One of the things that helps a lot in a product manager's job is knowing what people are saying about your product(s). One way of doing this is face to face communication, and it's usually the best way. Unfortunately, I'm not really able to visit with all of our customers on a regular basis - there are too many of them, and they are too widely scattered (all over the world). We have local people, and they talk to customers (and in turn, to me) - and I visit with various customer groups at shows, conferences, etc. Still, it's not enough - I really need to get more. Enter the BottomFeeder
One of the more useful things I built int Bf is support for the RSS/Atom feeds that various search engines support - you can get results in a feed from:
And many others. I don't use pubsub, because their whole email subscription system was an extra step; call me lazy. It also helps to check Technorati on a regular basis. What I've done is set up search feeds for these engines looking for references to these terms: Cincom, Smalltalk, VisualWorks, ObjectStudio, James Robertson, BottomFeeder. I run across comments made about my company and/or its products pretty darn quick this way; it fills in the gap created by the impossibility of meeting regularly with all customers - not to mention the fact that it finds commentary by potential customers as well.
If you're involved in product promotion or customer relations in any way, you need to be tracking this kind of information. Get yourself an aggregator and start searching!