We’ve looked at the importance of reputation management before – the idea that you really need to keep track of who is talking about you on the web, so you can step in to the conversation. Watchlister is a new service offering to help keep you in touch – though at the moment it’s for OS X users only, even though it has a home on the web.
Watchlister uses some of the same tools you can to track mentions of your name or brand: Google Alerts, Twitter, Technorati. But it brings a couple of other things to the table. First, it attempts to remove duplicates from the results, so you can watch more without redundant notifications. Second, it applies some metrics to try to get the most important results to the top of the list (by either relevance or date).To try out Watchlister, download and install their OS X Dashboard widget. This allows you to create up to 10 watchlists, with results displayed on your Dashboard and optionally sent to Growl (you can also have the site send them to Twitter). In my testing, it’s done a reasonable job of picking up relevant discussion quickly.
Running the Dashboard widget gets you a free account at the pro level (planned to be $15 per month at launch). That’s because “when the widget updates your Watchlists, it will also update other users Watchlists as well.” So you’re trading CPU cycles for an account. On my Mac Pro, the performance hit is so small as to be completely unnoticeable.