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May 11, 2012 / carolinebeavon

What Now? – Part 2 – Listening

See also:

What Now? Part 1 – Sharing

What Now? Part 3 – Networking

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Listening – the SOCIAL part of social media.

Half of a conversation is listening – so you should make sure you are not just tweeting, posting and blogging, but that you are aware of other peoples tweets, posts and blogs as well.
There are a host of tools you can use to keep track of other people’s online content.

Social Networks

Twitter – try using a desktop tool such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. As opposed to twitter.com, Tweetdeck runs in the background and notifies you when a column (you define) is updated etc. Find out if the experts in your field use Twitter – if so, follow them (and the people they follow). Look into hashtags – these are tags people put into their tweets using # (eg the hashtag for this event is #sciplaces). If you see a hashtag that interests you, start following the people using it.
Facebook – search for the organisations in your field and  “link” or “befriend” the major players and join groups/pages.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a social network designed for business. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, you can only connect with people you know (whether online or in real life), but you can make good contacts by being active on the various groups. Search for keywords connected to your area of interest.
Also, don’t forget about sites such as  Youtube, Flickr, Pinterest, Audioboo and Soundcloud. These all deal with visual or audio content and many organizations have accounts where they post useful content.
An RSS Reader (such as the online Google Reader, desktop Feed Demon or Feedly for IOS/Android) will keep an eye on your favourite sites for you – pulling in all the latest posts onto one page/app. This means you can quickly browse through the titles, reading the ones that interest you. You subscribe by signing up for a reader account, then clicking on the orange button (left) when you see it in the address bar or on a website.
Looking for sites to follow?
  • Try entering a word into a search engine, and see what comes up.
  • Google Reader will also suggest blogs to follow based on a keyword.
  • Also, ask your colleagues which blogs they read? Also, don’t forget – most magazines now have a website.
Google Alerts – interested in a particular subject area? Set up a Google Alert so every time a new article on this subject is published, you receive an email.
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