Improve Information Gathering with Technorati
With the myriad of new Web services launching on a daily basis, it's hard to decide which tools to use. One of the few services I rely on every day is Technorati. Here are a few of the ways it can improve your own information gathering:
1) Subscribe to keyword feeds in your RSS reader. For instance, if you want to know every time someone posts a new article tagged with the keyword chopsticks, you simply subscribe to that feed in something like Bloglines, Google Reader, or my favorite deasktop reader, FeedDemon.
The best part of this is you can build the keyword feed without ever visiting the Technorati site. Simply paste the base feed URL in your reader, add the keyword at the end, and you're subscribed:
This gives you all search terms with the keyword:
While this gives you all items the content publisher tagged with the keyword:
2) Create Your Own Custom Watchlist If you don't subscribe to feeds, the Custom Watchlist feature is a useful way to track information based on keywords or phrases. Any word or phrase may be used in the watchlist and results are displayed on the Watchlist page in your Technorati account as you log in.
3) Search Technorati with Authority If I want to see all the recent posts from many people on a topic like "photography", for instance, Technorati can be a useful place to gather this information. The problem with this is, you tend to get a ton of posts that mention photography but aren't necessarily about photography. This type of search is improved by sorting by blogs with more authority.
The other cool feature in this type of search is the ability to refine your search by adding more criteria - the site does a good job of suggesting results. For instance, here I searched for "video editing" and Technorati suggested I refine my results to include posts that had both "video editing" and things like HDV, DVD Production, Digital Video and some other slightly less meaningful topics.
4) Favorite your favorite blogs This is one of the features I don't use nearly enough. By favoriting blogs, you get a quick snapshot of what's going on in your own personal sphere of interest from your own custom page on Technorati. You can also add keyword tags for each of the blogs, to create a more meaningful sorting system for your own information gathering. Of course, I think everyone should add JakeLudington.com as a Favorite. ;)
5)Using Technorati Favorites to Recall Information After you favorite my site (hint, hint) and other places you frequent, Technorati is an awesome tool for helping you remember stuff. I frequently use it to remember stuff I posted, simply by doing a search for something and only searching my blog. Taking this a step further, lets say you favorite 10 sites you read regularly. You read something 3 weeks ago on one of your favorites, but can't remember which one. A search of your favorites on Technorati for some key topic of that post will help you turn up the source of the information, acting as a convenient memory assistant.
6) Technorati on your Phone If you're a 'net addict like I am and can't tear yourself away while standing in lines or waiting for your wife to finish running errands, the mobile version of Technorati can be a great way to keep track of interesting information on the go. Just favorite m.technorati.com on your cell phone and you're a couple of thumb clicks away from search and information.