Apologies for the delay in the next post on this series about building intelligence dashboards. We’ve been up to our eyeballs in some client work that is due very soon.
So far, I’ve posted about how you can use RSS and some other tools to monitor your own brand (or in the case of this exercise, the Tesla Motors brand) by aggregating all of it into NetVibes. But it’s also useful to keep track of what is happening with your competitors. We’re going to use many of the same techniques already covered, but then add a little twist at the end.
So what I do is set up a new tab in my NetVibes dashboard and label it something like “competitors”. I recommend labeling your tabs in a very clear manner. As you continue to add more and more tabs, you want it to be easy to differentiate between them.
So as Tesla Motors, let’s say you want to keep track with what’s happening with General Motors, Toyota, and Ford. Of course, you can add feeds from Twitter and Google Blog Search results just like we did with searches for Tesla Motors. But let’s say you want to group results for all three auto companies. Head over to Google Blog Search (or search.twitter.com or another search engine) and search for…
“General Motors” OR Toyota OR Ford
That will provide you results for any of those three auto companies. Note: if you want to a set of results where all three car companies are mentioned use “and” instead of “or” in the search query.
OK, you can now add the RSS feed of that search result to your NetVibes dashboard. But let’s go one step further and try to get only the best blog posts from those results. That’s where the handy PostRank tool from AideRSS comes into play. Here’s how they describe PostRank
PostRank is a scoring system developed by AideRSS to rank any kind of online content, such as RSS feed items, blog posts, articles, or news stories. PostRank is based on social engagement, which refers to how interesting or relevant people have found an item or category to be. Examples of engagement include writing a blog post in response to someone else, bookmarking an article, leaving a comment on a blog, or clicking a link to read a news item.
What you should do is create an account with PostRank, insert the URL of the search results RSS feed into the “Analyze” field at PostRank.com. When it is done being analyzed you can apply PostRank filters to weed out only the blog posts with the hightest levels of engagement. The idea being that posts with high engagment are the ones you need to read. Of course, PostRank will give you an RSS feed of the filtered results which you can then add to NetVibes.
And Voila! You now have a single RSS feed that will help you track blog posts about General Motors, Toyota, or Ford. And as a bonus, you’ve taken some proactive steps to weed out some noise from the blogosphere.