On the web you can find over a 100 million blogs, seven hundred thousand news sites and about 50 online wire services cranking out press releases.  How is it possible for your business and your targeted audience to find anything that is interesting?  Well to be honest, it’s not – without the right tools!

This might seem like a problem to many but actually there’s a solution to this – social media.  With the help of blog search alerts, RSS integration and news readers you can find valuable information regarding companies, individuals, real-time news, what’s happening and what’s the buzz at the moment.  These tools can also help you to research what others are saying about you and your company, competition and your marketplace.

Blog Search

To best way to find new and existing blogs to read is by doing a simple search on Google Blog Search or any other popular Blog aggregator like Technorati. With these tools you can also bookmark interesting blogs that you would like to follow-up at a later stage on your browser.

Alerts

Google Alerts is a useful tool in which you can set up “alerts” to be emailed directly to you with a notification when a certain blog has been updated or when new information regarding a given topic is published somewhere.  It is really easy to set up an alert as you can only type the keywords or business name you are interested and then click on the add alert button.  You can set up the alert to notify you immediately when there’s an update or you can select to have a daily summary sent to you.

RSS aggregation

Another way to stay informed with blog updates is through RSS feeds.  The RSS protocol was standardized a few years ago to be universal format so that all RSS readers can display it. RSS can be used in many ways.  You can use it to display summaries on the latest blog posts you have done.  Almost every blog includes RSS feeds wich can either be accessed through a link with the label “RSS” or “Feed”.  Once you have accessed the RSS feed for the given blog, you can choose to subscribe to that feed so that you can be notified when new topics has been published or updated.

There’s a couple of standalone RSS feed reader applications available and by doing a simple search on Google will give you many results.  Some of the popular ones includes Google news reader, Microsoft Outlook, Feedreader, etc.