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Google Alerts for Your Health

August 19, 2012

Today I got yelled at for “knowing too much” and “being too geeky.” The truth is, I don’t know that much but I am geeky so that might be why it appears I know a lot, I dunno. At any rate the thing I “knew too much” about was West Nile Virus, given my immune system problems and my living proximity to large bodies of water it kinda pays to be up on that stuff. The simple truth is, I don’t have time to search for various stories, etc about West Nile or food recalls or whatever else I might want to know about so I let Google do my work for me. This is a feature that I thought was pretty well known in Google but apparently not because a few folks I talked with today had no idea what I was talking about so I thought I would demonstrate it.

1) Go to http://www.google.com/alerts

2) Under Result type, choose News (this gives you the most relevant information about a new event)

3) Under How Often, choose how frequently you want to be alerted (I choose As-it-happens) for important stuff, like West Nile

4) Under How Many, choose “Only the best result”

5) Finally under “Deliver to” choose your email address or choose “Feed” and it will create a feed for you. I will sometimes use a special email address for important things so that I am always alerted when a Google alert comes in.

Check out the video for a quick demo:

You can pretty much set up these type of alerts for anything. I’ve used them for food recalls (both human and dog), the aforementioned west nile and for the various medications I used to take. I also use it heavily for my job, which is great.  There are literally countless applications for it. Try it out and let me know how it works for you.

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