When Google announced back in April (2012) their acquisition of PostRank also meant its ultimate demise, I started a board on Quora asking what alternatives to PostRank exist for determining the relevancy of an RSS feed. The Quora board received a flurry of attention when Google Reader ended support for PostRank, including notable comments from the former Co-Editor for ReadWriteWeb, and now CEO of PlexusEngine, Marshall Kirkpatrick, who introduced me to RSS feed management as a “Social Media Cheat Sheet” in 2009.
Aside from people commenting that they are also looking for alternatives to PostRank and Google Reader, the board quieted down. I was stumped. Stuck sorting through thousands of RSS feeds of “dirty” data, counting numbers of keyword mentions and then comparing them using Google Search Trends to find posts that held relevance and value. This lasted from May until August before I finally discovered something that promised to be similar to the PostRank and Google Reader combination. The answer was in an excellent post from Smashing Magazine, by Vasilis van Gemert, entitled: The Art of Staying Up To Date. The product: Fever.
A Brief History on Why PostRank was so Awesome
PostRank integration with an RSS feed managment service, such as Google Reader, rates the activity surrounding posts on a 1-to-10 scale. How many clicks a link has received, how many comments a post had received, and social signals, like tweets and likes, were all included in the PostRank algorithm.
Combining factors with another layer of qualification, such as a social bookmarking network like Delicious, and you have a bird’s eye view of breaking blog buzz and emerging trends. This data can be used for new-jacking, tracking keyword trends and evaluating reasons for stock market fluctuations. But, as in any maturing system, independent (localized) tools always succumb to the (regional) control of a larger entity.
So, on May 1, 2012, the Montreal start-up that was known as PostRank was absorbed into the Borg that is Google Inc. Back on the Quora Board, I posted about the promise of Fever to offer similar capabilities as Google Reader incorporated with Postrank. A few days later, one of the people following the board, Steve Wiildeman, aka SEOSteve, uploaded a Screencast of him setting up Fever and offered to let me use his membership and give it a go. Yet, another reason Quora is the best social collaboration tool I have ever used.
This is one of my more recent in depth articles for Stikky Media. It shows in detail how to create a content marketing cheat sheet. If you’re interested in that kind of thing.
See the full post to learn how to always be ahead of the trends.