Keeping up with the latest industry trends and information is not always easy. However, like my favorite tagline says "You don't have to be a genius to do intelligent things". Sometimes, the simplest things are right there, at our fingertips.
Google has a great little tool that helps me personally keep up with the latest industry information. It's called Google Alerts. It provides me with a similar experience as a RSS feed, but is a little different. Once in a while an RSS feeds don't give me what I want. A good example would be an update from a blog that I like to follow. Every once in a while the author of the blog could be having an off day (or could be lacking creativity). His writing abilities and the information he provides are not as (well let's say) "useful to me".
With Google alerts I only get the best stories and the best information, from the web, emailed straight my inbox. Simply put, updates of the latest relevant Google results (web pages, news, etc.) based on my queries/interests. I even get to see a preview of the results I'll receive. These include 'daily as-it-happens', 'once daily', or 'once weekly' – depending on my preference of course.
I've personally used Google alerts for stuff like monitoring a developing news story, keeping current on my competitor as well as news in my industry. I've even used it to keep tabs on my favorite sports teams from time to time, not to mention news about the latest iPhone release.
It's so easy to use, and I can turn it on or off as often as I want. Here's how it works:
Step 1: Do a Google search for the words "Google alerts". You can click here if you'd like to do that search right now.
Step 2: Sign in to your Google account by clicking on the red "SIGN IN" button at the top right-hand corner.
Step 3: Use the drop-down menus to select the parameters you would like to have for this search. For this example, I've chosen the following parameters:
- Search query: Latest iPhone
- Result type: News
- How often: As-it-happens
- How many: Only the best results
- Delivered to: My email address will automatically show up here.
As you can see from the Image above, Google Alerts provides me with the preview of the results that will be emailed to me based on the parameters that I have set. Of course there are more parameters to choose from… For example I could have chose 'Videos' or 'Blogs' instead of 'News'.
At any rate, I get exactly what I want in my inbox daily and it helps me to stay informed with the information I'm looking for, as-it-happens.
Hopefully you've found this to be useful. Please, feel free to share this with those you care about. Also, we'd love to hear how you use Google Alerts! Share your answer in the comment box below.
Don Cormier (President of Doncor.com Inc.)