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Go Google Yourself!
December 3, 2008

Knowledge is power. And knowing who is talking about you is even more powerful. The way to keep track of your name, and any other, online is with Google Alerts.

It sends you regular email updates from the web, from blogs and other related internet venues of whatever topic you tell it to follow. And the absolute first thing everybody uses this for is your own name. And your company name.

It won't send you links to stuff for any time prior to when you sign up -- if you want that, use Google as a search engine. But if anything new comes up with your name on it, then you'll get a message with a link to that reference. By using these alerts for other names as well as yours, you can find out what is being said about whom, who is saying it, how often and other bits of information.

But don't stop with names. The search term could be anything, including subjects like design styles, types of materials you work with, trends like green jewelry, names of competing companies -- you name it, Google will track it for you. The service can become a sort of ear-to-the-ground trend spotter for you. Use it to track hobbies and other personal interests, too.

And it couldn't be easier to use. Go to http://www.google.com/alerts and just type in what you want to see, click how often to inform you (daily, weekly, etc.) and type in an e-mail address where to send the info. That's it. Any questions you might have can be answered on the Google Alerts FAQ page.

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