Monday, July 7, 2008

Top 5 – Digital tools of the trade

I love a good list. The Age are currently running the AFL’s Top 50 legends at the moment. It puts a stake in the ground, they’re subjective, and usually trigger some good conversation. So this week I’m presenting 5 lists in 5 days related to digital advertising resources. I’m going to focus specifically on those resources I use consistently in the digital space. I figure if you really want to know what music people are listening to, don’t ask them, look into their iPod most-played list. So think of this as my most-played list.

Top 5 – Digital tools of the trade

The top 5 things that keep me updated in the online media space -

1. RSS – (Frequent News) Forget the terminology, and think of this as the easiest way to get pre-determined channels (sites/pages/sections) of content delivered to one location – the RSS Reader. My choice of reader is Google Reader, which also now has a tweaked-up mobile app version. If you find a website, a blog, that provides a consistent flow of useful content, look for the orange square (there’s one on this blog to the right), and click on it to subscribe it to your reader. If you’re using Google Reader, it’s usually only a 2 click process and you’re there. I’ll provide a separate list on my favourite feeds later in the week.

2. Email Alerts (Keywords specific news). Get customised emails of articles related to predefined keywords delivered to your inbox. I find alerts particularly useful for specific competitors/clients/people in the industry. These are two I use -
Plugger – Fast becoming one of my favourite sites, they offer News Alerts with plenty of customisation. Tick the boxes for Media Industry, Web Maketing Industry, Marketing and Advertising Industry, as well as your key clients and key competitors. They’ll even let you turn this into an RSS feed so you don’t have to wait for the email to arrive.
Google Alerts – Tried and trusted, very good at delivering o/s industry news from reputable sources.

3. Email Newsletters (Daily/Weekly updates) – Every site seems to have one, some better than others. The trick is to find those that provide good, relevant content, rather than those that rely on subscriber lists to drive ad spend. Mediapost, B&T, AdNews are good starters.

4. del.ici.ous (Reference) – Ok, this one requires you to contribute, but is an excellent resource to store your own news references. If you stumble upon an article or particular quote of interest ‘tag’ the page with relevant keywords. Use these keyword tags to easily find this content again. The del.ici.ous site itself is also a good reference to see what other people are tagging.

5. Twitter (Instant news bites) – 140 characters of goodness. Create an account, download a desktop or mobile app, such as Twirl, and starting ‘following’, ie, search for people of interest in the industry, Mark Pesce, Duncan Riley, Ben Barren, Dave King, they’re all fairly regular ‘tweeters’. Summize is a great Twitter search tool, if you want to know what people are twittering about across the planet on a particular subject.

Friendfeed would probably scrape in 6th, but for me probably too much noise, not enough good stuff, will see if that changes. So that’s it, List #1. Keen to hear what your top tools of trade are.

Tomorrow - My Top 10 digital advertising websites/blogs.

From the king of the Top 10 lists – David Letterman. Here’s one of my favourites –