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Keeping Track of What Others Say About Your Family Online

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We’ve discussed where to draw the line when choosing topics to write about your family, but what about information that others may post about you, your family or even your blog. How can you keep track of that information?

First, I need to point out that there is no system that is going to catch everything that is out there on the internet about your family. I have a few methods that I use to track what might be said about me and my family.

  1. Google Alerts. Setting up Google Alerts is quite easy and can be done for just about anything. I have Google Alerts set up for my name, my kid’s names, my husband’s name, each of my kid’s schools, my blogs and a few keywords I track. It was through those Google Alerts that I discovered my daughter had set up an email account she shouldn’t have created, my son’s play received awesome reviews from our local newspaper, an article was written about my husband and someone had stolen one of my blog posts. I have the alerts sent directly to my email and I quickly scan through them. It doesn’t take much effort and can find a lot (but not everything.)
  2. Social Mention Alerts. While this is similar to Google Alerts above, I find that they do overlap sometimes, but Social Mention often finds different things. You can set up alerts again for anything and have them emailed to you.
  3. Twitter Searches. I set up columns in my TweetDeck that searches for each of the names I want to find. This could be done in HootSuite or any other Twitter monitoring tool that has columns. This isn’t quite as accurate because people often shorten things, but once again, I’ve found a few things about my husband’s company.
  4. Tweet Beep. I just found Tweet Beep today, so I have not used it, but it looks like Google Alerts for Twitter. If anyone uses Tweet Beep, let me know how well it works.

The best defense is to be sure you teach your children how to sue the internet safely. But you can not always control the information that is released about you. This is another way for you to track what others might be saying.

What tools do you use to monitor your family’s name online?

Image from Microsoft Images

Michele McGraw (@ ScrappinMichele), a work-at-home mother of 4, can be found blogging about technology and digital scrapbooking at Scraps of My Geek Life.


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