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.
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.
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.
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.
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!