I am most likely to be votes as “most likely not to follow-through on a stupid meme,” but Todd Defren ruined my reputation on this principle by tagging me and asking me to share my favorite social media tools.
Problem was, I had been considering putting together a post about my favorite social media tools all week. However, I will add my twist, as I often do, and share the tools I use the most on my measurement dashboard. In other words, how I measure the effectiveness of this blog and others that I follow.
I keep coming up with new uses for del.icio.us and I have a few others that I have been thinking about lately and will share soon. But in the area of measurement, I use it to track my comments on other blogs with the Firefox addon for del.icio.us that plugs into the search toolbar. It helps me get back quickly and easily to continue the conversation and helps me track how many comments I have made (this is one of my blogging objectives).
Haloscan makes the management of comments and trackbacks very easy. Blogger doesn’t have the best interface for comments, but Haloscan solves that nicely and adds trackback to a blogger blog. It will notify you via e-mail when you have new comments. And comments appear in the order they were posted, with the most recent on top. It has an outstanding spam filter, and I only get, on average, about 2 to 3 spam comments per month. Haloscan also allows you to download comments into a file and gives you a count of comments so that you can easily apply the Conversation Index.
Technorati Search is how I keep up with who is linking to this blog and others. I have set up watch lists, sometimes for a single post in which I want to closely follow the thread. It’s easy to use, just copy the URL and past it into the box Website URL search box — easy and very effective. You can also subscribe to your watches as RSS feeds and read them in your newsreader of choice.
Google Analytics is my statistics package. While you do have to “apply” for an account, I understand that those that do eventually get one. The statistics it gives are simply outstanding. I use this tool more than any other to find out what people are looking at, what content is effective and what people are using to search out and find my site. Best of all, it is free, which is a good price considering what I make blogging 😉
Another tracking program I have recently started using is My Blog Log. My blog log tracks where people came from, what they viewed and what they clicked. There is no wait time to sign up for this and it requires pasting a small line of code in your template.
Finally, I am a Firefox browser fanatic, mostly for its tabbed browsing and cool extensions. One of the extensions I use daily is the Search Status extension, which adds a bar to the bottom right of the browser that shows Alexa traffic and the Google Page Rank of any site you are browsing. It also has a number of other SEO tools.
So, these are my day-to-day workhorses in my blog measurement dashboard. What are tools that you use to simplify and track relevant information?