Listening in Nature and Online

A rabbit listens for predators

Photo by Joshua Davis

While animals are fun to listen to, they also tend to be fantastic listeners. Especially when they depend on their keen hearing to trap a meal or escape a predator.  When you look at creatures like bats, rabbits, foxes and so many others, you can’t help but marvel at how well they listen, and how their life depends on it.

I feel very similarly about listening with social media. I truly believe you can’t survive the social media landscape for long without listening!

Beth Kanter has written several fantastic posts about listening as an nonprofit organization any many of her articles point you to the right questions. For example, her post titled “Are you a listening organization?” not only shares great information about how to promote a listening culture internally, but it also discusses the 3 basic concepts for creating a structured listening strategy in your organization and making it a priority.

Tools to Check Out For Listening:

Google

Search Comments and Forums:

Blog and Social Media Search

Searching Twitter

Other Great Listening Tools

  • Postrank.com – and PostRank analytics – Tracks your blog posts with engagement measurement
  • Any RSS feed for your search terms!

It’s important  to listen to your audience and the people you care about. The social web makes “listening” or politely stalking, as I like to call it– much easier! So check out these sites and make your own Google Dashboard or RSS feed and let me know how it goes :) Then you’ll be listening like an animal!

7 responses to “Listening in Nature and Online

  1. So many people need to read more blog posts like this.

    I’d say listening is THE most important part of social media. I always recommend clients, friends, family, whoever, to listen before doing anything else. Just sit, watch, learn, take notes, and then, when ready, engage.

    Also, you’ve listed some great tools for filtering out much the social media noise on the web, all of which warrant their own blog posts.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more! Love your blog btw– you share such wonderful tips! Here’s another great blog post that lists the listening stuff I’m doing: http://www.communityorganizer20.com/2010/04/22/lessons-from-the-nwf-how-to-create-a-free-listening-dashboard

    • Thanks, Danielle.

      I’ve read through the post you linked to, quite useful as well. Google Insights Search is one I hadn’t heard of before. Thanks for sharing.

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