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Three ways to monitor a story's impact on the Web

Three ways to monitor a story's impact on the Web

Sandra Crucianelli | February 14, 2013

Many journalists wonder how they can evaluate the impact of an investigation or a blog post. Here are some simple techniques to use:

1) Use Google advanced search:

  • Place the permanent URL for the content you wish to monitor in the second text box
  • Do the same with the title
  • Repeat the same step for the subtitle or the short summary of the article.

In all cases, use the "narrow your results" tool to analyze the results for the last 24 hours. If possible repeat this procedure within 48 or 72 hours.

You will then be able to compile a list similar to this one, which can include (if you use the domain field to include Facebook.com and Twitter.com) the impact in social media.

2) Use monitoring systems specific to Facebook and Twitter

  • Social mention is a robust monitoring system that allows you to search by title or by permanent URL. It also allows you to search by author's name.
  • 48ers monitors the last 48 hours with a high level of efficiency.
  • Other alternatives are: Addictomatic, Boardreader and Whostalkin.
  • For real-time monitoring, I suggest combining Twitterfall with an advanced search in Google.
  • Monitoring on YouTube: after entering a search parameter, use the "filter" option to analyze the most recent results. Choose the "upload date" option. Here is an example for Data Journalism.
  • The impact of tweeting our content can be analyzed using tools such as Tweetreach which measures content reach or TwitterCounter which measures users.Socialbakers is a similar tool for Facebook.

3) Blog searches: Many blogs copy and paste full stories from news websites. In this case we can use:

  • Blog searches in Google
  • Specific search engines such as Icerocket also have search options for Twitter and Facebook.

A combination of the three groups of tools can be used in real time when following a live event and thereby better identify the magnitude of the event. Here is an example.

Finally, I've been testing Viral Heat lately which provides a sentiment analysis to give us a better idea of the feelings certain content can evoke in a 2.0 audience.

Do you use these or other tools to see what happens to your story after it's posted? Which tools or system work best for you?

Sandra Crucianelli is a Knight International Journalism Fellow, an investigative journalist and an instructor who specializes in digital resources and data journalism. She is working as a consultant for La Nación, one of the most important news sites and newspapers in Argentina.

Image CC-licensed via Morguefile.

This post was written in Spanish and translated into English by Nathalie Cornet.

@spcrucianelli