Beyond the Blog
One of the greatest strengths of blogs is the fact that there are so many. With millions upon millions of people constantly talking about everything, there are bound to be things that will have to do with your company, your industry, and your competitors. Tools such as Technorati and PubSub allow you to find out in near real-time what these people are saying about things that should be of desperate interest to you. And the best part is that they are free.
In addition, there are a variety of software and blog consulting companies—not to mention traditional PR companies—that are beginning to offer analyses of the Land of Blog for their clients. Typically this analysis will cover not just what was said, but will give you an indication of the influence of the blogger so that you can gauge what effect their words will have.