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Keeping an ear out...

KeepinAnEarOut Let's say you're interested in something and you want to keep an ear out for new mentions of it on the internet. How can you do that without searching for it every day? 

Google Alerts is one option--- you put in your search terms, and Google Alerts emails you when there are new hits with those terms. If you prefer RSS to email, alerts are also available as an RSS feed that you can add to your feed reader.

I set up two alerts last week with a library focus to see how it works: one for "Madison" + "public library", and one for "Sun Prairie Public Library." I opted for daily digests for the email alerts so I'm not overwhelmed by email.

Google Alerts 
Click on the image to enlarge

Most of the alerts haven't been too exciting so far, but there were two that caught my eye:

  • The Sun Prairie Star's website now links to the Sun Prairie Public Library under their "Local Links"  (in the "S" section)
  • Madison Public Library was mentioned on a blog where the writer discusses moving to the United States and spending time at the library learning English (she developed a love of libraries and went on to work at the library and earn her MLS!). 

I already know that I may need to tweak my alerts to catch the information I'd like, but I can definitely see some potential for Google Alerts.

Here are some good blog posts with more info:

Comments

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I have several Google Alerts set up, they're very helpful for tracking local news, mention of your library, etc. Also, I like BackTweets for tracking Twitter posts (http://backtweets.com)

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