NewsOne of the great things about having a blog is the feedback you receive from a number of sources. This might be in the form of comments, trackbacks, or emails; or a response on another blog.

Often these responses on other blogs are isolated from the original post – there is no comment, trackback or email to let you know they’re there. There are, however, a few ways to keep track of these posts.

Why would you want to know?

Before we look at the techniques for staying informed, let’s take a look at a question that underlies all of this : why would you want to know?

The benefits of knowledge here are the same as for many other forms of expression; whether you’re an actor, an athlete or a ‘public figure’, it’s good to have an idea of the feedback you’re receiving at any particular time.

Knowing what this feedback is simply allows you (but doesn’t force you) to alter your behaviour. If people seem to like what you’re doing, keep doing it. If they don’t, perhaps it’s time to fine-tune things.

How do you keep track?

As a self-confessed information junkie, I usually spend several hours per day using Google Reader (including the writing that naturally stems from it). Accordingly, I love the Technorati search results as they’re accompanied by customised RSS feeds.

There are a couple of Technorati searches that will quickly provide some invaluable feedback, namely :

a search on the URL of your blog : http://technorati.com/search/www.straighttothebar.com
(replace the ‘www.straighttothebar.com’ with the address of your blog)

a search on your own name : http://technorati.com/search/%22scott+bird%22
(replace the ‘scott’ and ‘bird’ with your first and last name)

A standard Google search on your domain can also provide some valuable feedback : http://www.google.com.au/search?q=www.straighttothebar.com

(again, replace the ‘www.straighttothebar.com’ with the address of your blog)

Although there’s no obvious RSS feed for the search results above, a similar search in Google Blog Search (similar to Technorati), provides a feed with some interesting information.

The search is : http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?q=www.straighttothebar.com&btnG=Search+Blogs

Other blog directories provide similar information, but none seem to provide anything extra. If you don’t wish to add several feeds to your daily reading routine, stick with the first one from Technorati (a search on the address of your blog).

What do I do now?

One of the reasons for performing these searches is to let you leave a comment on the blog in question. This may be as simple as ‘Thanks’, or a “You might also like’ style comment. It’s up to you.

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