But some web-based alert services are better than others.
My alphabet soup method hasn’t been all that reliable.
And unfortunately, I’m discovering that that the free “Google Alert” service I’ve used for that last couple of years hasn’t been much better.
Several communication experts I respect have been experiencing the same thing.
Apparently, as it re-focuses its service priorities, Google is content to let its direct alert service (for names, keywords, and topical phrases) slide down to a lower echelon.
That’s what many top organizations do; when they decide to launch a new initiative or program, they move quickly to de-emphasize something else.
I should’ve guessed.
About 90% of the Google Alerts I received in 2014 for SCN – the School Communicators Network – were these:
• Secure Community Network (SCN): This linked me to updates from an assistant police commissioner in NYC. Whew! I sure wouldn’t trade jobs with this guy!
• Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN): This linked me to info about the hypothalamus. Huh? Think I’m kidding. Be my guest.
• Soybean Cyst Nemotode (SCN): This linked me to the mysteries of “pest control and costing” (which Cindy wanted to learn more about… wonder why?)
• Sports Challenge Network (SCN): This linked me to a site promoting celebrities and bowling. I actually didn’t mind Google getting my little ol’ SCN confused with this one. I grew up in Flint. I love bowling!
• Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (SCN): This linked me to the good works of a band of nuns serving communities from Kentucky to Arkansas. Once again, I don’t know how Google got us confused. But I better not joke about it. (Karma, you know.)
• SupplyChainNetwork (SCN) – This linked me to an organization that boosts our national economy by improving the efficiencies and processes at our various coastal ports. That “boosts our national economy” part doesn’t sound like any SCN I know!
So, given this rag-tag mish-mash regularly flowing into my inbox, what’s a better alternative?
Here are two services that I’ll be investigating.
If you’re interested in receiving email notifications whenever your name, school district, or personal interest topics, you may want to give these a look, too.
MENTION offers a significant improvement over Google Alerts.
This is where many former Google Alert users are going.
Another highly praised service is TalkWalker.
You might want to poke around this one also.
I’d be curious to know what you think.
Anything that’ll help me move past “pest control” and celebrity bowling in 2015 is sorely needed.
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