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September 04, 2007

Finding yourself in the strangest places

Originally uploaded by bkmcae
I recently subscribed to a Technorati search for my Internet handle (bkmcae), and was a bit surprised to see that this photo of me and my friend Nate sharing a special moment turned up on a blog post about branding.

For a long time, people like me have been telling people like you that you need to subscribe to a Google alert for your association's name and URL. I'm afraid it's not so simple anymore.

I've recently come to discover some other Google (or Technorati) alerts that we all should be subscribed to if we aspire to be full participants in the online conversation:
  1. Websites of sister organizations and programs with their own web presences (Political Action Committees, Foundations, Public Relations campaigns, etc.). You might even go as far as to subscribe to alerts for your chapters' websites or blogs.
  2. Blogs of particular importance in your industry. I have subbed to alerts for a few of my members' blogs. I may eventually decide to subscribe to alerts of friendly or not-so-friendly organizations.
  3. Anywhere you have a bio or public profile (official ones, like on your association's website, should show up in your regular URL search, but unofficial ones, like on LinkedIn, for example, wouldn't).
  4. Web profiles of your CEO and elected leaders (official or unofficial).
  5. Your internet handle.
What do you think? It might be overkill, but simply citing your association's name or URL in a blog post is NOT the only way that people will talk about you online. When you're involved in a conversation, you don't just listen to what people say about you. You listen to what they say about others. And in some cases, it's good to know what others are saying about certain others.

I've just started doing this, so if you're interested, I can report back on how long it's taking to monitor this stuff and if anything useful has come of it.

Tagged: ; ; ;


Matt Baehr said...

Great call Ben. Just today, I got email from an ex-coworker who saw me on Flickr from photos you posted from ASAE. Who knew?

You have to be aware of what is out there. Luckily I have kept my career as a super hero under wraps, even on the internet.

Dave S. said...

Speaking of finding yourself in some strange I found you in a previously unnoticed part of my feed reader: Virginia Association of Realtors steps into the Web 2.0 world - Part 1 of 3. Nice write-up so far and good to see you are making a big splash in your new position. Cool stuff.

Greg said... are dead on here. While it can be overwhelming at times I currently receive more than 10 Google alerts. I include partner organizations, for profit competitors, our elected leadership, key staff here and those are just the work related ones. I also have some strictly personal alerts as well.

I also regularly check my profile at least every other month. I have used this site a number of times to track down hard to find folks.

Fred said...

Dang... you mean I have to set Google alerts for "world's coolest guy" and "senor_beerdude_2k"?

Dennis D. McDonald said...

Ben, another reason to subscribe to different alerts is to see how current the information is.

One Google Alert I subscribe to is for a previous client. This past week I received an alert for a press release that was issued by that client over two years ago! It referred to staff and organizational units that no longer exist.

I don't know how often this happens but it's a good idea to check the dates of the news you receive when you subscribe to such "free" services.

Tony Rossell said...

Ben -- Great points. Very helpful as usual. Google alerts are so easy, how can you not do it. Tony

Ben Martin, CAE said...

@ Matt: Doh! Your secret is out!
@ Dave: Thanks for noticing! I feel so welcomed to the RE world.
@ Greg: 10 is a lot. I wish Google would find a way to blend all my alerts into a single daily email.
@ Fred: Sigh. Yes.
@ Dennis: More often than you might expect. I think I get old "alerts" 2-3 times per week.
@ Tony: I agree, but they've got to find a way to get all my alerts into one daily email.

Max Kalehoff said...

Good points! Also, thanks for making that photo public/accessible on Flickr via Creative Commons. Your picture says a thousand words!