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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Google Alerts and Why You Need Them

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Google Alerts and Why You Need Them

Dumb me. I didn't even know what a Google Alert was until last week. Not something you need to know about? That's what you think now. Find out why and how to make Google Alerts an integral part of your online experience.

In one of my earlier articles, I lauded how it was important to Google yourself every once in awhile. I've googled both my husband and I. Of course all the college and a little of the military stuff shows up. But then we get things like my detailed birth story of my first-born (what was I thinking in posting that?), my husband's slow marathon time, a cheesy newspaper complaint letter, a military award that may ranckle the likes of Al Quaeda and specifics on every computer problem we've ever gone through, dumb genealogy questions and anything else that maybe we wanted to keep private. I know we are boring people, but if I can put together a picture of my family in two seconds like that...well, so can someone else..and frankly, I just don't like that! Along those lines, I don't use my real name anymore either. I think I am the ONLY one in this world with that name! Really!

So how do Google Alerts come in? You can put in any Google search term or string of terms and get email alerts whenever anything comes up. You can then have the alerts mailed to you daily, weekly or whatever. So, we let ourselves be googled once a week...that should be sufficient. Amazingly, things still come up on myself, pretty much every week. Of course, it is mostly links to a book I once wrote, so I don't get too excited.

But what else can you google? Along genealogy lines, I put in some genealogy search terms, looking for that plantation owner I am always looking for, as well as the small obscure town where my ancestors used to live. I also like to look for hits that talk about some of my latest gadgets and purchases.

If you have a hobby or product you are interested in, make a Google Alert for that. Looking for news stories on a certain person or event, get that going as well. I recently heard from someone who works for USAA. He has Google Alerts set up to look for USAA, so whenever someone blogs about it, they can be right on top of it. I can see loads of uses for businesses here. Other than doing manual searches on Technorati, where you can search through the blogosphere, I can see no better way to track this stuff.

So, with all this in mind, do you have any ideas yourself, of what you can set up as a Google Alert? I'd love to hear them!

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3 Comments:

Blogger Linda said...

I have an alert set up for Madawaska, Maine.

It's my hometown, and it's so small...so whenever anything comes up, I KNOW it's gotta be BIG. Of course, this also gives me ANYONE who has ever put that town in a meme, but hey, I get to catch up and find old friends that way!

March 14, 2008 at 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have one of those strange last names too. I think our family is one of only 100 in the entire world! I am not sure why and that's why I'm not going to tell you! Google alerts would be great for that.

March 16, 2008 at 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Megan @ Disorder2Order said...

Great Post!

I love alerts for so many reasons, business, personal and hobbies or interests. It's so easy to customize.

March 17, 2008 at 6:45 PM  

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