Alexa’s Resource List

A work-in-progress list of web resources I find helpful, in no particular order of preference.

The resources are grouped into the following categories.  Use your browser search (on PC, hold down <control><f> keys; on mac <command><f> to launch search bar) to help find a specific topic.


  • Blogs – social media
  • Blogs – general
  • Blogs – business
  • Blogs – job search
  • Public Relations
  • Trends
  • Crowdfunding
  • Tools – facebook
  • Tools – general
  • Tools – google
  • Tools – Twitter
  • Keyword feeds
  • Social search and monitoring
  • Search engines + SEO
  • Bricks and mortar (local business with physical location)
  • Toronto networking
  • Case studies

Blogs – social media

Boolean Black Belt – Written by an Atlanta-based recruiter, this blog goes deep into the underpinnings of LinkedIn and using technology for recruiting. Good, meaty stuff.

Buzz Marketing Daily (The Kbuzz) – Good social media updates.

Convince and convert (Jay Baer) – I recently discovered Jay’s blog (March 2010) and was impressed by his specific and sound advice re: social media and marketing. Highly recommend. – Chris is one of those guys who gets the online space and writes about it really well. And if you question the earning power of guys like this, Chris charges $22k/day for his time (March ’10). Luckily, he shares his knowledge for free on his blog.

Copyblogger – For anyone who wants to learn how to write better, blogs or otherwise.

Dan Zarrella – Takes a scientific approach to evaluating social media.

Awake @ the Wheel (Jonathan Fields) – Consistently interesting content.

Kikolani – Kikolani is about the art of blogging – the technical aspects with blogging and social networking tips, the beauty with photography and poetry, and the benefits for writers and readers. – The grand daddy of social media sites. Recommended starting point for social media research.

Pamorama (Pam Dyer) – A woman with a passion for social media.

Penn Olson – From Singapore, love their take on social media. Lots of interesting stats and fun stuff delivered in a digestible format.

PR 2.0 (Brian Solis) – Regular in-depth research into social media by author Brian Solis.

Seth’s Blog (Seth Godin) – Author of 12 best sellers, I suspect some people don’t think it coincidental that his last name contains the word “God”.

Six pixels of separation (Twist image, Mitch Joel) – I like Mitch’s take on social media, and he often shares worthwhile videos.

Social Media Examiner (Michael Stelzner) – Inspiring posts on using social media tools. I subscribe by email and click through almost every time.

The Top 50 social media blogs of 2010 – If the above weren’t enough, here’s the motherload.


Blogs – general

Escape from cubicle nation (Pam Slim) – Bless Pam for her friendliness and encouragement. She inspires people to make career changes and to feel good about it.

I will teach you to be rich (Ramit Sethi) – For Ramit, it’s all about how to make more money, whether getting a promotion, finding a side business, or investing wisely. Although targeted squarely at Gen Y, I love his no-BS passion, and he deserves an award for deconstructing his videos (every new subject is described in text accompaniment, so you know exactly what’s coming when.)

The art of non-conformity (Chris Guillebeau) – If it weren’t enough that Chris has set – and is successfully working on – his goal of travelling to every country in the world, like Pam Slim Chris is an inspiration for people wanting to do something different with their lives.  He is also a master at customer service – he will respond if you contact him.

The Happiness Project (Gretchen Rubin) – Gretchen’s mission is to remind readers about what’s important and how to be happier.  She’s a big fan of jumping up and down to lift the mood.

A VC (Fred Wilson) – Fred’s an avid blogger, music fan and venture capitalist with positions in Twitter, Etsy, Foursquare, Boxee and Tumblr. He provides insight into what’s up and coming and also shares advice for start ups. (Check out his MBA Mondays series.)

15 inno (Stefan Lindegaard) – Stefan is all about innovation.

Online dating insider – Sometimes you can learn from another industry. Dave Evans knows the online dating industry like no one else.

All Facebook – If you want to know anything about Facebook, this is the place to go. Truly.


Blogs – business

Bnet – Described as the “go-to place for management.” Many different subject-themed free enewsletter subscription options.

eMarketer – Constant research on on-line marketing behaviour. Makes me crave the paid subscription.

Get elastic ecommerce – Great, unbiased content on ecommerce created by Elastic Path software.

My wife quit her job – Bravo to this site for sharing the ins and outs of starting an online business. One of my faves.

Online business advisor – Business and management advice for managers, entrepreneurs and owners.

Practical ecommerce – Does a lot of service provider reviews (e.g. “cart of the week”), webinars, etc. Good stuff.

Smarta – A content-rich UK site for business owners and entrepreneurs. – Updates on the worlds of retail, ecommerce, social media.

Small Business Trends – Love this site. Many, many tips for small businesses, and regular contributor Lisa Barone is fabulous.

Storefront Backtalk (Evan Schuman) – Described accurately as techniques, tools and tirades about retail technology and eCommerce. Strong focus on security and PCI compliance issues.

Vertical response – Email marketing newsletter.


Blogs – job search

Careeractivist (Mark Swartz) – This site is dedicated to those who want to be employed in Canada and get the most out of their worklives. This is a career advice supersite: it surveys the Web and brings back articles on every aspect of employment from sites across the country, including top job banks, career blogs, coaching sites, and more. Also included are hundreds of advice columns from Mark Swartz, founder of this site and one of Canada’s leading career specialists.

Indeed – Not a blog, but one of the most popular job search engines.

Higher Bracket – You don’t have to be a paid member to receive their newsletter containing helpful advice on resumes, interviews, etc.

LinkedIn Blog – Obviously not exclusively about job searching, but a very helpful resource to hear about new enhancements to the tool.


Public Relations

Awardsync – Find awards for your industry, or promote your awards.

HARO (Help a reporter out, Peter Shankman) – Brings together journalists and sources – trust me, it’s worth checking out. Also great for the ads with Peter customizes.

PR Daily Newsletter (Ragan) – Excellent collection of PR and social media articles delivered daily.


Trends – I just LOVE the content they amass (and I mean, amass) on this site: cool web sites, cool tools, great tips. So much to learn.

PSFK – Great snapshots of neat ideas, products happening around the world. Newsletter is read by >500k people.

Springwise – Inspiring new business ideas from around the world. Makes you realize how smart and creative people are.

Trend Hunter – Canadian-based trend-watching experts.



RockethubIf you are a creative person and/or entrepreneur looking for support to launch your project, is the place to go. With a “trade, not aid” philosophy, sponsors (known as “fuelers”) match different donation levels in exchange for recognition benefits – anything from a customized song to a private party in your honour. Contact and tell him Alexa sent you.


Tools – facebook

Booshaka – Real-time facebook trending.

Facebook insights – Like Google Analytics but for your facebook fan page. – For discovering the most shared items on facebook. – Shows all your FB friends’ most recent likes (links, articles, pages, etc.) on one page.

Mari Smith – One of the best-known Facebook ambassadors has a comprehensive list of Facebook resources on her FB account.  Pretty much all you need.

Tabsite – Resource for creating custom Facebook landing pages.


Tools – general

Batch Book ( – Customer relationship management tool that integrates contact management, social media, and integrates with Google tools, Freshbooks, Mail Chimp and other services.

BizSugar – A social bookmarking site for business-related content. Users post and vote on the best business articles.

Copyscape – Check if your web content has been plagiarised. You can set up alerts with Copysentry (paid service). – A good resource for advice on all sorts of topics, included LinkedIn.

Inc. Guides – Great entrepreneurial guides from Inc. Magazine. Everything from writing a marketing plan to hiring a web designer to building a management team to…. – Incredible selection of colour palettes. Very helpful for directing web designers. – A really helpful site for naming a new business.

NameBoy – Enter one or two keywords, and nameboy will search available domains.

Password meter – Analyze the strength of your password.

Recorded Future – A more sophisticated Google alerts?

SmartBrief – Summaries of the day’s most important headlines, hand-picked from hundreds of media and trade publications, by industry.

Smashing Magazine – Great resource for design tips, and they have a huge amount of freebies (e.g. icons).

SurveyGizmo – Create free on-line surveys. Seems to have more options than Survey Monkey’s free version.

Tag Crowd – Make your own tag cloud from any text. Why is this important? Check out this advice from Dawn Richards, Human Resources expert: copy a job ad and paste it into a word cloud creator to highlight the key words for a particular position.  This way you can tailor your resume and/or cover letter to include these (and hopefully get picked up by the applicant screening software).   It’s also a good check to put your resume through it to see how you have highlighted your expertise.

Thoora – An automatic (rather that human-curated) aggregator of blog and traditional media content, ranked by popularity. The new way of finding the news. Not sure? Check it out. – Use this for finding details on companies or people. Fred Wilson describes it as “LinkedIn meets Yahoo Finance.” – A URL-shortener which password protects the link.  You can create a clue for the password.  Add a little mystery to your life!

Wordoid – Helps you with finding a catchy name for your service/site by auto-creating new words and doing a domain name search (is it available?).

YouTube Insights for Audience – Find out what your target demographic is watching.


Tools – Google

Google Apps for Business – You know how there are thousands of applications for the iphone? Google has tons of apps that work with its suite of Google tools. Check out the marketplace here.

Google Translate – Read this NYT article why it’s so good.

Wisestamp – Wisestamp makes it possible to create signatures with images, social media icons and other customization within gmail and other mail applications.

X-Ray search – Using specific syntax in a Google search makes it possible to find LinkedIn data that you might otherwise not be able to access with a free account


Tools – Twitter

CoTweet – Primarily for businesses where more than one person manages one or more Twitter accounts.

Exectweets – Find and follow the conversations by top business executives on Twitter.

FriendorFollow – See who you’re following who’s not following you back, vice versa, and with whom you have a reciprocal relationship. Similar service, TwitterKarma, is a convenient way to see all your followers/followings on a single page.

Follow Finder (by Google) – Follow Finder analyzes public social graph information (following and follower lists) on Twitter to find people you might want to follow.

Followerwonk Followerwonk lets you search Twitter biographies and then sort or filter by various criteria.

Formulists – Rather than having to individually select users to add to a list, Formulists lets you set your criteria (e.g. users like @alexasamuels, users interested in social enterprise) and it will automatically create that list. Clever.

Hootsuite – Robust web-based Twitter management tool: multi accounts, scheduling, stat tracking, LinkedIn/Facebook/ integration.

OneForty – A catalogue of the best Twitter tools out there. Quite astounding.

Replyz – Interesting concept – search questions that are being asked on Twitter and follow replies.

Shorty awards – Great way to find top Tweeters by category.

Socialoomph – Let’s you do lots of helpful things with Twitter, like scheduling your tweets and setting up alerts that email you recent tweets containing your keywords. I also like it because the guy who manages the application occasionally sends emails that help you better use the tool or explain concepts.

Tweetbeep – Like Google alerts for Twitter.

Tweetcloud – Look for users tweeting most frequently about specific words, or see what words the people you follow tweet about most.

Tweetdeck – A desktop application (vs. one that lives in the browser) to help manage single or multiple Twitter accounts.  I like it because I can set up ongoing searches, get my network’s LinkedIn statuses, immediately notify me when I get an @ mention.

Twellow – a yellow pages for Twitter

Twitalyzer – Want metrics? This shows you all sorts re: your Twitter account.

Twithawk – TwitHawk is a real time targeted marketing engine that will find people talking on twitter now by your chosen topic and location, allowing you to really hit your target mid conversation with ease.

Twitjobsearch – Job search engine for Twitter. Very little Canadian content, at this point.

Twitoria – How many of your followers are active?

Twitter Counter – Let’s you chart followers over time, but more importantly it’s helpful for finding Twitter users by keyword. This latter brilliant insight brought to you by Kristi Hines from Kikolani.

TwtQpon – Service to help you create coupons on Twitter and Facebook.

WeFollow – User-powered twitter directory.  Everyone who joins selects 3 categories. Just Tweet It and Twellow are also good for finding Tweeters by category.

This list courtesy of Rita Fundner (who was inspired by Antonia Zerbisias at the Toronto Star).


HASHTAGS (eg. #Egypt)

FOR JOURNOS (How to make the most of it)


BACKGROUNDS (To pimp your profile page)



TOOLS (For the obsessed)



Keyword feeds

Sency – Create a web site or blog widget with keyword-based automatically updating, real-time information. Has build-in spam filter.


Social search and monitoring

BoardTracker – a search for forums (or bulletin boards)

Flowtown – Wonder on what social networks your customers congregate? When all you have is an email address, Flowtown can give you a name, age, gender, occupation, location and all the social networks that person is on. VERY interesting potential.

Klout – Measures Twitter influence.

Kurrently – Free real-time search engine that combines real-time results from Twitter and Facebook in a simple, speedy format.

Omgili – Omgili (Oh My God I Love It) forum search engine lets you find communities, message boards, discussion threads about any topic. Omgili’s advanced search features make it the best search engine for forums out there.

OneRiot – Real-time web search

Row Feeder – Dump ALL your Twitter and Facebook mentions into Excel or use their built-in reports to analyze your social media presence.

Socialmention – Real-time social media analysis

Sprout Social – Update March 2011: Helpful comparison to Tweetdeck in Social Media Examiner. Subscription is $9/month.

SproutSocial creates a social media dashboard for businesses. It allows them to monitor their brand on the Web by monitoring things like tweets, reviews, blog posts and news. It helps businesses find their perfect customers by targeting the right buyers and those with influence while allowing them to manage their social contacts and connections. In essence, it’s a complete social customer relationship management tool for any business. (From NYT article.)

SwixThis review by Jay Baer should convince you to take a look at this tool.  And, at the time of writing (March 25, 2010), it’s FREE. Swix describes themselves as “the google analytics of social media.” Update August 2010 – Swix now charges a monthly fee.

Twazzup – Twazzup lets you see who is talking about your niche in Twitter quickly and painlessly.

Twitter search (advanced) – It may seem obvious, but it really is a great way to see what’s going on in the Twitterverse.

Twellow – The Twitter yellow pages. Find people by category. -Real-time search on a variety of sources (Twitter, blog posts, comments, etc.) – To check stats on popular Twitter topics flagged with a hashtag (#).

Wiki of social media monitoring tools – Be very afraid.


Search engines and SEO

Blekko – A new kind of search engine that enables searching specificity through the use of “slash tags”. It also makes transparent the criteria behind page rankings. Currently (August 2010) in beta, but if you follow them on Twitter you should get an invite code.

Clusty – Clusty queries several top search engines, combines the results, and generates an ordered list based on comparative ranking. This “metasearch” approach helps raise the best results to the top and push search engine spam to the bottom. But what really makes Clusty unique is what happens after you search. Instead of delivering millions of search results in one long list, Clusy groups similar results together into clusters. Clusters help you see your search results by topic so you can zero in on exactly what you’re looking for or discover unexpected relationships between items.

Dogpile – Metasearch similar to Clusy. Queries Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask.

Google Keyword Tool – Google’s free tool for suggesting keywords for subject areas.

Google’s search engine optimization starter guide – From Google themselves, how to do SEO. Nice. – Hunch gives customized recommendations and gets smarter the more you use it. (Think “semantic web.”)

Keywordenvy – At our most basic, KeywordEnvy is a service you can use to track your website’s rankings in the major search engines for specific keywords. At an advanced level, KeywordEnvy combines analytics to tell you how strong your keywords are – how much traffic they bring in, what their bounce rate is, and more.

Keywordeye – Enter a keyword and see the relative competitiveness of related keywords. Can help you think of alternative keywords.  (Thank you for the tip, Chris E.!)

Woorank – Web site analysis tool. Rankings use red/yellow/green colour scheme. Helpful suggestions for SEO improvement.


Bricks and Mortar

Foursquare – An application combining gaming, friending and physical locations. Lots of potential for businesses to incent customers to “check in.”

Groupon – Leverages the power of group discounts. For example, you can get a $100 massage for $50 if a min. of 50 people sign up.  Very interesting potential for businesses. – A master list of options for getting your business listed on major local search engines, yellow page sites and social local networks. – Similar to groupon, but for Toronto.

Yelp – One of the most popular review sites for local restaurants, shopping, businesses, etc.


Toronto networking

Likemind – Likemind is an excuse for random people to get together over breakfast. On the third Friday of the month, 8 am local time, people all over the world are hanging out simply for wanting to meet new people in an informal, agenda-free environment.

The Coop Network – A Leaside (Toronto) based networking group for women entrepreneurs. Monthly gatherings with food, drink, interesting speakers and amazing hosts who make it easy, fun and painless to network.


Case studies (social media)

SAMMY awards – The SAMMY Awards honor overall excellence and breakthrough achievement in Social Advertising, Media and Marketing. The SAMMYs are presented by DM2 Media, the publisher of DIGIDAY:DAILY and the host of DIGIDAY:SOCIAL, which includes hundreds of leading social media and marketing experts, journalists, insiders, marketers, publishers, and social technology visionaries.

Social media studies superlist (Interactive Insights Group) – Great starting point for researching case studies.

Case study library (WOMMA) – Resource list compiled by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association.

Case studies on line – Trying to be like a “Google” of case studies.

Facebook Top Fan Pages (KBuzz) – As selected by the KBuzz gang. Post includes link to a PDF which lists 2009 winners and a tip sheet for fan page best practices.


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sheila Baker May 12, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Hi Alexa, I thoroughly enjoyed your seminar on social networking at the Coop Network. It was really informative and you’re a very animated speaker. Looking forward to the group’s next event.

Thanks, Sheila Baker

2 Alexa May 13, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Sheila, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And thank *you* for exposing me to chocolate that’s actually good for you. Unlike unicorns, Santa Claus, tooth fairy, healthy chocolate is real! Amazing.

3 Nadine Monette December 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Hi Alexa,

Wow, your website is absolutely wonderful – you’re leading the way and the list of ressources are amazing.


4 Alexa December 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Nadine, thank you! I hope you get good use out of them.

5 Brittany at Sprout Social August 17, 2011 at 11:01 am

Hey Alexa,
Thanks for including Sprout Social on your resources list! Stay tuned for even more features coming soon…!

Brittany Morse
Online Marketing |

6 Alexa August 17, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Thanks for dropping by, Brittany. 🙂

7 Cais November 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Hi Alexa,

For the URL-shortener, I think you mean is a gaming startup.

8 Alexa November 17, 2011 at 8:37 am

Cais, you’re right. My apologies! Corrected now. Thanks for letting me know.

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