The first step in identity management is just knowing what people are saying about you, which is why…

…I subscribe to more than a few Google Alerts.  These ping me (via email) any time my name or blogs are mentioned on the web.

My only complaint is that I wish Google offered to give up their “comprehensive” alert as an RSS feed, but for the time being they don’t, so I’m stuck using email for this particular application.

By the way, the nice part about their comprehensive alert is that it not only includes news and or blog results (which ARE available via RSS), but other google searches such as when your name appears in message boards, blog comments and more generic websites.

(in response to Ines question!)

18 responses

  1. You may be able to find an email to RSS service that would allow you to get that stuff out of your inbox. Then you could set up a rule to forward your alert emails to that address – and thus, RSS – from your current email program.

  2. […] I find both of these sites interesting.  Assuming that one of these review sites starts to get some serious consumer traction, then that site will have just added one more thing for agents to track. […]

  3. Great idea Ed… Do you know of any good email to RSS services? I know of services that go the other way, but email to RSS seems a bit odd…

    For the moment, I just use a gmail label to filter the messages out of my inbox, so it’s not really a problem, but I’d prefer to consolidate these types of feeds within my feed reader.

  4. I was just about to suggest the Gmail Label. That’s what I do as well.

    To convert email to RSS, you could always set up a wordpress blog with email posting enabled. Then use it’s RSS feed. I’ve considered doing it.

  5. Ohhh… great idea. Email to WP blog to RSS feed.

    Kind of a pain to set up, but what I like about it is (1) you could forward ALL of the emails to the same blog and create one “mega” feed of listings and (2) it would likely create a pretty clean RSS feed by adding the email title to the subject line and the body of the email to the body of the blog post. Other options would likely require the parser that is already built into the email-to-blog solution!

  6. Dustin, check out – it’s a free email to RSS site.

  7. Personally, I don’t care where I get the stuff as long as I get it.

    Google alerts are good, but not good enough. These don’t catch the conversation within certain social network sites like Active Rain.

    I remember a discussion not long ago about a paid service for on-line reputation watching, I just can’t remember where.

  8. David Harris Avatar
    David Harris


    I have my google alerts added to my google reader, which I believe you can get to as an RSS feed.

  9. David, as far as I can tell, the alerts that have a feed are only for the news and blog searches. If there is a way to get the “comprehensive” search in feed format that goes easily into Google Reader, then problem solved.

  10. Should have been doing this a long time ago. Thanks Dustin (and Ines).

  11. I think perfecting identity management is going to become highly critical. As more and more of our lives move online. And, (unlike your experience) recruiters, employers, and clients don’t ask you for resumes/proposal, but rather simply Google you then a couple of high pagerank smears can cost you a lot of money.

  12. I’ve been using Google Alerts as of late and can further testify that they’re a great way to stay on top of what’s going on…who’s writing what? What’s getting noticed? And where you stand with it all.

  13. I just read about this on Vanessa Fox’s blog. She says that you can get an RSS feed of your gmail label file. Here’s her post:

  14. Tracy: Thanks for the link! I got all excited when I saw that, but even Venessa says she’s having trouble getting it to work which doesn’t bode well for the rest of us… 🙂

  15. I have not yet been able to get it to work. I’ve found many posts saying that you can do it, and yet… not so much. Next time I’m at the Googleplex, I may have to wander around the Gmail team’s offices and throw myself on their mercy.

    As for reputation management services, there’s Trackur which I reviewed here:

    And then there are more full-service solutions, such as Visible Technologies.

    I talked about how people generally think of online reputation management based on a PEW Internet study here:
    (Which I bring up mostly because I came up with while I was writing that article, which still cracks me up.)

  16. All great stuff Vanessa. Thanks for the links!

    Your time immersed in the world of online real estate seemed to have been short-lived, but you definitely got more than a few people excited when Zillow snagged you a while back.

  17. I think you can set up a google service chain of:
    Google Alerts->Gmail->Blogger->Google Reader

  18. I didn’t know you could go Gmail to Blogger… hmmm…

    Either way, Google could save a bunch of electrons floating around if they let us go: Google Alerts -> Google Reader! 😉

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