Friday, March 23, 2007

Tools for Generating Article Ideas

Chris Knight has listed 6 quick ideas on how to choose an article topic. For #6, he wrote:
Set up email alerts (or subscribe to RSS feeds) when new articles are available in your niche. Use these for inspiration only; keeping tabs on the competition while making sure you have content coverage within every angle of your niche.
This works well with me too. Since I write on many different topics (writing, web journalism, health/medical issues), I always make it a point to gather information in the most efficient way possible. Here are my tools:

  1. Google Alerts - Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on my choice of topic or keywords. I can easily manage Google alerts by personally choosing search terms, the types of websites Google should tap, and how often I want to receive the updates. You too can create your own Google Alerts.

  2. Firefox with Google Toolbar - I've been using the Mozilla Firefox browser for over two years now, and so far most things have been smooth. Its Google Toolbar add-on lets you subscribe to a site's RSS feed by clicking on the Subscribe button while you're on the page. Firefox with Google Toolbar also includes search for Google images, groups, news, and maps. Download Firefox - FREE!

  3. Google Reader - Google Reader is a web-based feed reader that lets me keep up with my favorite blogs and news. Since it updates me only when a blog or website has posted something new, it saves me a lot of browsing time. Get your Google Reader now. Here's mine:

If you have other nifty tools for generating article ideas, I'd like to know them. :-)

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