Saturday, March 14, 2009

Social Networking: Google Thyself

Where am I today, you ask? Keep thinking about it while we talk Social Networking.

You want to know where you’re being talked about or where others have linked to you. Why? So you can go visit them. So you can include them in your blog roll. So you track how you’re doing on your social networking quest.

One good way to find out is via the bots we talked about yesterday. They do the discovering for you. And the easiest way to see what the bots have found is to Google yourself.

Go to Google and put a Google Alert on your name, your book’s title, and the title of your blog. Google will then send you an email with a short bit of information about who’s linking to you along with links to that site. I have Google Alerts on Helen Ginger and Straight From Hel. When I see that someone has linked to me (often times it’s via their blog roll and I get notified each day that I’m on their list), I click the link and go to their site. If it’s a blog, I read the latest post and comment.

I’m networking in my social group. Those people are now putting my name out to their readers. I thank them by leaving a comment. I list people on my blog roll and they thank me by leaving a comment on my blog.

Why do you want comments on your blog? So that those who come by will know that your blog is active. Nobody really wants to be the only commenter. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. We are, after all, social beings.

I bet by now, you’ve guessed where I am in Florida. Yep. I’m in Miami.
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  1. Good series here. Have fun in get off the laptop! :)

  2. Me? Hanging around on the laptop? No way. I switched to the computer in the hotel's business center.

  3. Yup, I'd set up Google alerts on myself a couple years ago. And you have to do it for book titles as well, because many times a reviewer will not let you know when they've posted a review. Few send out tear sheets these days!

    L. Diane Wolfe

  4. I have google alerts set up for my name, my books and my blogs - it's fascinating to see all the places they show up in. I also every so often do a google search for my name. Lately it pulls up a whole page of stuff! Pretty cool.

    Another great topic and post in this series, here.

  5. The Google alerts surprise me sometimes. My book alerts are really off the wall. You can imagine how many I get for my novel, A VILLAGE SHATTERED--mostly war news that is very disheartening.

    I hope you're having a great time in Florida, Helen.


  6. Hey, thanks Helen. I knew this was out there but I didn't know where or who did these alerts. Today, I was going to ask my friend Judi Fennell who gets alerts on her name and book titles, how she set that up. Then I come to the one and only Helen and she's giving a lesson. :-)

    Thanks for the info. Enjoy your trip.

  7. Helen,

    Leaving comments also helps get your name in Google. I have Google alerts for my name and my books (and I appreciate seeing an alert every day that my name appears on Straight from Hel).

    Just for fun, I took your advice to "Google myself" and found more than 45 pages of results. Naturally, I didn't look at all of them but I did some random checks and found many of them to be comments I've left on other blogs.

    Although my name seems perfectly normal to me, I came across a Web site one time to find out how many other people have the same name, and the results said I'm the only Lillie Ammann in the world! Not sure whether to believe that or not, but I never see an alert on that name that isn't me.

    I also have alerts for my clients, and I get lots of alerts that apply to other people with the same name.

    Hope you're enjoying Florida.

    Note I'm remembering to follow your advice to leave a sig line!

    Lillie Ammann
    A Writer's Words, An Editor's Eye

  8. This was a great series and I've enjoyed it all week. Probably not as much as you've enjoyed Florida. I do google my books on occasion but it's very disheartening to find those pirate sites that have it listed. Usually no less than three show up.

  9. I love getting my Google alerts, but with my novel named The Ride, I get all sorts of other alerts that have nothing to do with me or my book. Oh, the many things I should have thought of before coming up with a title!

    Jane Kennedy Sutton

  10. I get Google Alerts. Sometimes they come in handy to let me know someone has included me in a post. I then go over and see what it's all about and give a big thank you.

    I also Google my name occasionally myself to see what shows up.
    Morgan Mandel

  11. Everybody is googling out there! Putting an alert on your book title is an excellent idea. Unless you're Jane, of course.

  12. Susan, I've found myself on a couple of pirate sites, as well. Ticks me off a bit.

  13. I hadn't thought about that, Jean. I bet you do get some unexpected sites with your book title.

  14. You're welcome, Sia. I'm glad you stopped by.

    Lillie, my name seems to be a bit unique, but not as unique as yours. Quite a few times, my alert on Helen Ginger has pulled up one other -- a Helen "Ginger" something or other last name. She's a judge somewhere.

  15. People used to make fun of me for googling myself, but it's fun to see where you pop up across the net, from publications to articles both written by you or about you. Thanks for this really informative series, Helen. It's been enjoyable. I hope you have a great time in Miami!

  16. I heard of Google alerts, but there are a lot of Lisa Logans and my first title, VISIONS, is a fairly common term. I wonder if it's better to narrow it down by alerting VISIONS by Lisa Logan or Author Lisa Logan ? Hmm, gonna give it a try.

    Thanks for striking the nail on the head once again, Helen!


  17. I would definitely give the combo a try, Lisa, and see if that works.

  18. Hi Jenny. So far we are having a good time. We'll walk around the golf tournament at Doral tomorrow, see if we can spot Tiger.


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