Google Alerts, Social Mention, and Spiral 16: Tracking Topics and Trends on the Web

Hopefully, you are aware of Google Alerts, a tool provided by Google, for free (as always) that notifies you when your name, your product, or just about anything under the sun is being discussed online. Google Alerts will let you know if your name has made the local news, for example, or if your daughter's soccer team got mentioned for winning regionals.

There are other sites that can help you keep track of things, too - Google isn't alone out there. Here are two for you to try:

1. Spiral 16

2. Social Mention.

Both of these services provide similar information to Google Alerts, but they target social media and they give more info to you than just links. Check them out, they are useful tools for you.

How?  Names are just one thing to search.  I have alerts set up, for example, under the phrase "death penalty" because I co-author a blog on capital punishment. (FYI, I also have an alert set up for that topic at Google Scholar, it's proven to be very helpful, too.)