Google Alerts are emailed notices of new items on the Web relevant to your favorite search terms. I have alerts set on my own name and the names of my books, etc. It;s a way to keep up to date on, well, mostly on the careers of the other Harry Lewises — one is a police chief somewhere, one is a football player in some minor pro league, and one is a race horse.
You should set some up too, especially if you don’t get enough email. By setting up multiple alerts, you can keep your inbox quite full of stuff, some of which may even be relevant to your life.
I have the preferences set so I get alerts of blog entries mentioning me, and my own posts on this blog come back to me as alerts. Here is one I got this morning:
|We Always Have The Cheapest Offers In Our Online-Drugstore ¬ª Blog¬†…
By Harry Lewis
Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 by¬†Harry Lewis. In the New York Times, buy viagra, travelers and privacy experts present their views on whether the millimeter-wave scanners I discussed yesterday are an unacceptable invasion of privacy.¬†…
Blown to Bits – http://www.bitsbook.com/
You will notice that the subject line, about a drug store, is not in the original post; nor is the phrase “buy viagra” which has been inserted into the text. I’ve checked the HTML code of the web page to make sure there isn’t any hidden text that Google picked up; there isn’t. There is no link to a drug store, either on the web page or in the alert. Click on the link in the emailed alert and you go to the blog, not to any drug store site.
Somehow, someone seems to have edited the alert, somewhere between where it was generated and where I received it. Can’t figure out why or how. If anyone has a bright idea, I’d love to hear it!