I still don’t complete understand OPML, or Outline Processor Markup Language, but I do know that it is a powerful tool that can help me better monitor what people are saying about my clients in blogs and online with minimal effort.
A tool that I found called Monitor This easily allows me to track client mentions in 22 top search engine feeds by making an OPML search feed.
Search for phrases or Web addresses, cut and paste the code that magically appears into Notepad or other basic word processor (not Word, it adds all kinds of funky code that will mess up your results), then upload the code into an aggregator that supports OPML.
I currently use Bloglines for my OPML feeds, but there are others.
If you don’t monitor for clients or for your organization, but want to track what people are saying about you, for instance, you can also make an OPML file and expand your monitoring beyond Technorati.
Amy Gahran does this, and her original post on this got me to wondering how I, with my limited technical capabilities, could make an OPML file.
Monitor This answers this question for me, without me having to add my searches one-by-one to an aggregator. There will still be some searches that you will need to manually add to the mix right in bloglines. But with little effort you now have a search dashboard for each client, and also for yourself, of course 😉