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How We Do Content Discovery

Hello friends of Balsamiq!

This is part 4 of our 5-part mini-series of blog posts about how we do marketing.

Here's the full list:

  1. The Balsamiq Mantras
  2. The Balsamiq Marketing Checklist
  3. Tools we Use for Brand Monitoring
  4. How We Do Content Discovery
  5. Tools we Use for Social Scheduling.

Today's fun topic: Content Discovery!

Content Discovery

Content Discovery usually refers to platforms and algorithms to help you discover content you or your community may enjoy.

Most social media platforms these days offer integrated features for content discovery, such as the "suggested posts" on Facebook or Twitter.

We tend to use a broader definition of Content Discovery: for us it means all the activities we do related to finding excellent content, no matter the tool or channel.

A big part of our mission to help rid the world of bad software is to help people learn how to make better software. Consequently, a lot of what we look for and share is about user experience (UX). We also share about other topics that our community cares about: entrepreneurship, working remotely, and others.

In the past, we used to share content we randomly found on the web as we found it. Recently, since we hired our new community manager Jessica, we've been able to better organize our work and look for interesting content to share almost every day.

Newsletters, websites, blogs, etc.

To help us "see what's new", we created a page in our internal wiki, containing a growing list of sources to look at: websites, blogs, newsletters, Twitter accounts, Facebook groups, online communities, etc.


We browse these sources and carefully read and vet a lot of articles. If we're not sure, we ask our teammates if something is worth sharing or not.

It's a very time-consuming task, but we want to be very sure that the content we are about to share is worth of our Community's time.

Another source of links to share - my favorite - are my colleagues. Thanks to Balsamiq's Professional Development Policy, a lot of us spend quite a bit of time studying and reading, so it's common for us to discover amazing resources and read extensive articles on what interests us.


Pivotal Tracker

Pivotal Tracker is a story-based project planning tool quite popular among Agile development teams. We mainly use it as a bug and feature requests tracker to develop Balsamiq Mockups.

Since we had already adopted the tool for other teams, we decided to create a new Pivotal project to keep track of all the shared content, and where we shared them. Serving as social shares repository is not Pivotal's primary use, but I found a way to adapt it to our needs as Community Managers.


Whenever we find an article we'd like to share, we add a story to Pivotal about it, including the following information:

  • the title of the article
  • its URL
  • where we want to share it ("big4" stands for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin)
  • the author's Twitter account (we like to @-mention them on Twitter, they deserve the credit)
  • the short message(s) we'll use to share the content

If our Twitter followers seem particularly delighted with a certain piece of content, we'll also add the label "Recurrent" to the story. In this way, we are able to quickly find and tweet it again after some weeks or months.

Each story has a little table at the top with "story type", "points", "state" of the story itself, etc. It's something very important when it comes to tracking bugs and feature requests, but we don't use it for our marketing purposes.

What we Like About Pivotal Tracker

  • It does its job: once you get used to it, it's very quick and smooth.
  • Collaboration is one of its strengths, and it's showing now that the team grows.
  • It has a free option, and the paid plans are very affordable. Here's the full pricing info.

What we'd Like to See Improved

  • Pivotal Tracker is kind of rigid tool: it has default settings, prebuilt workflows and specific language and concepts. Which is perfect for a team of developers but it doesn't work so well in other, hybrid contexts. We'd like it to have more flexibility so that we could enjoy it more in a context different to software development.
  • Another problem is, whilst it gives me a very granular view of all the tasks on a specific content, I find it hard to get the overall view of the Content Discovery's state of play.

As you can see, Content Discovery is simple: it just requires a lot of reading and a simple tracking tool. 🙂

Do you have any advice for us? How do you do Content Discovery at your company?

Next week we'll wrap up the series talking about Social Scheduling. See you soon!

Francesca for the Balsamiq Team

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Comments (2)

  1. Hi Francesca, great read! I can certainly see how I can use some of this on our own project 🙂

    Thank you!