Get laser-focused Compensation information with Alerts

In today’s edition of Sunday Skills, I want to complement a recent post I made about RSS and how subscribing to different blogs, online newspapers / magazines and other websites can help a Compensation manager maintain their skills and industry knowledge – for free, in a just a few minutes per day.

Google Alerts complement your subscription to certain feeds. With Alerts, you don’t receive info based on the source of the news, you receive info based on the specific content you are interested in. You receive this content every day, as it shows up on the net, or once a week, either direct to your inbox or in your Reader.

This very powerful as you can monitor multiple things, for example :

  • Any news article related to your competitors if you are a Compensation consultant
  • Blog posts pertaining to a topic you want to increase your knowledge of, for example if you work on a certain project
  • Monitoring a news story of interest to you (for example, I used an Alert to follow-up on the Zynga stock scandal a little while back)
  • Tracking comments about a product you are considering buying etc…

Alerts are technically easy to create, as you can see in the quick presentation below :

Of course, the first alert you should create is one about yourself (your name, your company name if relevant) and it should cover all types of information.  You want to know if someone is using your name, in good or in bad, so that you can react if needed.

Then, you need to be a bit creative in order to get the most relevant results for your needs. If you are like me, at first you will probably be a bit too vague and you will receive tons of irrelevant information, with one nugget here and there.

Don’t give up, simply work on refining your query and alert so that you get to what you really want to know about. It is better to receive fewer but well targeted alerts, than too many results – unless you like sifting through mud in order to find your gold !

Here is one example. Imagine you are interested in receiving information about legislation on minimum wages in country ABC, the Alert could be something like :

((New OR recent) AND (law OR decree OR legislation) AND ABC AND (“minimum wages” OR “minimum salary” OR “minimum income” OR “minimum pay”)

Unless the country is adopting new legislation on this topic and there is a lot of commenting about it, it won’t return results every day. But the results will be the ones that are useful to you.

In short, creating Alerts allows you to receive the information you need as it comes up on the web, even from sources and places you have never heard of. It focuses on content you are interested in, versus getting (indiscriminately) all the information from the sources that you like as per your Reader RSS subscriptions.

What about you ? Do you use Alerts ? Do you have tips you want to share in the Comments section ?

 

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  1. […] short, as a complement to Alerts and RSS feeds, use the Discussions and More sections of the Groups on LinkedIn. You will get […]

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