MSVU Social Media Course Blog

Just another weblog

Listen up! How to “hear” what the internet has to say

To be truthful, starting this blog I have no idea what “listening” means when it comes to social media. I actually thought it meant programs that allow you to listen to music like iTunes or Winamp or something. So, if you too are a little confused about the meaning of this term, let this be a learning experience and journey for the both of us.


Technorati is a search engine for blogs. It tracks 112 million blogs. It searches, and organizes blogs and other forms of independent, user-generated content. 

Upon first inspection of this site it seems a little confusing. For someone unfamiliar with the world of blogs (like me) it was a little hard to navigate. Of all the “listening” tools presented though, I feel as though this may be the most helpful for the desired end result.

Google Alerts

Google alerts emails updates from Google and web results based on a search topic of your choice.

This “listening” tool seems very straight forward. It claims to be able to help you monitor a developing news story, keep current on a competitor or industry, get the latest on a celebrity or event or keep tabs on your favorite sports teams. You just enter your search terms, your email and how often you want to hear about it.

Radian 6

This is a widget-based monitoring solution for managing social media.

The phrase a-top the home page is “Who’s talking about your brand?” The site claims to gives you a complete platform to listen, share, learn, and engage – both inside your company, and with your customers across the entire social web. 


A search engine for blogs.

Upon initial inspection, IceRocket doesn’t seem as good as the competitors. This could be because it is a search function and not a notification service. Along with searching blogs you can also search news, twitter, myspace and more.

 From inspecting each of these sites I would deduce that “listening” means an online scan or search of a particular form of media online. If you wanted to “listen” to what the public thinks of a certain product you could use such a function to find out what type of independently driven responses are out there in the blog world. It would be a good way to assess how a product is performing or also an effective way to do market research prior to developing a product. It is a way of “listening” to the public without expressly asking them their opinion and without them really knowing you are hearing them.


May 17, 2009 - Posted by | Comment on Course Material


  1. Hi Tracey.

    So glad you’re reading and learning about the world of “listening” online. It’s become a bit of a buzzword, but it really does have meaning.

    To us, listening means the very deliberate act of paying attention to what your customers, fans, competitors, potential customers, and industry is talking about online. Most obviously it’s about hearing what’s being said about you and your brand, but it also includes understanding the competitive landscape, the state and trends in your industry, and business intelligence related to what you do.

    The online world is fast moving, and keeping tabs on mentions of your company, brand, and topics of interest across the web is important to today’s businesses.

    Just let me know if I can help answer questions or chat about this topic anytime. Happy to do so.

    Amber Naslund
    Director of Community, Radian6

    Comment by Amber Naslund | May 18, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the insight, Amber. As I learn more about social media I’m beginning to understand why “listening” tools can be so important for a company especially, as you mention, in an online world that is so fast moving.
      If I have any further questions I’ll certainly let you know.

      Comment by traceyboland | May 24, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hi Tracey,

    I really enjoyed this post! All of these different tools for “listening” to what the internet has to say seem like they are very useful, especially in the media monitoring world.

    The one heading that caught my eye on your post was “Radian 6” which is actually a company that started up in Fredericton, NB (my hometown!). Recently I’ve been browsing through their site, and what they do is pretty amazing! Companies hire them to monitor whatever is being said about them online through all of the different social media outlets. Radian 6 then gives the company everything they’ve found that’s being said about them online, and the company learns what the public likes and dislikes about them, and what they would like to see from that company.

    It seems like Radian 6’s business idea is taking off with flying colors. One of their most recent clients is California based PacSun Sunwear.

    It’s nice to know that my hometown, as small as it is (we’re talking not even one sushi restaurant), is the birthplace of a company which is the first of it’s kind and which is keeping up with the social media generation!


    Comment by Hilary | May 19, 2009 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: