In this post, I will be critically engaged in the materials discovered with the Google Alert tag “Infamous” and the tag “Gaming”.
The Google Alerts that I’ve set up are the following: Comics; IGN; Gaming; and Infamous. The reason that I chose these are because, not only are these fields of interest to me, but I also follow these topics on another RSS-based platform Flipboard, meaning I can compare the results from each with my Google Alerts.
“Infamous” was chosen because it is the title of an upcoming and much anticipated video game, “Infamous: Second Son”, therefore I expect many stories on the alert. The stories which I received ranged from trailers for the upcoming game, to news on video specs, and everything in between.
In this case, because my search term was so specific, the results that Google Alerts brought me was both on topic and interesting.
However, when I browsed through the tag “Gaming”, I instead received news that ranged from the viability of console controllers, to parents who are concerned over the impact that gaming has on their children. In terms of interest, many of the stories held little or no relevance to what I wanted, which was news on new video games. Choosing the term “video game” or “games” for the Alert tag was even worse, as for the former there were barely any interesting news on new games, and the latter brought me stories of sporting events.
This brought me to the conclusion that Google Alerts is useful when the field of interest is narrow, such as “Ukraine protests” or “Infamous”, etc. However, if the goal was to receive news on a broader topic, it is better to have an RSS-feed application where you can either choose which publications you want to feature, or have one picked out for you, such is the service of Flipboard.
The flip side of that coin, is that Google Alerts will give you specific news on a current issue in which you are interested, whereas an RSS-feed page on Flipboard for “News” will bring you everything, including issues that hold no interest.