Google Tip: Tracking Yourself in Google Blogsearch

Earlier this month, I wrote about tracking mentions of yourself on twitter more completly then just checking the @replies tab on twitter (or in tweetdeck).  Keeping tabs on what people say about you in twitter is only one step in effectively tracking references to yourself online.

So here’s step 2, if you want to really know what people are saying about you online, take the search a step further and check out what is being said about you on blogs.

Here is a slightly modified version of the same search string I used on Twitter to track mentions of me.

“Nicholas Moline” OR “Nick Moline” OR NickMoline OR link:nick.pro -site:nick.pro

Now when I plug this search in at Google Blogsearch, I see mentions of me on blogs around the web.

Think of -site:nick.pro the same way we thought of -from:NickMoline on the twitter search, it is pointless to see mentions of my own name on my own site, so I quickly filter out my domain name from the results.

The link:nick.pro is similar to to:NickMoline on twitter search, by adding in “OR link:nick.pro” I will get posts that link to me even if they don’t mention me by name.

Once I had the results, I sorted by date, and then clicked the link on the bottom of the page to view the feed in Google Reader, now whenever someone mentions me on their blogs, I’ll be notified as soon as Google ads the post to their index.

Shut down for an hour

For the second year in a row, my wife and I participated in Earth Hour. At 8:30 I hit the main breaker in our apartment shutting everything down for an hour. During that time we read together by candlelight and reflected on just how much energy we use on a day to day basis. It was amazing to us how quiet it was without the ambient hum of electronics running, serving our whims, and it was humbling to think how hard it seemed to read by candlelight and how much we rely on technology for every aspect of our lives.

If you didn’t participate in Earth Hour this year I urge you to do so next year. It’s a simple and symbolic way to focus on saving energy and the mounting energy crisis.

iPhone 3.0 Supports Both Local AND Exchange Calendars and Contacts

What would you like to do with the existing calendars information on your iPhone?
What would you like to do with the existing calendars information on your iPhone?

When Exchange support was added in the iPhone 2.0 software last summer, turning on Exhange Syncing for Contacts or Calendars was an exclusive action.  Once you turned on Exchange Calendars you could no longer sync your calendars on your iPhone with your computer directly.  It appears that in the iPhone 3.0 that this is no longer the case.  I upgraded to the beta of 3.0 last night and when I attempted to setup Google Syncing again with my calendars, I got the screen on the right.

Previously, doing this action would prompt me that all existing calendars on the iPhone would be deleted, now it asks what to do with the calendars already on the iPhone with an option to keep them intact.  This indicates that Apple is planning on removing the limitation of supporting either Exchange OR synced content but not both.

Unfortunately iTunes seems to not know what to do with this yet, and if I don’t delete the synced calendars, iTunes is not able to do anything with them.

Also unfortunate is that the iPhone will still only support 1 exchange account, an attempt to add a second Exchange Account brings up the familiar “Only one Exchange ActiveSync account can be configured.” message.  While most business users will only have one Exchange account to sign into, Google’s recent move into adding ActiveSync support to Google Calendar and Google Contacts means that at least some of those business users with business accounts on their company Exchange servers may want to setup their personal Google Calendar and Contacts as well, and they’ll be out of luck.

This is still good news, however, for anyone who needs their corporate calendars and contacts but has their own calendars and contacts on their computer as well that they would like to sync.  Kudos to Apple for this non-touted but useful feature.

Twitter Tip: A Better @replies List in TweetDeck

@Replies tab on Twitter
@Replies tab on Twitter

Both Twitter and TweetDeck (as well as most other Twitter Clients) give you an easy way to get a list of responses people sent you.  On Twitter itself, this is the @Replies tab off of your home page. TweetDeck gives you a Replies column by default, and if you delete it, you can get it back by clicking on the replies button Replies button in TweetDeck on the top of the screen.  TweetDeck’s replies button uses the replies twitter feed feature from the Twitter API to work, so it returns the exact same list that you get on the home page.

I’ve found however, that I often want to track everything that is said to or about me, even if they are not technically @replies.  Because of this I’ve ditched the replies column in my TweetDeck and instead have created my own @replies list of sorts using the Search feature in TweetDeck which uses the Twitter Search API. To do this yourself follow the simple instructions after the break.
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