How We Discover Many Stories: Google Alerts
ONCE AGAIN, it is always amazing what Google Alerts sends our way. If a newspaper in the Middle East mentions “Barbados” or one of the dozens of other words we have programmed – wham! We have the story on our desks five minutes later. Similarly, folks around the world who are interested in, for instance, “offshore investments” or “Barbados politics” or other subjects we cover use Google Alerts to receive instant notification when Barbados Free Press or other media publish a relevant article.
These folks may have never heard of us before, but if they set an alert and we cover their subject, they receive BFP’s article without us doing a thing.
Think of Google Alerts as a standing internet search on any word or topic – being made on your behalf 24/7 – with the results instantly emailed to you.
Working Together: BFP’s Readers Set Their Own Alerts And Then Inform Us About Stories
When we broke the story of the Barbados Tourism Authority Chairman arranging to break security at Cricket World Cup, it was because we received a Google Alert for “Barbados” within minutes of the Financial Express publishing their story. If one of us is actually at our computer when the alert comes in, Barbados Free Press can break news hours or even days ahead of the traditional Barbados media and newspapers.
We see it all the time: we cover a story first and then the Barbados newspapers pick it up only after they read about it at Barbados Free Press. (The Nation News has even sent out a photographer to shoot the same photo that we first published. It’s ok Nation News – you can use photos we shot any time. No need to send out another photographer. If you’re going to steal our story idea without credit, hey, you might as well steal Shona’s photos too!)
Many of our readers set their own alerts and then notify us when they find something noteworthy on the net. While there is much duplication as you would expect, the differences in wording and interests means that we receive many new stories each day from our readers – stories that we would never have come across without our readers’ assistance.
You Can Join Our Research Team
So this is a big Thank You to all our readers who send us dozens of interesting pieces every day. By creating their own Google Alerts about topics that interest them, BFP’s readers become additional eyes and ears for us all.
We don’t have the staff or time to cover even 10% of the tips we receive – we wish we could cover them all – but please keep them coming because there are some real GEMS in there every day! (That’s the best I can do at humour after working all night. 🙂 )
This is from the Google Alerts webpage…
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.
Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:
* monitoring a developing news story
* keeping current on a competitor or industry
* getting the latest on a celebrity or event
* keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams
You can check out Google Alerts and start your own notifications here)