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8:19am on Wednesday, 7th December, 2005:

Google Alerted


I gave up doing vanity searches on Google when the number of matches for my name became so large that I couldn't find the new hits in among all the old ones. It's 76,800 for +"richard bartle" at the moment. I considered writing a program to download all the matches each day so as to find out what's new, but there are just too many of them. Google could do it — indeed, I'd pay them to do it — but they don't.

What Google do istead is offer a service called Google Alerts. You fill in a form, and it emails you whenever a new page is scanned that matches the search you stated in the form.

It's useless. I've been subscribed to it for a month now, and all I get from it are mentions of the advertising agency, Bartle Bogart Hegarty, whenever they deal with someone called Richard.

Until, that is, today!

Today, I got a genuine Google Alert reference to me, courtesy of a short post on Joystiq. This in turn references a recent Terra Nova post of mine, which Google Alert didn't pick up on (although Google did spider it, because you can search for the article and it finds it), but hey, it's better than nothing.

Only just, mind you.

Referenced by Ol' Richard.

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).