Saturday, March 20, 2010

How to track news about your town's Google fiber bid for free.

There are two kinds of March madness this month. I know where to watch basketball. But where can I watch cities pitching themselves to Google? Pull up a chair (Especially if you are a reporter or a news gatherer) and I'll link you to some simple ways to follow the Google Fiber conversation!

List of Google fiber bids by city
  • This list, on the Wired Pen blog, is the best I've found.
Measure of each town's social media presence through March 15th
  • A Grand Rapids marketing firm takes in all the data and boils it down. Pdf download.
Using Twitter search
On Youtube
On Twitter Using Tweetdeck
  • You'll have to join Twitter and install Tweetdeck (both free)- but the payoff is tracking any twitter topic in real time, using Tweetdeck's columns. You can set it and forget it.

All Social Media, Using UberVU
  • Use the free search feature they offer. It aggregates Twitter with other sources. It has some other features worth playing with, like graphs of two terms.

  • Search all mentions of Google Fiber in Uber Vu
Use Google Trends
  • Google Trends charts major search terms, including some geographical data about who is searching.

  • Watch the term Google fiber ebb and flow over time. Google Trends only tracks shows terms with large traffic.
Fancy Google Searches and Google Alerts
  • I've saved the best for last. By learning to use Google search operators, you can get better results from the search page and from Google Alerts, which are basically saved searches.

  • The parts you should type in the search box are written in italics. The words you should replace with your own keywords [are in brackets].

    • Shows links to a site:
      link:[insert keyword/URL]

    • Shows link anchor text:
      inanchor:[insert keyword/URL]

    • Shows all instances a phrase is used in the sites text:
      intext:[insert keyword]

    • Show keywords if they are used in a page title
      intitle:[insert keyword]

    • Show keywords used in a URL:
      inurl:[insert keyword]

    • Show a URL used in the text of a site:
      intext:[insert URL]

  • Show all mentions of a URL in the last 24 hours, except where those mentions are on the same site

    • [domain name] -site:[same domain name]

    • Then, after the search runs, hit the “show options” link and choose “past 24 hours” This way you’ll get two peeks at what Google thinks is important – overall, and then just in the last day.

    • Bingo! Now you have all links to a site published in the last 24 hours, not counting links on the site itself.

  • Examples of fancy searches. Use searches like these, but save them as Google Alerts. Then you can get emails updating you on exactly what you want to know.

Who is in the lead?

Of course, no one knows. Really. And the things we can measure are probably not important to Google’s decision making process. But, using these tools, you can follow along - and I bet next week gets a little crazy.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Jason for posting. There is another information session at the Chamber of Commerce about the Asheville Google Fiber Initiative. Anyone who can type, should nominate Asheville at

Thanks again,

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