Google Alerts, RSS feeds of Technorati searches, and Twitter trackers like TweetBeep have created a subtle but powerful shift in the flow of information between producers/performers and their audience.
If you are the founder of a company, a member of a band, the author of a book, or even just a blogger, you should have an alert set up for the name of your company, band, book, or blog. You will then find out whenever anyone says anything about what you’re doing.
For example: the owner of the Variant Frequencies podcast discovered my post about one of his episodes almost instantly after I posted it. I doubt he was a reader of my blog; it seems nearly certain that he found out through Google Alerts.
For venture owners, this is powerful because you can get people’s unadulterated, non-sugarcoated opinion of exactly how they see you and how they have experienced your product. Forget about focus groups and market research, which is a three-steps-removed proxy. This is the real stuff, raw and unfiltered.
For consumers, this means that random complaining on your blog or in a tweet is no longer just a place to vent emotions; it may actually be heard by someone upstream.