Friday, January 7, 2011

Go Google Yourself--Automatically

Admit it, you google yourself.  Don't sweat it, google's a verb now. Who hasn't, by now, googled themselves to see what turns up?

But how often do you 'google' yourself? Once a day? A week? Once in a blue moon? How would you know if someone has cut you off on the internet superhighway in the last few days?  'HOW DARE YOU?! OMGWTFBBQ!' just doesn't have the same effect if the message was posted many many months ago and you're just finding it now.

So what are you going to do?  Google yourself everyday?  What if you sprain something?  Like your patience?

The solution:

Google Alerts does your googling for you and send you new results as often as you like.

So let's say I'm an author, "Jane Doe" and I recently wrote a book called "Anonymous Girls R Us" and I want to know what people are saying about it, but I don't want to google "Jane Doe" and "Anonymous Girls R Us" every day. It's tedious. I want it to be an assembly line, give me the results as people are posting them online.

Google Alerts does that for you.  I put "Jane Doe" and "Anonymous Girls R Us" as the search terms (they are in quotes because I want exactly Jane Doe. Otherwise the results might have something like: A doe found Jane in the forest).

I want to see what the blogosphere is saying, so I choose 'blogs' as the type of results I want. Then I can specify, when do I want these results?  Once a day? A week? And how do I want to get those results? In my email? Or created into my own special RSS feed? Click 'Create Alert' and you're done!

Here's a Youtube video for the visually inclined.  This video is not mine, but it shows you how easy it is:

If you want the nitty gritty stuff, or if you have a common name, check out Google's get started guide to help to filter out the bad results.

It doesn't even have to be your name, it can be your brother's name, your company's name, your boss's name (if you really want to go there), your favorite no-name celebrity's name, etc. Go nuts! You can create up to 1000 alerts.

Googling yourself is so old school. 
Use Google Alert and you'll never go back.

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