Looking for a way to monitor social media activities and results on a tight budget? Want to show the world how social you are with a cool widget on your website or blog? How about a real-time search tool to see what’s being said about your company or any topic of interest right now? Interested in an easy way to stay current on key Google Analytics traffic stats from your desktop? Need a way to edit video and photos without the expense and overhead of a pricey editing application?
You’ll find all of this and more in this collection of tools and reviews of some of the coolest free or low-cost social media monitoring and web tools so far this year.
Cool Web Tools
***** 5 stars
A powerful real-time social search engine that not only displays results for a specified term or phrase, but lets you filter results by source (e.g., blogs, microblogging sites, social bookmarking, images, video), and shows associated metrics like sentiment, top keywords, top users (who’s talking about this topic most actively) and sources. You can narrow search results to a specific timeframe and sort by date or source. Social Mention also lets you set up alerts (simiar to Google Alerts) and offers a widget that can be installed on a website or blog to display the real-time buzz about your specified topic.
A social media monitoring tool that combines powerful features (e.g., historical and real-time data, sentiment analysis, platform filtering) and ease of use with a more attractive monthly price than many well-known competitors.
A quick and handy way to get a snapshot of the “social media rank” of any website. Metrics include traffic stats from Alexa, Compete and Quantcast; backlinks and results by search engine; backlinks and mentions on the major social news sites and more.
A cool, free blog widget that automatically displays links, along with thumbnail images, to related posts on your blog at the bottom of each blog post you publish. Visitors can rate posts and you also get click statistics. It takes a bit longer to install than they claim but isn’t terribly difficult.
A dead-simple to use Twitter monitoring dashboard; keep tabs on tweets for three phrases, hash tags or Twitter handles. Monitoring can be filtered by location as well.
Collecta (no longer active)
A real-time search engine that displays results from blog posts, articles, blog comments, microblogging sites (e.g., Twitter) and social content sharing sites.
An online video editor than enables you to mix videos footage, images and soundtracks and add effects to create standard or high-definition online videos. Your first video is free. After that, their standard pricing model is designed for high-volume production but plans are available for less frequent use as well.
Polaris (no longer active)
***** 5 Stars
Want a quick snapshot of how your website—or any number of websites you track through Google Analytics—is performing? Now there’s no need to log in to GA just for a simple check. Polaris is a slick, free Adobe Air-based desktop tool that displays eight GA charts at a glance, including the dashboard, traffic sources, top content, keywords and goal values.
Do you really love a particular topic, company, website or public figure? Or really hate one? Care what others think? This is the site for you. Amplicate is a user-driven site that shows you at a glance how many people love or hate any of thousands of different entities across dozens of categories. For example, (at last check) in the social networks category, three times as many (67 to 22) people loved ecademy as hated it, while more than twice as many (18,163 to 8,632) hated Facebook as loved it (not that Zuckerberg is terribly worried). Joe Biden gets 86% love, but Barack Obama only 48%. Okay, so it may not be scientific, but it is fascinating.
Twitter saves “only” your last 3,200 tweets. For those who feel they really need to hang on to more than that, BackUpMyTweets offers a free service to save all their snippets of 140-character brilliance. The site also offers tools for backing up web mail accounts, blogs and online photos.
Reviews of More Cool Tools
According to some estimates, there may be as many as 50 million PowerPoint presentations publicly available on the web. But searching for them can be a pain. Sure you can use a general search engine with PPT as a filetype query, but you can save yourself work and typing by utilizing one of these PowerPoint-specific search engines to do the digging.
The 39 Social Media Tools I’ll Use Today by Social Media Today
Jay Baer provides concise reviews of his favorite social media tools for Twitter management, comments, search, photo sharing, analytics, video creation, social media monitoring and more.
Robin Wauters reviews Trackur, an online reputation management and social media monitoring tool created by Andy Beal and team. Trackur is sort of Google Alerts on steroids and competes with products like Radian6 and Attentio. This is a slick tool, and my one experience with their support team was impressively brief and helpful.
10 Must-Have Web Apps Every Internet User Would Love To Know by Smashing Apps
Mini-reviews of 10 helpful tools such as WobZIP, an online utility for unzipping files on admin-proteced computers; Mitto, an online password manager; and Web Page to PDF, which is kind of self-explanatory.
10 Free Web-based Alternatives to Photoshop by LifeClever
Chanpory Rith reviews 10 free online tools that offer many of the features of PhotoShop with the high cost or complexity, including Picnik (possibly the best free online photo editor), PhotoShop Express, Snipshot and flauntR.
5 Free B2B Marketing Tools by Modern B2B Marketing
Maria Pergolino of Marketo reviews five popular tools including CoTweet, a Twitter tool that enable users to track keyword or brand mentions and even assign responses to particular individuals (for example, by product line). These are familiar but essential tools for the b2b marketer’s toolbox.
List of Search Engines – Top Search Engines in 2010 by Secret Search Engine Labs
Google may be the 800-pound gorilla of search engines but as this post reminds us, it’s not alone in the jungle. Here you’ll find a alphabetical list of 30+ alternative search engines from Ask and Rich Skrenta’s Blekko to social search engine Stumpedia and “computational knowledge engine” Wolfram Alpha.
Interesting websites to check out by iMedia Connection (video)
Shelly Palmer discusses four tools worth checking out including BugMeNot (for creating website logins that won’t get you spammed) and Phonezoo, a site where you can find and create custom cell phone ringtones.
10 Simple Google Search Tricks by The New York Times
Simon Mackie of GigaOM explains 10 cool little tricks for Google searches including site search, using Google as a calculator, performing currency conversions and finding specific types of documents online.
12 alternatives to Basecamp by Popwuping