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.