flickr (perhaps tagged with the name of your organisation)
Below are some interesting links listing different ways to listen on the web. You might also want to dowload a copy of the “How to use new media” guide.
Summary of some of the tools you can use to listen http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2008/09/nptechblogs—t.html
Listening on Twitter www.chrisbrogan.com/how-to-listen-for-opportunities-on-twitter/
Pulling all of that information together into one place
Once you’ve started listening, the amount of information coming in every day can be a bit overwhelming, especially if the different sources of information – such as twitter feeds, blog subscriptions and keyword searches – are all found on different websites.
Feed aggregators allow you to pull together these different strands into one place. Some examples of feed aggregators are iGoogle, Netvibes and Pageflakes.
After setting up one of these pages, you can save it as your homepage so up to date information is always to hand.
One example of a Pageflakes site is this one, tracking discussion about the Government’s Empowerment White Paper www.pageflakes.com/ewp.
Tools to help pull together info http://whitehallwebby.wordpress.com/2008/07/26/two-tools-i-really-like/
I’ve been tagging things I find about listening at http://delicious.com/ICT_Hub/listening, please feel free to send me anything else you find.