One thing about genealogy it can be a real time waster. I am trying to get smarter about how I research online. Of course the databases, like Ancestry and Footnote confine your searching to one location. However, you need to consider the entire worldwide web when researching your family history. I believe a real shift is happeing in how we are researching our family trees on the internet. Instead of us spending countless hours chasing down information, more tools are becoming available that will bring the information to us. I believe Google Alerts is one of those applications that can help bring your genealogy to you. Google alerts will email you the most update and relevant information results on the web, in the news,via blogs and videos.
How can it be used for your family history research? You can send out search queries on the surnames you are researching as well as towns in your family tree. Everytime some one writes about the town or surname you will know about it, if those names appear in a news story you will know about it as it happens. You can keep up on the news of an event such as conferences or genealogy fairs. You can monitor news stories that you are following, and it is a great way to keep up to date on the most recent news in the genealogy industry.
This application is very simple to use. Go to www.google.com/alerts and sign up. This only requires an email address and password, so they can send you the alerts into your inbox. Then start entering in your queries into the search box. Keep in mind too broad a query will bring broad results. You may have to play with it until you get it right. When you perform regular google searches and you have favourite queries that you use, and that bring you the results you are looking for, then they make for good queries in your Google Alerts. You can have as many google alerts as you like, you have the option of drawing your searches from news, blogs, web, video or all of the above. These alerts can be dropped into your box as-it-happens, once a day or once a week. Google alerts offers a handy tool to manage your alerts, edited, and delete them or add others in a quick easy click of the button.
If your tired of spending hours searching check out Google Alerts as a handy tool to help reduce some of your surfing time.