In Gerris lingo, we would call the "tracking online chatter" executing an Online Conversation Audit and then maintaining ongoing online intelligence-gathering and analysis.
An Online Conversation Audit is a thorough analysis of a client's brand perception and reputation online, with particular focus on the client's conversation in question (e.g. what are they saying about me, what are they saying about my product, what are they saying about my service) in all the relevant blogs, forums, websites, etc. and gives the clients and us a baseline understanding of where online conversation stands at the moment -- where the conversation is happening, its intensity (or non-existence), its tone (positive, negative, neutral), its momentum, who is involved in these conversations, who the leaders in the community are, and what the language and "culture" each community having these conversations is.
This is important because it lays out where the conversations are happening, what the conversation are about, and offers a less-focused map of general, topical, conversation that can then be made more precise based on the keywords and topics that are most interesting and useful to you.
After this initial analysis is made, and an understanding of the situation is established, decisions can be made as to what parts of the conversation you wish to focus and invest the resources to track and analyze on an ongoing basis. This would be the ongoing intelligence-gathering and analysis.
Boiled down, this is all called Online Brand Intelligence, which can go hand-in-hand with operational campaigns such as blogger outreach and blogger engagement in the form of online brand promotion and protection, including crisis management.