3 Marketing Tools I Miss (and Their Alternatives)

Do you hate it when you invest your time and energy falling in love with what seems like the perfect marketing tool, only to have it bought out by a larger company and ruined or otherwise retired? I know I do, especially since I tend to write passionately about those tools that I find useful. So today, I’d like to reminisce about some of my favorite tools of yore, why I loved them, and the alternatives I’ve found since they have gone to tool heaven.

1. PostRank

PostRank was a social analytics platform that scored blogs based on their engagement (comments and social shares). I wrote about PostRank regularly as a way to discover the most engaging content on blogs for inspiration, guest post pitches, and competitor research.


You could also hover over a score next to a blog post to see the different networks that a post was popular in.


PostRank Alternatives

If you’re interested in marketing blogs, BloggerScope is the best alternative out there. You can see the top blog posts based on social engagement and sort them by most tweets, likes, +1’s, and stumbles.


It’s definitely a good site to use to research the top posts based on social sharing, and great topic ideas for blogs you want to pitch for a guest post. (And if you haven’t already, grab a free copy of the Guest Blogging Survival Guide now.)

Feedly also offers social engagement scoring on blog posts, but it is no where near as comprehensive as PostRank. Feedly only measures shares through their reader, Facebook, and Google +1’s.


2. Google Reader

Google Reader only has a few more days before it is retired. The thing I loved most about Google Reader was the search functionality – it made curated posts on the top blog posts on a particular topic easy to do.


Google Reader Alternatives

So far, the only thing that comes close is CommaFeed, although it has been a bit slow lately and doesn’t let you search within a specific group of RSS feeds or within just one feed.


Feedly is supposed to be integrating search into their service, and Digg has been asking for feedback about their RSS reader in development, so hopefully searching RSS feeds through a reader will be easy once again.

3. Formulist

Formulist was a sweet tool that would take very specific Twitter searches for people and organize the results of those searches into Twitter lists. It would also maintain those lists by adding new members to the lists as they were discovered.


Formulist Alternatives

The first alternative to this process is using Followerwonk to search Twitter profiles, open all of the profiles in a new tab, and then manually add them to a list. While it gets the job done, it takes a much longer time than it would have if Formulists was still around.


The second alternative which I have yet to try out, but looks promising, is IFTTT. Their service has several recipes for automatically adding users to Twitter lists.


Since you have the ability to create your own recipes, it might be possible to recreate many of the Formulist automations. It’s definitely something I’m going to play around with in the next couple of weeks.

What tools do you miss?

Now it’s your turn. What were your favorite marketing tools that have since disappeared, and what are you using as an alternative? Please share in the comments!

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  1. says


    It’s been awhile since we spoke and I wanted to comment with a kudos on PostRank. What I like about it is how easy it is to use, but mostly that it collects real-time data from social engagement events.

  2. says

    I never happened to use PostRank, but since making the switch to Feedly (from Google Reader) I am really happy with it! I use Sprout Social to keep track of social media, and it pulls all of the feeds/blogs I pay attention to in my dashboard, so it’s really handy. I like the layout/UI of Feedly.

    It’s how I got notified of this post! = )
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  3. says

    About time more and more people are talking about Feedly. I’ve been using it as my feed reader (including your blog, Kristi) for several years. I love it. It’s just as useful on my iMac as on my iPad. The mobile layout is sweet.

    And I’m also a fan of IFTTT. I’ve known about that for several months and continue to recommend it to people who ask if certain API programming is possible.
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  4. says

    Hi Kristi,

    I’ve seen this story over and over, of larger companies ruining small companies or abandoning their products, since the industrial revolution…

    I’m using BloggerScope and is a good marketing tool.

    Since Google Reader is out of the game, I started to use Feedly and I like it, only I miss the search function, hope they will add it soon.

    I didn’t know about CommaFeed, I’ll take a look.

    Digg is a mystery with those odd changes it had, will see how the new RSS reader will look.


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  5. says

    I am seriously going to miss Google Reader, as it was one of my favorite online tool that allows me to keep an eye on all the latest stuff. However, now I am moving my stuff to Feedly, and waiting for Digg Reader to make a public debut.

    Well, I have never heard about BloggerScope and Formulist. I guess these are amazing tools for me. I will give a try to them, thanks Kristi for sharing.
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  6. Lewis LaLanne says

    Hey Kristi,

    I can’t thank you enough for turning me onto BloggerScope. I’d never heard of it before today but it’s very cool to see a tool that gathers posts that have been both marketed and written well. Now it’s time for me to go play with my new toy :)

  7. says

    Kristi, I really miss the Follow Friday Helper. I use Commun.it in its place but it’s not as good for that purpose. It’s great for other reasons.
    I’m using my Triberr for most of my feeds and sign up via email for others that I don’t want to miss. I’m reading up on the other options too and will decide soon which to use instead of the Google reader.
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  8. says

    It is real sad to lose a good tool which is almost like losing a true friend. Google Reader tops the list for me as it was so convenient and Google always gave it a lot of preference. With the big fish eating the small being the culture of business the list is soon bound to grow. Good for us we have you to give us alternatives and good choices. Thanks a ton
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  9. says

    Thanks Kristi I really liked the bloggerscope, it is really unique, could be very useful in different ways. I have spent only few minutes there and already reading my 6th post. You will find the best posts and articles there, wow. You must be spending a lot of time researching, and thanks a lot for sharing with us.
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