RSS to Email Inbox a Technique for Listening Online

RSS to Email Inbox a Technique for Listening Online

Feed the World (with Atom and RSS)

This is a tip or a technique I use everyday to monitor keywords about me and my clients. There are tools which do actual sentiment analysis and all kinds of other listening, but I just want to be reminded to read the conversations.

I also like to keep my inbox small. So I trick myself and have content by keywords delivered to my inbox, that way I’m forced to read it or make a conscious effort to ignore it. Not signing into a listening application can cause problems… unless it delivers emails of conversations.

This technique will focus on listening to twitter, however there are plenty of RSS feeds out there to use this method of “subscribing”

Gathering your RSS Feed

Simply head over to twitter search and type in a query, I’ll use “elephants” as mine… however I recommend you visit the Advanced Search page to develop a better query like “elephants -peanuts -from:Elleph” This will give you this page as a result (or And in reality you can use these URLs in most RSS to Email tools, however I recommend going one step further and locating the actual RSS feed.

Twitter Search RSS feed

In the Twitter Search Results page you should see a link saying “Feed for this query” (as seen in the image below) right click on this link and choose copy link address or link URL. This is the actual RSS feed url that we’ll use in the next step.

Finding an RSS to Email tool

There are a few options, and some have come and gone over the years, so I’ll recommend two searches, and two currently functioning tools. First off, searches:

One of the current tools I use shows up in spot number one for both of those searches… Feed my Inbox. The next sections will explain what to do with each of these tools

Feed My Inbox

FeedMyInbox Signup RSS feed to EmailArguably the best tool out there for taking an RSS feed and dumping the results to email, Feed my Inbox makes it quite simple, when you arrive it asks for a feed url (which we got from step one) and your email address, that’s all it needs to start emailing you the tweets you care about. (or blog postings youtube videos etc). You can also login to customize more settings, but the basics are here for you. - RSS to SMS or RSS to Email

Taking the RSS to inbox one step further allows you to have it send an SMS, IM or Email. Which is very handy for the more important keywords you want to pay attention to. Once signed in you can turn on and off notifications with a simple click and add feeds by pasting the URL (from above) to add new feeds.


These are two tools, and one technique that I use on a daily basis to keep me informed of conversations around my keywords… this is how I can appear to be online all day long while actually enjoying a life offline.

Remember, Automate the simple stuff, do the conversations and relationship manually.

Recap of Twitter Strategy for Business 2010 at #grsm

The following are the 60 or so tweets I had as my presentation material for a recent talk at GRSM on Twitter Strategy for Business. I would love to post the slideshare of this presentation however it was designed as a presentation via twitter. Many of you have asked how I did it. I could not have done it with out the help of two staff members of ddm marketing & communications who posted each point as I hit it. These tweets are my content, I prewrote them and my staff only filled in 3 or so tweets where I strayed from my pre written notes.  I’ve also embedded the video for your viewing pleasure.

GRSM – Aug. 26th 2010 Paul Kortman Twitter Strategy from Grand Rapids Social Marketing on Vimeo.

Were you there? What did you think? Discuss your thoughts in the comments section below

Presentation Notes as Tweets

Getting setup for #GRSM, follow along at home or from your own laptop at @grcommfound by going here:

Just a couple more minutes until we start the Twitter talk at #grsm, we will be Ustreaming this for those at home, follow @grsm for link

If you don’t care about live tweeting events, or learning about #twitter use a tool to mute me: #grsm

– @joelleo and @imaclurg from @grsm should be thanked (or bought a few beers) for creating #grsm and giving back to the community

The house is packed! Great Turnout. #grsm

For those who didn’t get the link earlier, what you see on the big screen can be seen on your screen here: #grsm

Paul Kortman @namtrok is starting an non-traditional presentation, using #twitter as the presentation tool #grsm

This is an experiment in action, we’ve taken the proper safety precautions, but this whole presentation could blow up :) #grsm

Tweet Grid Link:

I work for @teamddm as dir of Search & Social: We help companies navigate twitter & more on a daily basis #grsm

Gratuitous plug for @teamddm, did you know we’re hiring? Search & Social, CSS, Proj Mgmt & more #grsm (plz RT)

I believe that #twitter is an infrastructure like the power grid. You can use it for whatever purpose. Thus, twitter as a preso tool #grsm

Pyramid of Strategy: top= Marketing Strategy, second tier includes Advertising Strategy, PR, Sales, Trad Media, Web Strategy #grsm

Everything you do should be driven by objectives which come from a strategy, this includes all SocMed, but especially Twitter #grsm

Pyramid of Strategy: Whiteboard pic, Marketing Strategy #grsm

Under Web strategy (Tier 3 of Pyramid of Strategy) is Conversion Strategy, Content Strategy, and Social Media Strategy #grsm

Ever thought about a conversion strategy for your website? What are you trying to get your users to do? How does it help your biz? #grsm

Pyramid of Strategy: Tier 4 under SocMed Strat: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, 4Sq, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, <–All are Strategies #grsm

Question for you to ponder: What are you doing with your web presence? #GRSM

Pyramid of Strategy: Whiteboard pic, Web/Social Strategy #grsm

And finally Tier 5 under Twitter Strategy – Listen, Objectives, Voice, Content Strat, Follower Strategy, Integration Strat, & Tools #grsm

Pyramid of Strategy: Whiteboard pic, Twitter Strategy #grsm

Pyramid of Strategy: Whiteboard pic, Whole Pyramid: #grsm

I’m going to skip over Listen as a strategy, all I’ll say is you’ve got to listen first. I’m assuming you are or have done this. #grsm

Objectives flow from Marketing Strategy all the way down to Twitter Strategy, are you selling hammers? or pimping a non-profit #grsm

Example Objectives for Twitter Strategy: Sell Tickets, brand awareness, buzz generation, Publicity prep, customer support and more #grsm

Example Objective: Product Awareness, focus around a topic like better eyesight, this drives content and follower strategy too. #grsm

Easter Egg: #grsm

Voice was covered last year Personal/Person, Person behind the brand, & the brand #grsm What is your voice on Twitter?

New thoughts or ideas on voice for twitter strategy? #grsm Are you going to be hip, stale, conversational, self-focused or what?

How many retweets, original content, replies, and marketing are you going to post? #grsm

I recommend: 40% original content, 40% other’s content and 20% (or less) ads/marketing speak #grsm

Social Media is a multidirectional platform. DO NOT be 100% marketing, or 100% one-way. Dialog, Dialog, Dialog. #grsm
Want to know how to create content that will “go viral” or at a minimum get retweeted? checkout @danzarrella now working for @hubspot #grsm

Questions to ask in a content strategy: ratios, do you RT? Content scheduled? Editorial Calendar? What value are you offering? #grsm

So many brands get it so wrong with 90% marketing speak 10% “hey i’m going to talk to someone” #grsm

Editorial calendars help plan what you’re going to say on Twitter… it’s not bad to plan #grsm

We all want Followers, but you’ve got to have the right followers, total numbers mean nothing if they are not in your target market #grsm

Tools to help in building follower base: @followerwonk, @socialoomph, @tweepsearch, @PeopleBrowsr, @twittersearch, & more #grsm

Automation can only do so much, the old school methods still work the best, hand following, @ replying and unfollowing non followers #grsm

It is really hard to follow 100 people manually…. use tools #grsm

Some clients have taken > year to break the 1,000 follower mark, others have broken 2,000 in 6 months. Depends on target Audience #grsm

Easter Egg: #grsm

It’s not about the follower number, it’s about reach, dialog, and engagement of followers. Success is not measured in follower count #grsm
If success were measured by follower count @ladygaga should be today’s speaker, > 5 Million followers and less than 500 tweets #grsm

Key in Follower Strategy: find the right accounts to follow through keyword/topic/geo-based searches, like “Venture Capitalist” #grsm

Also possible to do a contest, give-aways based on hashtag, dialog, or following. <– These are more difficult to gain adoption #grsm

Contests to gain followers work well if you have a large base of engaged followers already or can engage influencers #grsm
Short and Simple what other social networks are you going to integrate to your twitter presence? #grsm – this is your integration strategy

Example integrations: YouTube, Blog, RSS feed, Delicious, Feed Reader, Facebook, Tumblr, Posterous, 4sq, flickr, linkedin, etc #grsm

Choose your integration wisely #grsm

Be careful with Integration of other SocMed content as they can be annoying, and they can mess up, automation is not always best #grsm

You have to have a strategy with what tools you are going to use. Don’t use a tool just cause the twitterati use it. #grsm
Too many tools to mention, but @oneforty from @pistachio has the best collection and review, I often find new tools there. #grsm

I use @tweetgrid @tweetdeck @tweetie @twitter (iPhone) @echophone @cotweet @hootsuite @friendorfollow @klout @twitterfeed & others #grsm

Don’t forget listening tools: @scoutlabs @radian6, @AlterianSM2, @socialmention Automate the easy stuff, spend your time on dialog #grsm
New Features: Followed by U both Follow Suggestions 4U #grsm

For important topics, create an RSS feed and drop it in your email so you’re notified when your topic comes up #grsm

Take an afternoon once a quarter and evaluate your strategy #grsm

Can you remember twitter without replies?? #grsm
Freebie: Twitter Lists: #grsm
Because of Twitter and sms people’s lives were saved in last years Chilean earthquake. ISPs/web access down but sms was up #grsm
Thanks for listening, reading, tweeting, asking questions and all, please feel free to ask questions here #grsm or on #twitter!

Thanks to @danielbkimball and @imeghanp from @teamddm for being the wizards behind the curtain! #grsm

And thanks to @GRCommFound for making space for #grsm and other learning/non-profit events.

Sorry there will be no slidedeck to download :) but you can search for #grsm and find all of these tweets (for a week)
Thanks for participating!! Did you enjoy the experiment? Lets carry on the conversation on #twitter #grsm

Wow that’s a long outline

There is a lot to say about twitter and business!

Were you there? What did you think? Discuss your thoughts in the comments section below

Is it Pointless to have Social Sharing Icons?

Is it Pointless to have Social Sharing Icons?

Skittles Social Media Icons

Social Media sharing icons are becoming ubiquitious, Clients ask for better social media integration on their website and they generally mean they would like these social media icons on their page/site/content. In my oponion there are two types of social media icons by function. The first, which I’m not going to spend too much time on in this post, is the “We have a presence here” Icons

Presence Icons

Levi's Social Media Icons

These Icons are in a consistant place on a website, typically in a header or a footer, and simply communicate to the user that we have a presence on these social networks. These icons used to say Find us on Facebook, or Follow us on Twitter, or Fan us on Facebook, or even Like us on Facebook. (There is so much wrong with the last one, but thats for another day!)

Techcrunch Social Media Icons

I have no problem with these Icons, they do what Icons do best, effectively communicate a larger concept, and frankly the larger concept (we have a presence on this network or that network) belongs on these sites.

Transit Blog Social Media Icons (client) - Transit blog

These Icons have their place and are not for debate in this post, however the other Social Media Icons are.

Content Sharing Icons

Content Sharing Icons

These are the icons you most often see at the bottom or top of a blog post, an individual piece of content that can be shared on one of these social networks. sometimes they are labeled “Share and Enjoy” othertimes they are not labeled. And even in this category there could be two different sub-categories, but for today’s arguments I’m going to lump them into one. It is my attempt in this post to show how these social media icons are over used, unnecessary, and an old concept rehashed.

Social Media Icons are Over Used

Social Media Sharing Icons - Transit Blog

We are starting to see these Icons everywhere, and I’m not referring to the Facebook “Like” button that will grow to ubiquity as well. Any site that is current is or has already applied these to their content. The ones that make me laugh the most are contact us pages with the sharing icons. Who would want to have a discussion about your contact page? Do you really think that’ll go viral? I mean your phone number is sexy and all but I doubt I want to share that with my grandma on Facebook ;)

Social Media Icons are Unnecessary

Social Media Sharing Tools

And why have these Icons? Anyone who is savvy enough to use these networks, who would really make something spread/go viral is going to know how to copy/paste the URL in the network they want to and with the options/content/context that they want to set.

Content Sharing Tools

Most of my target audience with this blog is similar in skill set as I am, I rarely find a need to use these, I much prefer to put my own title, my own account information and my own privacy settings on something I share, why then wouldn’t I just copy/paste the URL?

Sharing Icons are the same as tell a friend from the 90s

Content Sharing Social Media Icons

Yeah you remember those… where it had a little email envelope, may have used the word share, but most often said tell a friend. You could then type in their email addy, and yours, a subject and a message. Ironically Email is still the best social network to make content go viral. But we can’t access the analytics on that. (Note the lifehacker image to the right, still has an “Email this” link.)

Sexy Bookmarks

Wordpress plugin, sexy bookmarks

Email and Tell a Friend also prove the previous point of being unnecessary, most people copy and paste urls into emails, they don’t use tell a friend, why do we think they will use the sharing icons?

Social Media Sharing Tools

The long and short of it: If you create good (remarkable) content people will discuss and share it, no matter what tool set you provide, or don’t provide for them. So if you are adding these icons to then label your site as integrated with social media you are missing the boat. It’s about the substance of your content, not the icons.

Before you get all crazy on me in the comments for slamming icons you love, realize that some of what is written here may be from me playing devil’s advocate. I’m trying to argue for the oponent’s side to see if they are right. With that said, what parts of this article do I agree with? Good luck.

Google’s Real-Time Updates, a crack in the wall?

Google’s Real-Time Updates, a crack in the wall?

Statue of AchillesGoogle recently released an update to its display of content called Real-Time Search. At first I thought this would be a better experience than twitter search or facebook search, because its from the king of Search, Google. Unfortunately it has become apparent that this was more of a knee-jerk reaction to Bing’s Twitter Search announcement less than 50 days earlier.

We knew that Google and others were indexing the tweet stream earlier this year, but this is a game changer in how they have integrated their display of tweets with standard results.  (more…)

Twitter List Strategy Examples

Twitter List Strategy Examples

Cambridge residentsI implore you to investigate Twitter lists. A New feature rolled out by twitter last week. A quote from twitter’s own non-micro-blog:

“We believe Lists will be a new discovery mechanism for great tweets and accounts.”

I have to underscore that. There are great list strategies and great twitter lists being created and curated everyday. I’ve tried to list some lists and catoroize them to give some inspiration. There is no way to include the thousands of lists, nor the many different list making strategies, I’ve tried to cover the basics with links to more information. (more…)