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Friday, April 4, 2008

Readers, Alerts and Analytics

Google Reader: On average I look at more than 200 posts a day. Some of it is for work. Some for my social edification. But most of my scouring has one base goal in mind, to locate contests, markets, and bloggers with excellent attitudes, advice and content.

Most of these people don't know me. I am getting better about popping in and leaving a message if I feel they delivered something comment worthy, but most of the time I drift by, especially when others have already echoed my sentiments. (I dislike adding to the "me too" crowd.)

But with my blog reader, I can see most posts in real time. Live Journal is the only one that has a delay so it might be hours before I know anyone posted.

Note about blog readers: I should warn you that if you post something you later deem inappropriate--it's too late. You might remove it from your blog, but it's still on the reader and in a couple of other places where digital information is cached. Always be mindful of what you post.

I've seen more than one blogger with egg on his face. And while I don't kiss and tell, I can tell you my opinion of those bloggers has diminished greatly.

Google Alert: This is a handy little tool that will ping me when someone has mentioned my name, my book's name, or any other series of keywords. I really like Google Alert. It's very unobtrusive, especially for something you want to passively watch to see if the viral community is talking about you.

Google Analytics: I have not used Google Analytics. Not because it's not handy, but because it gives far more information than I need at this point in my career. I think it's more useful to people who are selling products, but it's also good for gauging how your book is doing and how often people are clicking on your links to check them out.

Say what you want of Google, but this company has it all. Check them out and see for yourself.


Anonymous said...

I use Google Alert for my name and my pen name and got good info at first. Now it's busy showing me every Dorothy on the internet and even gives me people with the more common spelling of my last name. It makes me laugh. I learn about a lot of wedding and funerals.

Maria Zannini said...

I didn't know this at first, but I was told that you'll want to put any keywords inside quote marks. That way Google Alert will look for those specific words in context.

It's a little easier with Zannini. I think there's an Italian representative and a geneticist with that name. I don't have to fight too hard for a place on the net.

Carol Burge said...

I use Google alerts (with quote marks), and I'm happy with the results I get. Actually, I just learned how to use that tool. There's a doctor with my name, and like you, Maria, I have to fight for a place on the net. :)

I use quite a few Google tools and gadgets. Besides Google alerts, I use Google documents (sometimes), G-mail, Blogger, Google reader (for blogs), and of course I use the Google search engine (there are more I could mention, but I'm not going to go into all of them - I can't remember them all). :)

Gmail is way better then Yahoo mail any day. So are Google groups.

Can you tell I really like Google? LOL

Maria Zannini said...

One of my frineds finally convinced me to try g-mail. So far NO spam and only one missed message that I'm aware of.

G-mail will be my lifeline when I change servers again. It's not dependent on any server so it travels with me without having to change my email address.