Case Study 4: Google Alerts

15 Feb

By: Gabriela Gonzalez

Google Alerts can find some interesting stories and facts you may have never known about without its watchful eye.

“The service was created by Gideon Greenspan, a Ph.D. student at Israel’s Technion and long-time Macintosh developer,” said Jonathan Dube, of the Poynter Institue.

It just so happens that a Herald Reporter obtained news of a letter written to Florida Governor Charlie Crist asking him to pardon Jim Morrison of The Doors posthumously.

He got an awesome story that no one else had because he had alerts on the governor.

Signing up is free, and it only takes a moment. When you sign up, articles, blogs and whatever other news outlets you choose with your keyword are delivered directly to your inbox.

Google Alerts goes through about 4,500 news sources a day, Dube said. That is power.

The New York Times has an alert-tracking system, but it became a subscription service. Yahoo offers free alerts, but it seems no system can beat the Google Alert.

For financial news, Dube said Forbes and Market Watch also have an alert system that is free.

So, why use Google Alerts or any other tracking system for any other reason other than the fact that you want to be the reporter with the story no one else has?

Alerts can be used for many things, said Melinda Storrs, who gives online tips for marketing entrepreneurs. Other than helping you keep tabs on certain subjects or even teams, they can help you keep track of yourself and your online profile.

Not only can alerts help you keep track of yourself and offer new story ideas, but they could point to potential sources and new interests.

The most important and obvious reason why Google Alerts and other alert systems are so useful is because they save you time. They send to your inbox what you could only perhaps find by sitting at a table reading for the rest of your life.

We don’t have 1,000 hours in a day to read every newspaper and look for those keywords we are so interested in or the words that pertain to our beat, Dube said. It is impossible.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: