A Brave, New Archive-Friendly World

When I began writing for newspapers, in 1984, I needed to clip stories myself and make photocopies if I wanted to ensure keeping track of those pieces.

Today, nearly a quarter-century later, the Internet has created an entirely new archive-friendly world.

A few years ago, for example, I began using Google Web Alerts to tip me off when a particular word or phrase appeared in cyberspace. So any time I begin working for a new client, I add their name to my list.

I also have my own name flagged, and intriguingly enough, it’s not only new content that pops up in the alerts. Just today, a five-year-old item, a brief ditty on Retrosheet.org that I wrote for Time magazine, came back around.

So did recent material, such as summaries I’ve written for the Urban Land Institute’s Chicago chapter.

If you are in business–and especially in the business of seeing how your business is being portrayed online–then enlisting the help from services like Google Alerts is imperative.

In addition to your own business or organization, you may want to keep tabs on your competitors and general information about your industry.

To set up your own, free Google alert(s), click here.

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