Once you’ve written and published a blog post or story, use ConvoTrack to find what people are saying about that post on Twitter, other blogs or a handful of other social networks.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a current member of those communities to use the tool. As a matter of fact, ConvoTracker might serve as a good introduction to “social” comments.
To use the service, just copy the URL of your story and then go to ConvoTrack.com. You’ll see an editable box that with “http://” in it. Paste your URL over that text and hit the “preload” button.
ConvoTrack will bring you back to your article, but this time you’ll also see a sidebar on the left. According to the tool’s creator, that sidebar shows tweets and comments from “FriendFeed, Digg, Reddit, HackerNews and any blog mentioning the article”
Now that you can see the comments, read them to find news that you might not be aware of. Pick up on the views from people outside of your existing sources. If you are on Twitter, it might be wise to follow some of the users who are tweeting about your article. Most importantly, follow the many links in that sidebar to find related blogs and streams of conversations.
Admittedly this works best if you’ve written something of national interest on a popular blog or news site. For example, I used ConvoTrack in a post last week that examined how The Wall Street Journal’s White House Czar Calls for End to ‘War on Drugs’ article traveled through social networks with little prompting by WSJ or the article’s author. Here is how that article looks with the ConvoTrack sidebar:
More about ConvoTrack:
Photo from Duncan Cumming via Flickr