Sponsored Post: Online Reputation Monitoring

Disclosure: this post has been sponsored by Reputation Monitor, a U.K. based online monitoring service provided by Distilled; itself a search marketing and Web design company. (One month free trial here)

Background on media monitoring

One of the most important aspects of my job, for the first year or so, was monitoring media coverage for my clients. For two clients, I had between 10 and 15 sources to be searched for between 8 and 12 key words or phrases.

Almost four years on, monitoring is still a big part of my work life only this time I’m focused online – on blogs, personal Web sites, chat rooms, message boards, social networks and social book marking/news sites.

Really Simple Syndication makes media monitoring Really, Seriously, Simple

And thanks to RSS, it’s a lot easier. I have key word searches set up through Technorati, Bloglines, Google, Yahoo!, Blog Pulse and a slew of other services – all of which means I don’t go to the 72 million or so sites I’m actually monitoring, I’m actively pulling that information to me on an on demand basis. iStudio has also cooked up our own news aggregator – email me if you want to know more.

Cool.

For more info on how to “roll your own” RSS monitoring solution, check out Mike Manuel’s Yahoo! Pipes solution and Feed for All’s excellent article (via Judy Gombita) on ego searches. Oh, and if you can’t find an RSS feed for a Web site, check out my post – No RSS, No Problem.

Alternative to Rolling Your Own

However, if you don’t have the same comfort level with social media, or the inclination to learn, there are services out there that can help you.

Chip Griffin has been generating a lot of buzz in the community for Custom Scoop (which I’ve demo’d) while Joseph Fiore has been doing the same for RepuTrace (which I’ve also demo’d).

Both are really very great services for the social media challenged, or just excessively busy, account director looking to get a toe wet in the social media community – NB: some people have a *small* problem with RepuTrace though.

A Word From The Sponsors

RepuTrace and Custom Scoop are just two of a growing number of online monitoring solutions – one of which is Reputation Monitor. I must confess I haven’t tried the service but I did have a quick email chat with Will Critchlow, one of Distilled’s co-founders and a company director.

Essentially, the service aggregates, and then applies a meta filter to, a slew of RSS feeds before delivering them to you in a manner of your choosing. The meta filter allows you to cut out irrelevant or spam posting and lets you focus on the pieces of coverage that will really affect your client or organization.

Mini-interview

So I bet you have questions and I bet they are something along the lines of:

1. Why should I pay for a service I can get for free elsewhere?

2. If I am going to pay for a service, why should I choose the one that’s paying you to write about them?

I’ll let Will take those (emphasis my own):

BMBY – Why should I pay for a service I can get for free?

Will Critchlow – Primarily convenience. The main benefit is that the filtering we do (to make sure a post is about you / your client) means that you have to wade through less stuff that isn’t about you. You can cover everything we cover with a good set of RSS feeds, but you will lose out on the post-filtering.

Soon, we will have loads more exciting features, including some graphical reporting etc. (By the way, if people want to hear about future features / updates / uses, the best bet is to subscribe the Distilled blog.

BMBY – What differentiates Reputation Monitor from Reputrace, Customscoop etc?

WC – We are a lot more up front about our pricing and the terms etc. than practically all of the ‘monitoring as a service’ companies I have found in the market. They all require consultations etc (and most cost many times what Reputation Monitor costs) whereas Reputation Monitor has transparent pricing and instant online sign-up. (note – I’ve lost my notes from the demos with Custom Scoop and RepuTrace, so I can’t confirm or deny this. Ed)

In terms of functionality, Reputation Monitor is deliberately simple – we don’t try to sing and dance until we have got the basics really right. At the moment, I’m sure the more expensive solutions have more functionality, but we offer enough for most businesses to do exactly what they need to at an incredibly affordable price. You would be better placed than me to compare fully if you have used any others, as I haven’t used tools from our competitors.

As mentioned above, we intend to keep rolling out new features, which will hopefully bring in the best bits of everything that’s out there while keeping it affordable.

Wrap Up

So there you go. It may be cheaper for you to set up your own RSS solution, but what’s the opportunity cost in terms of your time?

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8 Responses to Sponsored Post: Online Reputation Monitoring

  1. Chip Griffin says:

    I just wanted to clarify that we at CustomScoop do publish our pricing on our web site and you can sign up instantly online without having to talk to anyone. Of course, we make our search specialists available for free consultation if it helps, but you don’t need to take advantage of that.

  2. Joseph Fiore says:

    Ed,

    Thanks for the RepuTrace™ mention!

    We have never hidden our pricing scheme, and have always been forthcoming about our pricing with any inquiries – in fact it has been published in numerous articles – this is just one of them.

    Anyone can schedule a demo directly from our Website – the short 20 minute demo will reveal how RepuTrace™ allows you to:

    Track all forms of online discussion and content across the entire Internet, including blogs, forums, consumer sites, social networking sites, video and images.

    Analyze real-time results by sentiment, geographical location, online media type, and graphing of all relevant trends

    Participate using our proprietary response system to coordinate, manage and participate in online discussion

    Maximize your positive search results and ranking to ensure that fair and impartial information is properly positioned

    As discussed in a previous post relating to the specific example you used, we have no way of changing people’s minds who misconstrue and confused social media measurement with snooping.

    Finally, I am always accessible by email and would welcome your comments, questions and feedback at my blog!

    Thanks Ed!

    – Joseph

  3. Ed Lee says:

    Chip, Joseph,
    thanks for the clarification and jospeh, thanks for the link to the (relatively) new blog.
    Ed

  4. Ed,
    You took the money to do a paid post? Why? Is iStudio underpaying you?😉

  5. Ed Lee says:

    i had been planning on posting on Reputrace and CustomScoop after demo-ing their products – but laziness took over. then judyG sent me the feed for all link and reputation monitor approached me all in the same day – i thought it was kismet…

    Ed

  6. Colin McKay says:

    I can’t believe that you wrote a sponsored post and didn’t even bother to demo the sponsor’s product.

    What was that about transparency?

  7. Ed Lee says:

    Colin – the idea of paying for online monitoring services was more appealing to me than the individual services that are being offered. This coupled with my comment above led me to believe that this post would have some value for my readers.

    As for the individual services themselves, they’re all much of a muchness – a suspicion that was confirmed to me in the interview with Will at Reputation Monitor – so, in my mind, this is a non-issue.

    Cheers,

    Ed

  8. maximcerny says:

    Hello,
    what do I need to do if I want you to review my new project here?

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