Have I Got News for You

February 15, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Posted in Research, Social Networks | 5 Comments
Tags: , , ,

(with apologies to the wickedly funny BBC panel game of the same name)

Meet Greg Spence.  Greg and I first met more than 25 years ago, when we worked together for a small, specialist engineering consultancy.  We worked on some early distributed database projects, using Oracle’s SQL*Link and SQL*Connect components and Greg went on to become the first Chairman of the Oracle UK Users Group.

We lost touch when Greg left the consultancy and it was only recently that I received a message through LinkedIn from him.  By this time, he had moved from technology into sales and marketing.  Currently, he helps small business owner to improve their sales and marketing results through the innovative and effective use of internet marketing.   If, like me, you’re intrigued by the use of social networking and blogs for marketing, I strongly recommend subscribing to Greg’s blog.

If you’ve been following my posts over the last few months, you’ll remember how my very first post described how I use RSS feeds into Microsoft Outlook to keep track of what’s happening and to populate Microsoft OneNote, ready for drafting new blog posts.  So, newly connected to Greg, I was interested to see a comment he posted, explaining how to use Google Alerts to search for news stories around your main key word phrases and how to forward that to Google Reader.  A little research showed that Google Reader is in fact a very easy way of aggregating these searches with RSS and Atom feeds from blogs and other static web pages.  All I needed to do was to create an account on Google.  Incidentally, this gives another opportunity to create a profile, linked to your blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on.  You can check out my Google profile here.

So far, so good – but you know me.  I have to find a way to integrate my iPhone into everything.  So, a little more research led me to the Unofficial Apple Website and an excellent review by Jason Clarke, comparing Byline and Feeds, both of which sync with Google Reader.  I settled quickly on Feeds:

With this new set-up, it’s simple to sync Feeds with my Google Reader account before leaving home, or whenever I find myself within free wi-fi coverage.  That leaves me with an offline copy of the latest news on my topics, for me to read on the iPhone while travelling.  The options menu allows me to very simply tweet anything that catches my eye or to email a page to a friend.

So, back to Greg.  This very useful tweak to my notification set-up encouraged me to investigate Greg’s blog and web site.  There, I found a very useful (and free!) 28 page report on Automated Marketing, which describes how to use content to drive your internet marketing efforts.  You can get an idea of how it all works from this pictorial overview:

I’d managed to work out a lot of this by trial and error over the last few months, but I found a number of things that are worthy of immediate attention, including:

  • Publishing slightly longer, factual articles at (for example) Ezine Articles;
  • Using Hootsuite and ping.fmto publish a snippet of comments on other blogs, together with a (shortened) url to those blogs.

I hope to persuade Greg to write a guest post for me in the near future, but for now, I thoroughly recommend that you download his report.

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5 Comments »

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  1. Subscribed to Greg’s blog. Signed up. Will take a look at the report.

    Even 1 good idea makes it worth it!

    • I agree Dave. I admit to bias, since Greg is an old friend and colleague, but I found several ideas in the report that were well worth the effort to follow up.

      Cheers,
      Tom

  2. […] how a comment by my friend and small business marketing coach Greg Spence led me to investigate how to use Google Alerts to search for news stories around your main key word phrases. Since I posted that article, I’ve gradually migrated all the RSS feeds […]

  3. Hmm it appears like your website ate my first
    comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for inexperienced blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

    • Sorry, I have no idea where the p[revious comment went – honestly! Thnk you for taking the time to comment again. I think the way I approach it is to write on topics that interest me and with luck (and reasonable publicity through Twitter and LinkedIn) other people will find it in time. For me the biggest struggle is finding time to blog. The mobile apps help, but the recent change in WordPress authentication means setting everything up again. A good idea, but mor time to find 😦


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