In yesterday's KMPro panel on Blogs in Business I neglected to mention an interesting comment about the social nature of blogs from Robert Scoble.
He said that while he can get a web feed for a search of Microsoft longhorn, these search results are "purified sugar." While the search feeds are useful, they don't give you much of the dirt and grit and other vegetable matter in an individual weblog (that's the point). Scoble likes to browse through so many blogs because he wants to hear about the kooky things people do, or the groovy applications that people develop. These things tell us about the person and their yearnings that a single-post extract won't give you.
Just like chatting around the water cooler. You could listen for only those things about Your Product, but the nature of the water cooler is that Your Product will only be discussed in off-hand or unusual ways. It certainly won't be the company line, but it will likely be much more real. To get that level of conversation, you also have to put up with the discussions about how bad the Bears are doing or about the latest cute thing my baby did (first bike trailer ride!).