Search Once and Subscribe – Making Meaning of RSS

 One of the first mantras I teach business leaders and educators is "Search Once and Subscribe."

By tapping into the power of RSS, we can gain more knowledge in less time. I like that, don't you?  More Knowledge. Less Time. A powerful combination to win the battle of Infosumption (Information Consumption).

The beauty of Search Once and Subscribe, is we don't need to know all the techy parts of RSS. Really, we're just making it mean a Relevant Signal Stream for our own needs.

Search Once and SubscribeBy using the mantra, we can

  • know who's talking about our business
  • see what they are saying
  • find out the buzz in a particular market or product
  • stay on top of news on our clients and prospects
  • research certain key phrases we're studying

Let's take a look at your own business for the example. There's a few searches to do, and then subscribe to the search feed (how do I do that?)

Your Business Name:
Simply type your business name (use quotes to get the exact name – and maybe your city outside of the quotes) into Google and search. Then to the left, you'll find a menu that includes "News" and "Blogs". Click on those and subscribe to the search string (if you're familiar with RSS, the RSS button is at the bottom of the page). Now, if and when someone writes about you, you'll know right away. You searched once – and subscribed.

Your Business Website:
I usually just do a "blog search" for specific links. To do this, I go to Google's Blog Seach (http://blogsearch.google.com). Type in the website address and search. You'll find that Google automatically puts 'link:' in front of the address. So if I was searching on www.ConverStations.com, the search would be link:www.converstations.com. Subscribe to the search and always be in the know when someone links to your site.

Your Website URLs Truncated:
You may have seen truncated URLs such as "bit.ly" or "tinyurl" used on Twitter. There's a great tool to search for times when someone truncates the web address from a page on your site. Backtweets is easy to use (I posted a mini-tutorial on using Backtweets earlier this year).

Keywords and Keyword Phrases: You can do most of these searches with keywords and phrases as well. Again, I'd begin with Google's Blogsearch and Backtweets. I'd also suggest you use personal pronouns (a few examples) within the search string.

More Knowledge + Less Time = Smart Infosumption

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