Track what people are saying about your Library

Whether or not your library has an online presence or is participating in social media, conversation on the web about your organization is still taking place. It is useful to monitor what’s being said online about your library to help you better understand the concerns and priorities of the people in your community.  And to hear about what you’re doing well!  Here are some free solutions:


Addictomatic‘s tagline is ‘instantly create a custom page with the latest buzz on any topic’. Addictomatic presents search results from popular social networking and news sites.It pulls the results from popular blogs, social networking sites, news sites like CNN and The New York Times, book marking sites such as Digg and Delicious, search engines like Google Blog Search and Yahoo and also from YouTube, Flickr and Newsvine.

Search results are shown in individual boxes representing each social or news site. There is no need for registration and one can start off using the application immediately.

After you search, you can personalize your results dashboard by using your mouse to move around the source boxes or delete those sources you don’t care about. When you’re done you bookmark the page. Each time you click on the bookmark, you will be taken back to the same page with updated results.


Social Mention is a search engine allows you to easily track what people are saying across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. It monitors 100+ social media properties  including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc., thus finding information that you might not find in more general search engines.

Searching with Social Mention is pretty much like searching with any other search engine. Just enter in the phrase you’re looking for, and press Enter. You can choose which part of the social Web you’d like Social Mention to scour for you:

Social Mention also provides an analysis of the results  where you can see the number of  ‘positive’, ‘neutral’ and ‘negative’ mentions of your chosen search term. You can also see  the time of the last mention of the search term as well as how often the search term is mentioned. Social Mention is a great way to see what’s fresh and new on your topic from all across the Web, organized into one  stream of information. You can track your topic  by setting up a Social Mention alert or RSS feed.


Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. You can subscribe through email and RSS. Many people use their RSS readers to view these alerts and PR agencies use alerts to track their campaigns. You can monitor a news story, keep current with your industry and competitors and see who is writing about you.

  1. Point your browser to the Google Alerts BETA page. Enter the keyword(s) for the alert that you want to setup.
  2. Select the type of Alert you want to receive. The comprehensive Alert retrieves news from blogs, news sources, Google Groups messages and websites. You can choose to get results from only one of these sources, instead of all sources.
  3. Choose how often Google will send the Alerts to you. Google can send your alerts as soon as it finds a match to your keyword, once daily or only once a week.
  4. Enter the email address that you will use for your Alerts. If you don’t have a Google email account, you will need to register for one. (You don’t need one to set up the Alerts, but if you want to manage the alerts, you will need one)
  5. Click “Create Alert” when you are finished entering your keywords, choices of sources and frequency for messages.
  6. Review and revise your Alerts if you receive too much or too little information. Log in on the Google Accounts page. Choose “Manage Alerts” to see your saved Alerts. Delete alerts that you no longer need.


Explore Addictomatic, Social Mention, and Google Alerts.

Blog Prompts:

  • Blog about your experience.
  • What did you think of these tools?
  • Are they useful tools for your library

2 responses to “

  1. Pingback: Lesson 10: Track Your Library « Vermont’s 23 Things

  2. I’ve been using Google Alerts for years, and it’s a fine way to keep up with news in a given area. (I do “public libraries,” “philanthropy” “nonprofits” and a few personal things). But I’m looking forward to playing with Addictomatic and Socialmention. Thanks Mara, and DOL for this ongoing amazing project.

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