11/7/08
11:03 am

MacMost Now 156: Searching For Yourself

Wondering what people are saying about you or your company online? You can search Google for yourself, or have regular search results sent to you via email or RSS with Google Alerts. You can also search Twitter and Flickr, or use a service like Filtrbox.

Video Transcript
Gary Rosenzweig: Hello, and welcome to MacMost Now. I'm Gary. Today, let's talk about searching for yourself on the internet.
The search for yourself can be deeply spiritual and rewarding. But I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about when you type your name into Google to see if anyone is talking about you. There's actually some better ways to do it then performing a basic search. Let's go and take a look.
So searching for yourself is as simple as going to Google and typing your name in, but if you have a common name, you may actually want to put quotations around it just to narrow the search results a little bit more. But there's a better way of doing it than this. You can use a service called Google Alerts. So Google Alerts can be found at Google.com/alerts. You don't have to sign up for anything. All you have to do is type in the search terms just like you would in the Google search engine. Then you select what type of search. 'Comprehensive' searches everything, but you can limit it to just news, blogs, the web, video, or discussions in Google groups. Then you can go and say how often you want to be alerted, as it happens, once a day, or once a week, and give your email address. You get a confirmation email, and then from that point on Google will perform regular searches for whatever it is you're searching for and you get the results via email. So you can search for your name, you can search for your company's name, you can search for a product that you particularly like, and you can get those results automatically without having to perform the search all the time. If you're saving your email, it even provides a nice record for you to go back and look at to see who was talking about you or your company.
Now if you have a Google account and you log in, you have even more control over your Google Alerts. You can go ahead and edit them. You can also receive them as RSS feeds rather than emails. RSS feed means you can add it to an RSS reader, like My Yahoo, or iGoogle, or anything you may use. So instead of getting emails, you have someplace that you can check every day and see the results of a Google search for you or your company.
Another option you may want to look at is a specialty site like Filtrbox. Filtrbox basically allows you to do the same thing as Google Alerts, but with a lot more controls and lots of really cool graphs and charts and things like that. You can get a free account and track up to five different terms, and there's pay accounts for more comprehensive things. So if you have a company or professional blog and you really want to get into this, you might want to check out a site like Filtrbox.
But nowadays it's not enough just to search the web to see if somebody's talking about you. You want to also search the Microblogs. Microblogs are places like Twitter. You can easily search sites like Twitter through interfaces that they have.
So to search for yourself on Twitter, all you need to do is go to search.twitter.com. Then you type in your name or whatever you want to search for, and you get the results. Now, the great thing about it is you can also pick out the RSS feed for this and add it to your RSS reader so it's easy to keep track of what people are saying about you in Twitter.
Another place that you can go is TweetScan. TweetScan basically does the same thing, but with a little extra added functionality. So check that out.
You can also search photos. You can go to Flickr for instance and search for your name there, and you'll see any photos that have been tagged with your name. You can also search for some of your friends and maybe if you're in those same photos, add the tag yourself.
So if you're a casual web user, you may never have a need for this. But sometimes it might still be good to see if an old friend mentioned you in a blog post, or comment, or tweet. So it's worth while doing every once in a while or at least knowing how to do it. If you are a web professional, then it's definitely worth while to see who's talking about you online, or who's linking to your blog or webpage. You can also use this to track your competition, so it does come in handy.
So this week marked the very first edition of the MacMost email newsletter. Hundreds of people subscribed and I sent it out yesterday. You can subscribe at MacMost.com/newsletter. I included a summary of what went on during the week in Apple and Mac news, I included links to all the videos, a quick tip, even product reviews and recommendations. So check it out and sign up before the second edition comes out.
Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 156: Searching For Yourself”

    Ian
    11/7/08 @ 12:09 pm

    This is quite a different look Gary, have you been meditating?! I found the link courtesy of
    http://www.twitter.com/netvideo

    11/7/08 @ 5:52 pm

    Gary – thanks for the mention! Just wanted to point out that Filtrbox monitors mainstream news, blogs AND twitter and friendfeed. One stop shopping…

Comments Closed.