Software Developer Tip: RSS Aggregator + Google Blog Search

Large companies, such as Microsoft or Google, have entire sections of their company dedicated to things like PR (Public Relations) and paying attention to what the media says about them. As a small time individual developer, you probably don’t have time to track down everything that is said about your product. But, if you know how to use an RSS Aggregator such as RSS Bandit or Google Reader, then you can passively (efficiently) watch a lot of the buzz about your product.

The trick is to use the RSS syndication feature in Google Blog Search. Basically you do a search for your product’s name, and then you click on the button to get an RSS feed for that search query. Whenever you check in on your RSS feeds, you’ll know if people have been talking about your product in the “blogosphere.”

Step 1 — Go to Google Blog Search and type in your product’s name. Usually you want to surround it with quotes.

Step 2 — On the top right side inside the browser window, click on “Sort by date”. The default is to sort by relevance.

Step 3 — On the left side of the window, find where it says “Subscribe:” and then click on the format that you prefer (I use RSS, for instance).

Try it out 🙂 I use this to keep up on what people are saying about Paint.NET — both good and negative.

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7 thoughts on “Software Developer Tip: RSS Aggregator + Google Blog Search

  1. Tristan says:

    Hm this is quite interesting, though I have never seen or heard of Paint.Net being described or talked about in a negative light. It is so user friendly toward people who are just beginners to things that it is used for that I cant imagine what would be wrong.

    But regardless, I will try this out.

  2. Phil says:

    That’s pretty cool. I don’t have any of my own programs out on the web except some abandoned freeware I wrote a long time ago; so I won’t use it for my own products, but I might use it in the future.

  3. Maël Hörz says:

    This is a really useful tip. Thanks!

    Is there a way you can get an RSS for a Web-search (a lot of important posts only show up there)? I didn’t find anything on Google’s Websearch.

  4. Rick Brewster says:

    Maël, hmm I don’t think so. The useful thing about the blog search is that you can sort by date — by definition every blog post is time stamped, which is what makes that possible. You can’t really do that with a regular web search. I would definitely welcome such a feature though!

  5. John D. says:

    Hi Rick,
    I’m surprised to see you suggest something like this so late. I guess now every single person on earth knows about RSS.

    Right now, all mainstream web browsers like Internet Explorer 7 (and 8), Firefox 2 and Opera 9 and most mail client programs like Outlook and Windows Live Mail have a build-in RSS reader.

    Actually, it’s a while I’m using RSS to get up to date with Paint.NET.

    Even now, most search engines allow you to update your search results via RSS. (Google too, but it doesn’t catch your eye the way Windows Live Search does.)

  6. web man says:

    FilteredRSS.com is a unique filtering tool for RSS feeds. Instead of using keywords, FilteredRSS.com actually utilizes Bayesian analysis to identify what items in your feed you may like. It works much like a good email spam filter: you teach the filter by identifying feed items you like and do not like. The more you train the filter the better it will understand your preferences.

    I encourage you to give it a try at: http://www.filteredrss.com

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