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#149: Keeping Up With Your Industry Through News Feeds

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Thursday, October 8, 2009
I have recently discovered news feeds for major industry groups as a way to keep up with news without reading a lot of sources. How can I customize a news feed for my specialized areas of interest?

The specialization of trade press has tremendously increased the volume and detail in news and research data about even the most arcane corners of business. However, this increased detail creates a more difficult job of sifting through sources. Online availability improves access but does not reduce the volume.

This is where news feeds come in. A news feed is an aggregation of news items published by many different online sources, which is then updated constantly. When used with a news reader (many are available for free as standalone applications or can be added to a browser or to email clients like Outlook), news feeds can collect the most up to date news about a specified topic and deliver it to your desktop, saving you considerable time and providing a wider collection of content than you could get by searching manually.

You asked about custom news feeds. There are now a few sources where you can design your own feeds. Although not an endorsement of any one source, News Feed Maker and Feedzilla are good places to start. Both services allow you to specify keywords on which the feed software will work to aggregate news to your needs. You can place these as widgets in a variety of formats on your website or just as news sources for your own use.

Tip: You may find tremendous value in news feeds for daily digests of content you need to stay ahead of your profession, discipline or industry. Create several feeds using keywords related to your current or prospective consulting practice. You will quickly figure out which sets of keywords are producing the highest value news. Once you have fine tuned your feeds, you can begin passing along timely and relevant news to your clients. Given that most news feeds are updated at 15 minute intervals, you may well be the first one to notify a client about an industry trend or event related to a competitor. Keeping a client abreast of breaking news is one service expected of a trusted advisor.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  client service  customer understanding  information management  innovation  learning  market research  marketing 

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Mary Adams CMC says...
Posted Thursday, October 8, 2009
Just getting news feeds leaves out a lot of what is going on. I would suggest that consultants also get RSS feeds on keywords for internet content and blogs (Google Alerts) and Twitter conversations (available on Twitter home page).
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