Nothing is private anymore...at least if you're on the Internet much. You know how we think the government knows everything about us? How they supposedly watch, listen in, and know every little thing we do? They're not the only ones. Have you heard of Google Alerts? If not, check it out at: http://www.google.com/alerts It's an awesome way to know if someone is talking about you or something close to your heart, on the web. It's the easy way to google yourself daily without having to waste time. Thus it can be a very valuable tool if you're an author or somebody who needs PR to help their livelihood. You know what is being said about you and who's saying it - daily. It's also a neat tool for bloggers to know which blogs or groups may be talking about you so you can pop in and join the discussion. On the surface, this is excellent, no? On the other...well??? I found a not-so wonderful review of one of my books yesterday. Believe me, I wasn't so thrilled to see it. However, I know reviews are subjective so it'll give me an excuse to drown myself in chocolate, soak in a warm bubble bath, and get over it. I can taste a chocolate Cold Stone ice cream right now... Everybody's allowed their opinion. (and I get an excuse to have ice cream) Stuff like finding a not so wonderful comment about you is one thing, but what if someone is spying on you for nefarious reasons unlike writing a book review, such as spying on competitors and enemies?
So, if you're dying to know what people are saying about you, or you want to spy on someone (not that I'm advising you to, just saying it's possible) visit the Google Alerts and follow simple instructions. It will ask for your email address, but hey, it already knows far more about you than that anyway.Be aware it's not perfect - yet. Some of the alerts I receive are about other people named "Ashley" (with another last name) or "Ladd" with another first name. So you will probably have to wade through some unimportant info (to you) to get to the gems. I wouldn't be surprised if the government consults Google for information, when they want to check up on someone.