Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Google Buzz monitoring

When I ran the publisher team at FeedBurner, I made it a habit to watch for any discussions about FeedBurner. Back in those days, there was a fair amount of concern about using a third party to syndicate your RSS feed - would we force ads into every post? Would we start charging? What if FeedBurner went down? I, along with the rest of the team, regularly engaged with users and often turned skeptics into fans, simply by answering their questions or correcting inaccuracies.

These days, it's useful to have a few Blogsearch queries looking for mentions of your product, your name, or other related topics... but much of the "buzz" (sorry, couldn't resist!) is about "real time" searches. Who's talking about you on Twitter? Facebook? Google Buzz?

I use Twitter's saved searches to look for mentions of terms that matter to me: @blogger, "rick klau", "blogger ftp" are a few obvious ones I monitor these days. With last week's launch of Google Buzz, I thought I'd share how I replicate that monitoring in Google Buzz.

Not everyone knows you can search Buzz, so for starters look up to the top of Gmail when you click on "Buzz": the search box switches from "Search Mail" to "Search Buzz". You can type any query into the box, and it will search all public Buzz posts from all users for that query. There's likely some good stuff amongst the millions of posts.

But that's not enough: if you have more than one or two queries, or you want to periodically check in, it'd be nice to return to these queries once in a while to see what's new. Here's what I do:

Enable Gmail's "Quick Links" lab. This puts a box below your labels in Gmail, which starts out empty.

Go to Buzz, type in your query. Here I'm searching for my blog's URL, so I can see any Buzz posts that include a link to one of my blog posts:

Click "Add Quick Link" in the Quick Links box. This creates a bookmark to the query, which you can now click on from your Gmail sidebar whenever you want.

Making these queries one click away makes it easier to revisit them, which will help you find interesting people who are talking about the things that matter to you. And as you engage with them, they'll often reciprocate - sharing info with you, steering threads your way, and advocating on your behalf.

In many ways, this is the same feedback loop we tried to incubate at FeedBurner 5 years ago... but now the tools are more sophisticated, and the fact that it's happening in near-real-time means that it's easier than ever to amplify successes and respond immediately to fires.


  1. Hi Rick..
    I'm so happy to see the Buzz..
    Perhaps..really wonder...how to ad the buzz it gadget in the post section of the blog...I want to add and have no idea how to.
    Kindly tell me.plz!

  2. Rick, Why Blogger don't launch comments as Disqus or JS-Kit? You use Disqus (where is Buzz here ;P ?), it's great but Blogger comments are passed away. Give us a surprise, we hate the Blogger comments form!

  3. Nice tip. Why can't I log into this comment page with Buzz creds and have it auto post over there?

  4. Yep, we'd love to see that too. These comments are actually managed by Disqus (a third party), so the first they knew of Buzz was last week. :)

    We'll get there.

  5. Hiiiii can we exlinks?? my site is itsallabouttheworld.blogspot.com do reply me thnx

  6. Great tutorial. I ahve been using Buzz Search and it works very well.

  7. Thanks for the tip on searching buzz. Did not notice that!

    I wish it was possible to search by category, like you can in Twitter...

  8. Helpful tip Rick.
    I wouldn't have thought of that in a million years. I hadn't been into 'labs' tab for such a long time I'd forgotten all the great things in there.

    Cheers. Martin

  9. Just a question...

    When you search for something in your Buzz stream... do the results appear in order of their relevance? Or the time of post? or their popularity??

  10. The results are ordered by last activity on the Buzz, with the most recent being at the top.

  11. Hi Rick,
    I read your blog in a Web Pro News article and thought it was very informative, especially relating to "Blogger" and "Buzz", so I thought I'd check out your blog and I'm glad I did. Thanks for the tips you provided, which I'm sure will help me to use Buzz a lot more efficiently.


  12. Great tips. We are integrating Google Buzz into www.StepRep.com our free social monitoring tool. Rick I would love for you to give it a shot. We would love to hear what you think.

  13. Rick: I live in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. We are a Cruise Ship Port, but yet our Google Maps in Puerto Limon (over 50000 population) do not work in Satellite mode below 2000ft. I have left a comment ("hint") to help us on caribbeancostaricans (negie) googlemaps profile, but apparently no one is monitoring as closely as you do at Blogger. I need the maps to work down to 200ft like Cahuita and Puerto Viejo (great escapes beach and reef locations), who only have less than 3000 population! Wishing to show up locally in the geotags on Blogger, Google Maps, etc.
    Thanks in advance for any tips or run with the idea yourself.

  14. This is great advice. I also have used Google alerts to monitor my brand.

  15. Very good, I'm away to set this up myself.

  16. Hey David - been playing catch-up this week, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I'll pass this on to the Maps team, thanks for letting me know. My guess is that the resolution available is dependent on what the satellite image companies make available, and those are often population-dependent. But I'll find out.