Five Tools Chris Brogan Uses for Listening and 8 Ways We Get the Most From Listening Tools

Getting to the Heart of the Data

Can You Hear the Internet?

In a beautiful post tonight, Chris Brogan highlighted the value of listening. He pointed out how it’s too easy to

rush right into the “speaking” side of the toolbox without giving much thought to the “listening” part.

and he offered his favorite tools for a company who wants to be “listening to their audience, their customers, their partners, and their detractors.”

I’m so with him. You can find the five tools Chris uses most for listening here.

What to Listen for and How to Get the Most from Listening Tools

Just as when we write we have to know what we want to say. We have to know what we’re listening for . . . we’re listening for what people aren’t saying, but want to.

  1. Listen for quantity of response. Lots of folks saying the same thing is worth taking note of. Are they a crowd or a mob following each other? Are they a trend of individuals who have discovered something worth pointing out?
  2. Listen for the odd response that is way out of line. Someone on the edges of the responses could be offering am Einstein-like response.
  3. Listen for the spaces between the words. Ask some question about what’s not being said and listen again and again.
  4. Listen for the source of the speaker and the bias the speaker might have. Listen for who’s trying to get attention, who wants favor with the listeners.
  5. Listen for the things that you don’t want to hear. They’re the most important information you’ll gather on any listening trek.
  6. Listen to find the people who have more to offer than opinions, but innovative ideas and product plans. If you can, find a way to make a relationship with them.
  7. Listen to find the evangelists who love your company, who defend you when you’re attacked. Let them know they’re appreciated.
  8. Listen for ways that you might bring back what folks said to show the people who work hard on your products that people are paying attention to them..

Listening isn’t all data, all quantity and remarks. Listening is not a science, but an art that brings in human thought. Listening is the most important part of a conversation. Conversations are how communities begin.

Don’t let the tools draw lines around the way you hear.

I don’t. Brogan doesn’t either. Listen every way you know how.

What other ways do you use tools to listen to what people aren’t saying.

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!
Check out Models and Masterminds too


  1. says


    I enjoyed having an opportunity to spend some time with you!

    Speaking of listening – it all comes down to what you’re going to do with what you hear … what will you change? What will you do differently? How will you use what hear to make the world a better place?

    I’ve been working on a some how-tos around listening for nonprofits – thought I’d share them here

  2. says

    I so enjoyed our time together. I’m still thinking about it.

    Such a great point you make . . . it all comes down to what you’re going to do with what you hear … what will you change?

    How many times have we heard plenty and not let it change a thing?

    Thank you for the link. I just went over there. Excellent resource — everything you do is. :)

  3. says

    Great post and thanks to you and Chris for sharing this! Listening is critical for anyone engaging in social media, it’s the whole power behind social media — the information you can gain is incredible :-)

    Maria Reyes-McDavis

  4. says

    I so love the title – can you hear the internet? I think for me some speak to me more than others or my listening needs certain folks more. You and Chris both speak to me, sometimes like a whisper from my shoulder – good stuff

    hey — I will be out of communicato until the 27th – do me a fav and stop by Best of Mother Earth and give my guest authors a hello!!

  5. says


    Thanks to you and Chris for the list.

    The subject area is so important; I just wanted to add my two favorite listening related tips.

    First, Stephen Covey emphasizes that you should listen with your eyes as much or more than you listen with your ears.

    Second, I always remind business executives that you need to be listening to your best customers because they represent your competitor’s best prospects. If you aren’t listening to them, someone else surely will!

    Thanks again,


  6. says

    Hi Web Success Diva,
    I think that maybe listening on social media might be more fun than trying to participate at times. Asking the question and seeing where it goes is more interesting than answering one. :)

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