Tracking yourself with RSS

Filed under: — 10:00 am

One of the nice things about RSS is that it makes it easy to find people who talk about or link to what I write online. I can search for my name in services like Technorati, Bloglines, or Pubsub and quickly find references to my name, or sites that link to mine.

Tracking Your Name

A feed that searches for your name lets you know when someone mentions you. Having a somewhat unique name like mine helps—if your name is John Smith or Bill Gates, this is a bit trickier. In that case I recommend giving your site a unique name so you can search for that.

I’ve subscribed to a search feed for “Michael Moncur” on all three sites. Here are my impressions of the results:

  • Bloglines finds my name mentioned in other people’s weblogs, comments I’ve posted elsewhere, and occasionally my own postings. It’s by far the most useful of the three. Unfortunately, as far as I’m aware, this feature is available only for those who use Bloglines as their feed aggregator.
  • Technorati mostly finds my own posts from my own weblogs. Not too useful to me, but I suppose if you were keeping tabs on someone else it might help.
  • Pubsub tends to find my name mentioned on other people’s sites, exactly what I’m hoping to find—but it doesn’t find all mentions.

While I find Bloglines the most useful, none of these is perfect, so I subscribe to all three feeds. For some reason, almost every new mention of my name shows up in just one of these (usually Bloglines) and not the other two.

Tracking Links

Technorati lets you set up a feed that tracks links to your site. I use one feed for each of my sites and find them pretty reliable, catching most mentions of my sites on weblogs. It also finds blogrolls and other links to my sites. Unfortunately, old items show up in the feed as new from time to time, but it’s usually relevant.

I’m sure there are other services besides Technorati, Pubsub, and Bloglines, and other ways to use those services. Any ideas or tips?

3 responses to “Tracking yourself with RSS”

  1. I’ve found that MSN search seems to pick up on a lot of mentions of my name – one thing I particularly like is it seems good at finding the places I’ve commented. You can also subscribe to the results as an RSS feed.

  2. Amit says:

    Michael, I usually find that a neatly crafted query at google is sufficient to uncover either link backs or mentions of my name. Also, the comment box on your site seems to be covered on the right hand side in IE6. Amit

  3. Amit says:

    sheepishly awaiting my slating for using IE6! I tend to use both Firefox and IE6, but Firefox when developing.

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