Google Alerts are “email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries”.
This is a very handy service if you have specific topics you like being kept up to date with.
Here’s the Google Alert form at www.google.com.au/alerts
Setting it up
There’s a few options:
- Search query: Complete with your topic of choice. Be specific here, otherwise you may be overwhelmed!
- Result type: Are you after News? Blogs? Videos? Discussions? Books? You can also choose Everything to be sure!
- How often: Choose from “As it happens’, ‘Once a day’ or ‘Once a week’
- How many: Two choices here – ‘Only the best results or ‘All results’
- Deliver to: Your email address.
I’m currently writing a musical based on Rapa Nui (or Easter Island).
Here’s the alert I set up and a sample of the responses I received.
I’ve found the system excellent. Just two days in, I received an alert about the final stages of an expedition that paddled a traditional outrigger around the Polynesian ‘triangle’ of New Zealand / Hawaii / Easter Island. Then I received an alert on an update to 360Cities with panoramic walk rounds of the Rano Raraku quarry where the stone heads were carved. Two very useful stories within one week!