How to gather feedback about you or your company / by Cory

funny-pictures-fighting-cats-constructive-feedback.jpg Some of the best feedback you can ever receive on your product is the unsolicited and indirect kind. Lets face it, most people are more honest about their opinions when there are no hurt feelings at stake.  Have you ever wondered what people are saying about you, your company, or your product when you're not around? I dont know about you, but if somebody says something about anything I've ever worked on, I want to know about it.

Companies are getting smarter about tracking what is said about them on them on web.

My good friend Greg over at Urban Monarch likes to write posts that go something like..."{ company name }, if you can hear me, we'd really like { product name } to review on our site". 9 times out of 10, the company will contact them for an address of where to send the product. Hey a comment if you find this post (i dont think he follows my blog).

Recently, i posted a tweet on twitter..."I'm excited to make my first screencast using Screenflow". A couple of hours later, i get a reply tweet from the makers of screenflow saying "let us know how it goes...and be sure to post your work on our screencast site...". I was floored and instantly compelled to provide feedback to them on anything and everything Screenflow. Hey Vara Software, post a reply if you find this post.

miss-cleo.jpgHow are companies doing this? Are they telepathic? What worked for Miss Cleo does not work for all (Miss Cleo, post a reply if you sense this post). The trick here is to get the feedback to come to you so you are not spending a lot of precious time scouring the internet for related feedback. There's no better technology for this than RSS. Here's a few of the most effective tools I have found so far:

  1. Twitter You can track tweets on twitter by typing in "track" followed by "search term" "track user kind" will send me updates to any posts that contain "user kind". You can also track any activity on your twitter username: "track @twitterUserName".
  2. Search all tweets and subscribe to the results via RSS
  3. FriendFeed FriendFeed aggregates information from a bunch of different social networks and websites...twitter, flickr, facebook, blogs, and 40 or so others. This is probably the most useful site for keeping track of what is said because you can type in any search term, and subscribe to the results as an RSS feed. For example, here's what people are saying about Screenflow
  4. Technorati Want to track what people blog about you? Try searching Technorati and subscribe to the results as an RSS feed.
  5. Google Blog Search Another blog search engine where you can subscribe to the results via RSS
  6. BlogPulse Track conversations and subscribe to the results via RSS

There you have it. You are now armed with some great tools on getting more in tune with what people are saying about you on the interwebs. If you know of any others, please post em!