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The 5 requirements for using RSS aggregation to build your online presence

Part 4 of a series. Originally appeared on

The rule of 90-9-1 means that small organizations with focused audiences are unlikely to create highly participatory, self-reinforcing online communities. But they can still benefit from using social media tools to engage their audiences in online conversation. And one of the most exciting options is very useful to large organizations and businesses, too.

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Blogging like it's 2009

18 tools for effective social media participation on blogs and beyond

Keyboard with wrench

What are the essential tools for blogging and online conversation in 2009? Social Signal friend and advisor Leda Dederich recently asked me for an update to the post I wrote on this topic four years ago. Happily, SoSi staffer Karen Fung recently wrote an excellent post that ran through the specific tools I reviewed in 2005. But I thought I'd step back and offer an answer to the underlying question: what tools do I need to participate effectively in the thriving world of social media?

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Pieces of you

Handling your identity across many online profiles

According to Microsoft Canada, the average Canuck has seven online profiles out there. A lot of us have a lot more - some active, some abandoned and gathering dust, and still others that are forgotten yet still chug automatically along. (I haven't opened my FriendFeed page in well over a month, but it includes things I did only a few minutes ago.)

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Don't write headlines, draw them!

DoodleBuzz offers a new way of visualizing the news


Tired of Google Reader's straight-ahead interface for catching up on the latest news? DoodleBuzz describes itself as a "typographic news explorer". Type in any keywords, and then use your mouse to scribble on the screen; DoodleBuzz will present news stories from your search, arranged along the outline of your doodle.

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...which ate the rat, that lived in the house that tags built.

Here's how I think it all went down:

  • I posted this cartoon about employers blocking Facebook in the workplace.
  • I thought Shel Holtz would like it for his Stop Blocking blog.
  • He did, and posted it there.
  • Beth Kanter saw the cartoon and blogged about both it and Stop Blocking.
  • So as not to draw on Shel's or my bandwidth, she posted the cartoon (which is Creative Commonsed up the wazoo, so all is kosher) to Flickr so she could link to it there, and tagged it "socialsignal".
  • We have a Flickr photostrip on the front page of this site, which randomly selects Flickr photos tagged, you guessed it, "socialsignal".

And tonight, this is what I saw (click to enlarge, and look in the lower right-hand corner):

 front page screenshot

And the circle of life continues. 

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Make your nonprofit more effective with RSS aggregation

TechSoup invited me to be part of their online event on Web 2.0 this week. Since I was on call for a discussion about social bookmarking and aggregation, I put together a short overview of how aggregation can help nonprofits, and another on how social bookmarking can help nonprofits.

Here’s my quick take on three crucial ways that nonprofits can use RSS and aggregation to work more effectively:

Social Signal on...

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.