Anatomy of an Information Trap, Part II: Setting Up and Sharing Google Alerts

Hi! This is part two of a three-part series on monitoring the Internet for information about a topic, going from almost no knowledge to a steady stream of information sourced from all over the Web.

In part I, Anatomy of an Information Trap, Part I: Starting From Scratch, I walked through the process of gathering data on a topic I knew very little about (drones) until I had seven solid candidates for Google Alerts. In part II, I’m going to be going through the process of creating Google Alerts for these topics, as well as showing you how to share the fruits of your findings without blowing up someone’s e-mail or just tossing everything in a text file.

Monitoring the Web: There Are Options

A number of companies offer services to monitor the Internet – the Web in general, news sources, forums, social media, and so on. Unfortunately most of these have fairly restricted free offerings, and subscription prices which aren’t friendly to the small or penny-pinching researcher. That’s why I’ll be sticking to Google Alerts for this article.

If you’re not a small researcher or you don’t have to pinch pennies, I’ve been using the free version of Mention with pretty good success. I’ve noticed it does tend to find news coverage that I don’t quickly get through Google Alerts. If you’re very interested in social media you might want to try TalkWalker. I use the free service as its cheapest pay service is $700 a month (!) It’s okay, though with the free account I’m not getting a full spectrum of results so I can’t make a good assessment. If there’s enough interest I’ll do a review of these services in the future. But right now let’s look at Google Alerts.

Meet Google Alerts

Google Alerts is available at https://www.google.com/alerts. It’s a service offered by Google to monitor both the Web and subsets of the Web for whatever information you like.

MeetGoogleAlerts

In part I of this series, I created a list of seven searches I wanted to set up as Google Alerts and saved them in OneNote. Here they are:

“Immersionrc” “FPV Freerider” drone
realflight aeroflight drone
aeroflight “heli-x” drone
“heli-x” “fpv freerider”
“heli-x” RealFlight drone
best review “quadcopter simulator” -intitle:”google play” -intitle:APK
best review “drone flight simulator” -intitle:”google play” -intitle:APK

Google Alerts use the same syntax as Google search, but there are options to narrow down the kinds of results you get. Let’s walk through creating an alert for “Immersionrc” “FPV Freerider” drone .

Just plug it into the search at the top of the page and Google will give you the option for setting up an alert. Click on the Show Options link to get a list of the possibilities.

Google Alert Options

Let’s look at the options, but let me be clear here: we are going deep into personal preference territory. I loathe digests, for example; can’t stand digging through a huge e-mail to find a few useful things. On the other hand, you may hate getting an additional 50 emails a day for your topic and may want them put together in one chunk that you can review at your leisure. I will give you thoughts about each option, but don’t feel like you have to do it the way I do it. I want your Web monitoring to be useful to you, not maddening.

Google Alerts Options

How Often: You can get alerts as they happen, once a day at most, or once a week at most. I prefer to get my alerts as they happen, but you may want a digest. I do not recommend you use the once a week option unless you’re getting a very low volume of results (1 or 2 a day.) You might end up with an e-mail so large you don’t quite get around to reviewing it.

Sources: The default option is “Automatic,” which I’m pretty sure means “Everything Google monitors,” but you have the option to narrow your search to News, Blogs, Web, Video (which is YouTube, basically), Books, Discussions, and Finance. Because we took the time in part I of this article to get focused search queries, I’m leaving this as Automatic.

I do find that narrowing down my searches to one type of result works well when I can’t use specific queries. In my quest to keep abreast of social media, I have a video alert set for “how to” (facebook | snapchat | instagram | twitter | “social media”), which alerts me to YouTube videos on how to do various things online (with some pretty eyebrow-raising results, but I digress.) I could not use that alert for all Google’s sources; it would be overwhelming.

A tip: it looks like from the way this option is set up that if you don’t choose Automatic, you have to choose news OR blogs OR Web OR video, etc. You can choose multiple sources; just click on them so a checkmark appears beside them. If you’ve got a search that is too general for monitoring everything but too specific for a single source, check out the quality of an alert that searches everything but the Web. The news sources should tip you to useful Web sites, and you’ll be able to use the alert while maintaining your sanity.

Language: You can choose “Any Language” or a specific language.

Region: This basically allows you to restrict your search to a certain country. You can choose Any Region or a country. Unfortunately it does not look like you can choose groups of countries. I’d love an option for “Everything but the US” so I could do broad news searches without my results being US-centric. I do use this to monitor news sources for fairly general searches (intitle:database) in specific countries.

How Many: I hate this option. You can choose from “Only the best results” or “All Results”. I always choose “All Results” because I don’t have a good answer to “Best results” according to who? Google Alerts’ help page says Only the best results means “We send results that are high quality and relevant to your search terms,” which still doesn’t tell me much. If you take the time to build a good search query, you won’t have to worry about too many junk results. I recommend you leave this on “All results”.

Deliver to: You can choose to have the alerts delivered to your e-mail address, or you can get them as an RSS feed. For the purpose of this article I’ll be getting them delivered to my e-mail address.

You’ll notice that as you change your options, the preview underneath might change a bit.

Google Alert Preview

Keep an eye on that, but don’t worry if you see There are no recent results for your search query. If you went through the steps in part I of this series, you know there are recent Web results, at least, that have information you want. I worry more when my alert preview is too extensive; then I know I have to rework my query.

All seven of the queries I want to use are pretty specific. For all of them, I’m getting all results from all regions, in English, as they happen. And I’m getting them delivered to my e-mail. Let me go off-camera and set up all seven queries.

Okay, all done. And if you’re just setting up these monitors for yourself, you’re done too – you’ve got the information you want and it’s coming to your e-mail or into your RSS feed. But remember, I am setting up these alerts for my husband Phil, so I need to find a way to get him the relevant data. I need to take an additional step to share the Google Alerts I’m getting.

A GOOD QUESTION: Why am I setting up these Google Alerts instead of just having my husband do it? A few reasons: I go through Google Alerts every day anyway, these alerts will be low-volume enough that they won’t be onerous, and my reading speed is fast enough that it’s not a big deal. A little extra time for me, lots of extra knowledge for him. He’s more than worth it.

Sharing the Results of Your Google Alerts

Your Google Alerts will never be 100% useful. There will always be something off-topic, something not-quite-useful, or a person named Arthur Q. Paleobiology who sneaks in with a completely irrelevant news story.

For that reason I’m not going to set up a GMail filter to just automatically forward the results to my husband; I need to filter them first. The problem is, he doesn’t do a lot of Web curating. If he used Evernote, for example, I’d share the results with him that way. Or if he used OneNote, I would just create a new notebook for my drone alert results and share that with him. But that doesn’t work because he doesn’t use those kinds of resources.

So I came up with a way to create an ongoing list of culled data that doesn’t require the person you’re sharing with to have any subscription or account on any particular service. They’ll need access to the Web and that’s it.

You’ll be using Google Docs and IFTTT. (And no, the person you’re sharing with will not have to have a Google account to see what you’re doing. More about that later.)

Building a List of Curated Resources With Google Docs and IFTTT

Do you know about IFTTT? It stands for “If This, Then That,” and is a way to automate tasks between different Internet-connected services. I wrote an article in May about using IFTTT to monitor Reddit if you want to get a sense of how it works. For a beginner’s guide to using it, check out the extensive guide from MakeUseOf. I want an easy way to add to a curated list as I go through alerts delivered by e-mail, and IFTTT is perfect for that.

IFTTT is broken down into channels:

Screenshot 2016-07-26 at 20.58.34

300+ channels is pretty intimidating, but you’re only going to need two: email and Google Drive.


CONCERNED? If you don’t have an IFTTT account, you’ll have to create one and connect your e-mail address and Google Drive account to use those channels. And that might be a little scary if you’re worried about privacy. I have used IFTTT for years and I trust them. If they violate that trust we’ll get together and sue the bean dip out of them. Okay? It’s a date.

What we’re going to do with IFTTT is create a “recipe” that takes an e-mail from us and turns it into an entry on a Google Docs spreadsheet.

Start by going to your IFTTT email channel and clicking Create a New Recipe.

TriggerIFTTT

You’ll be prompted to choose your channel again (this is annoying; just search for email and you’re all set) and then you’ll be asked to choose a “Trigger”, the This part of If This Then That. You have two options: to have your recipe activate whenever you send IFTTT an e-mail, or only when you send an e-mail with a certain hashtag in the subject. I strongly recommend that you choose the trigger that has you specify a hashtag in the subject, because if you want to do this technique with multiple sources it’s the only way you’ll be able to funnel them to where they need to go.

I’m setting up my recipe to trigger on the word #drones. I did a little testing and it doesn’t appear the triggering hashtag is case-sensitive.

Create Trigger Fields IFTTT

Once you click Create Trigger you’re asked to choose your Action Channel (the That part of If This Then That.) Search for Google Drive:

IFTTT Choose Action Channel

Click on that and you’ll get four different action options for that channel.

ChooseAnActionIFTTT

The options relevant to us are appending information to a document, or adding a row to a spreadsheet. Personally I prefer using a spreadsheet, as I like to have my information somewhat formatted. So I’ll choose Add row to spreadsheet.

TIP: Note that you cannot add on to a spreadsheet forever; IFTTT will create a new spreadsheet after 2000 rows. Since it’s going to be quite a while before I manage to find 2000 items of drone-related interest that I think my husband will find useful, I’m fine with that. If you are worried you’ll fill the spreadsheet up rapidly, you’ll have to make a point to check it periodically.

SpreadsheetOptionsIFTTT

This is the tricky bit. You’ll need to name the spreadsheet (IFTTT will make the spreadsheet for you if it doesn’t already exist) and specify the cells for the row of the spreadsheet you’re populating. The three pipe symbols (|||, Shift-Backslash on your keyboard) separate the different cells. You can also create a specific file path for your spreadsheet.

In this case IFTTT has a very basic row already in place: the date the item was added, who it was from, the subject, the body, and the URL of an attachment.

I’m going to adjust this. I don’t need the From or the attachment URL so I’ll get rid of those. My plan is to describe the resource in the subject of the e-mail, and put the URL in the body. My tweaks for the recipe end up looking like this:

RevisedActionFieldsIFTTT

I renamed the spreadsheet, trimmed down the formatted row, and eliminated the folder path so the spreadsheet will be at the top level of my Google Drive.

After you click Create Action, you’ll get a summary of what your recipe will do. Click Create Recipe and you’re all done!

FinalCreateRecipeIFTTT

I’ve published the recipe on IFTTT at https://ifttt.com/recipes/445006-send-emails-tagged-drone-to-a-google-spreadsheet so you can clone it and play with it.

Let’s test it out, shall we? I’ll send an e-mail to trigger@recipe.ifttt.com .

TestEMailtogoogleSpreadsheet

TIP: If you have a lot of contacts in your e-mail, I recommend creating a contact name for the IFTTT e-mail address – something like ZZTrigger, for example – so you don’t accidentally e-mail a friend when you’re trying to populate your spreadsheet.

(Don’t forget to erase your email signature if you have an automatic one like I do.)

After this I went into Google Drive to see if IFTTT had created my spreadsheet. It had, in an IFTTT folder (Which I already had, so maybe that’s why it ended up there.) And it looks great!

SpreadsheetofDroneResearch

Here’s a pro tip if you’re planning to aggregate data from multiple spreadsheets: you can add static data to the rows populating your Google Spreadsheet. For example, I could add my initials to the last column of every row. I’d just have to add TJC separated by three pipes to my Google recipe, like this:

Screenshot 2016-07-26 at 22.10.28

That will create a column reading TJC at the end of every row to my drone research spreadsheet. That way if I was collecting information from other spreadsheets, I’d have a mark to denote my research.

Sharing Is Caring

This is a Google Doc, but my husband doesn’t have to have a Google account for me to share it with him. Instead I would need to click Share and then Create Sharable Link. Google will generate an URL I can send to him. Anyone with the URL will be able to look at the spreadsheet whether they have a Google Account or not.

CreateSharableLink

Of course, if he does have a Google account, I can simply share with his e-mail address.

TIP: This is research about drones and not anything I consider sensitive, so I have no problem creating a sharable link to it. But bear in mind: anybody who gets the link can see the spreadsheet. ANYBODY. If you have anything on your spreadsheet that’s the least bit private, think very carefully before using the Sharable Link option. I personally would not use it in cases where the spreadsheet had sensitive data.


BONUS TIP: You’re doing all this work, so of course you want someone to actually see it. If you’ve shared your spreadsheet with a specific e-mail address (I’m not sure this works with the Sharable Links), have the person you’re sharing it with go to Tools -> Notification Rules. They’ll be able to set up an e-mail alert for when the spreadsheet is updated.

NotificationRules

What Do We Have Now?

In the first part of the series, we did some searching and testing to come up with good candidates for Google Alerts. Now, in the second part of the series, we’ve created those Google Alerts and made a way to put the relevant data from those alerts into one place and share them, no matter what kind of accounts the person we’re sharing with has.

The final part of the series will cover assessing the alerts and creating a core set of ongoing resources — news sites, forums, and blogs – that we want to monitor more generally. See you soon!

Keeping Up With Reddit: Use IFTTT, Not Google Alerts

If you consider just mainstream press coverage, you might come away with the impression that Reddit is a chaotic place full of jerks and that the information it aggregates is of no use to the serious researcher.

And you’d be a tiny bit right. Reddit does have jerks, for the simple reason that a community of that size can’t exist without having jerks. In 2015, Reddit had over 8.5 million users provide over 725 million comments on over 73 million submissions. I imagine it would be impossible, statistically speaking, to aggregate that much human interaction and not have some untoward behavior.

Similarly I imagine it would be difficult to aggregate 73 million submissions on a site as wide-ranging as Reddit and not have something turn up that would be of interest or of use to you. Your field of interest would have to be very limited.

Knowing the size of Reddit and knowing its level of activity, I assumed that there was information in there that would be useful to ResearchBuzz. I just had to figure out a way to winkle it out.

After six months of various experiments, I’ve finally settled on a useful way to monitor Reddit without too much hassle. My biggest takeaway? Google Alerts is not the right tool for the job.

Information Trapping Strategies for Reddit

Reddit is divided into categories called subreddits. Any registered user can make a subreddit and there are literally thousands and thousands of them. Metareddit lets you search for various subreddits. The nice thing about Metareddit is that you can search for a keyword it’ll show you subreddits that are somehow relevant to that keyword, not just the ones that contain the keyword in the title. Thus a subreddit search for cows finds not only cows and happycowgifs, but also ranching and vegan (and SlothMemes and Bioshock. Sometimes understanding the connection takes a little digging.)

It may be that as you explore the subreddits you may find that all you need to do is join Reddit and monitor a couple of particular subreddits. If you want to monitor for information on genomics, for example, then genomics and ClinicalGenetics might be all you need. In that case, get a Reddit account, join those subreddits, and enjoy! (The topic “Best Practices for Hands-On Reddit” is a whole ‘nother article.)

Alas, that won’t work for me. I’m interested in online databases and digital archives and so forth, which cover thousands of subreddits. If I tried to monitor just one or two, I’d miss so much.

I started my Reddit-monitoring with Google Alerts.

My Experiments With Google Alerts

I currently have 137 Google Alerts. Three of them are Reddit-oriented, and were generated after I did a lot of experimenting. With many of them I found that I got too much, non-useful results, or just weirdness. Finally I settled on three:

intitle:”new database” site:reddit.com

intitle:”new tool” site:reddit.com

intitle:archive site:reddit.com

Are you might notice from the syntax, these are very crude searches. The keywords I want in the title, on the site Reddit.com. Adding “new” to the keywords database and tool where the only useful way I could find to narrow down the search results. You’d think “archive” as a lone keyword would be overwhelming, but it wasn’t. Publishing information on archives is not a big part of Reddit, as far as I’ve noticed.

The results I got in my e-mail for the Google Alerts didn’t tell me too much; I generally had to dig.

That’s not to say these Google Alerts weren’t useful at all. I found several things – mostly related to popular culture – that I’m sure I wouldn’t have found otherwise. But I got usable results so infrequently that I was sure I was missing other content.

Enter IFTTT

If you’ve been reading ResearchBuzz for a while, you know about IFTTT. The site allows you to automate certain tasks usings its different Channels. A channel can be a site (like Reddit) or a technology (like e-mail) or a platform (like Blogger) or even an appliance (Samsung has channels for a refrigerator, robot vacuum, and washer!)

IFTTT stands for “IF This, Then That”. You put the channels together in “recipes,” so that if something happens on one channel, something happens on another channel. As you might imagine, this lets you set up a lot of time-saving tasks. And best of all, IFTTT is free!

I didn’t even have Reddit on my mind when I went to set up some recipes in IFTTT — but browsing through the channels, I noticed there was one for Reddit. And then I noticed how powerful it was.

The Initial Setup

I’m going to assume you know the basics of IFTTT. If you don’t, MakeUseOf has a very thorough guide, which should teach you all you need to know about making recipes.

Start with the Reddit channel, at https://ifttt.com/reddit. You’ll need to connect that channel, and to do that you’ll need a Reddit account. Make sure you’ve got an IFTTT account and a Reddit account, and that your Reddit channel is connected. When it’s all set up it’ll look something like this:

Screenshot 2016-05-08 at 13.29.34 - Edited

Underneath this screen will be a list of popular IFTTT recipes using Reddit. That’s fun to browse, but the really good stuff is at the bottom of the screen: the triggers and actions.

Every IFTTT has a list of Triggers and Actions. A trigger is something that happens on the channel (the “If”.) The actions are things that happen because of something happening on another channel (the “then”.) The IFTTT channel has a lot of triggers, but only two actions.

The trigger I use is New Post From Search. As the channel explains, “This Trigger fires every time a new post submitted on reddit matches a search query you specify.” There is a limit to 20 items per search so you need to get specific.

Let’s make a recipe. I want a recipe to send me an e-mail whenever a Reddit search mentions online museum. We’ll start with the trigger New Post From Search. I’ve chosen the channel and the trigger, so I need to enter my search term:

Screenshot 2016-05-08 at 14.10.40 - Edited

Note that entering your search term is absolutely all you have to do, though you can refine your search with Reddit’s search operators (more about that in a moment.)

(Wondering why I didn’t put the phrase online museum in quotes? Oddly, Reddit does not appear to support phrase search.)

Now you’ll need to create a trigger. Because I’m using this recipe to monitor Reddit for new resources, I’m having the results emailed to me. But if you look at Reddit’s channels you’ll see you have other options, as well. You could add information to a Google Sheet. You could add the links found to Pocket (though I recommend you be sure your search is getting good results before you do that.) You could even automatically tweet something the monitor finds, though again you better be sure your results are fantastic (and that you’ve got the steely nerve required to auto-Tweet links found by automated Reddit searches.)

I find email works best for me, and IFTTT thoughtfully has a quick template of the results that I’ll get back from my Reddit searches. I already have the Email channel set up in IFTTT, so adding this action to my recipe only takes a moment.

PROTIP: If you don’t want to get an email every time the search finds a resource, IFTTT also offers an “EMail Digest” channel that will send you resource roundups either daily or weekly.

The last step is Reddit showing you a summary of your recipe. Click “Create Recipe” and you’re good to go!

Screenshot 2016-05-08 at 14.11.44 - Edited

Just looking at this recipe, you’ve probably noticed the obvious thing that sets it apart from Google Alerts: you’re searching Reddit directly, not relying on Google to index everything perfectly. That alone is going to increase the quality of the resources you get.

But there’s a second step here that will make your search results even better: using Reddit’s own search syntax.

Tweaking Your Reddit Searches

This was a very basic Reddit search: online museum . We can do better than that.

Reddit’s got a list of advanced search operators at https://www.reddit.com/wiki/search. Quickly skimming this list will give you at least a few ideas for making your search better. Let’s hit the highlights.

Reddit Syntax

title: – Just what it says on the tin. Limits your search terms to the title field of a search. If you have general topic interests this is the most important search syntax you can use to keep from being overwhelmed.

site: – If you’ve got a search that’s giving you quality problems and you know your keyword is good, site can be your best friend. It’ll restrict the link you find in your search. You don’t have to just restrict your search to a particular domain; instead, you can search for a top-level domain like edu, gov, or a country code like uk. Try the following searches in Reddit:

title:genetics
title:genetics site:edu
title:genetics site:gov
title:genetics site:uk

See how different those are?

nsfw: Whether a post is considered “safe for work” or not. nsfw:no means you do not want sites which are not considered safe for work. I always set this one to no.

STUPID PET TRICK: You can do a standalone search for nsfw:yes without any other keywords or syntax if you’re just interested in the more — um — adult side of Reddit.

self: Lets you specify whether a post is a text post, or whether it’s a submission with an URL. I want posts with resources, so I set this to self:no. On the other hand, if you were looking for information or anecdotes about something, you might set this to yes. Searching for title:spina title:bifida self:yes might give you insight to what people living with spina bifida or otherwise connected to it are struggling with or want to know more about, while title:spina title:bifida self:no gives you resources and news stories. I recommend you experiment with this before you use it.

When I use Reddit’s search syntax, my search recipe looks a little different. Instead of just online museum, it’s title:online title:museum nsfw:no self:no. Testing that search on Reddit gets me a reasonable number of useful results. I finish creating the recipe and bam, I’ve got a new information trap on Reddit.

I’ve published this recipe on IFTTT at https://ifttt.com/recipes/416887-search-reddit-for-new-resources-about-online-museums. You can make your own copy and edit it to reflect the topics and ideas that you’re interested in as you explore using Reddit as a resource for links and information.

A Couple of Hazards

In the month or so I’ve been using IFTTT and Reddit, I have found a lot of useful sites. I’m getting more e-mail, of course, but since the titles are so clear, I’m sure most of the time when I follow a link it’ll be useful. Two particular things, however, are an issue:

Cascades: I call them cascades, anyway. Sometimes you’ll get a useful link multiple times. The Panama Papers database release is a great example. I saw a few mentions of it, then as the release date of May 9th got closer I saw more, and then an absolute flood a couple days before before the database release. I just delete them as the subjects of the e-mail alerts make it clear they’re duplicates.

Old Resources: Sometimes someone will post a resource that’s very old thinking it’s new and cool. If you’re just gathering resources this won’t matter, but I try to keep ResearchBuzz focused on fresher links.

(What about spam? – Personally, I haven’t seen much spam on the Reddit resources I get. I think my keywords are keeping most of it at bay. If I did see more I would revamp my keywords or consider using the site: syntax to restrict my searches to at least the .edu and .gov top-level domains.)

Why Don’t You Just Use an RSS Feed?

Reddit, unlike many sites, offers an RSS feed of its search results (You can see the one for the online museum search here). So why don’t I just put an RSS feed together instead of messing around with IFTTT?

There are a few reasons:

  1. Getting the results the IFTTT way means you’ll have more flexibility on how you can use them – sent to Pocket, auto-tweeted if you’re nervy enough, etc.
  2. The duplicates are easier to deal when you get them individually in e-mail versus when you get them scattered all over an RSS feed – at least to me.
  3. My priorities. My e-mail alerts are a higher priority to me than my RSS feeds, because they’re targeted. When I get alerts sent to my e-mail, I know I’ll read them first. If I put them in an RSS feed it’s not clear when I’d get around to reading them.

This Just Works Better Than Google Alerts

When I first started using IFTTT as an information trap, I had no idea it would work this well. I wish I’d cottoned to it a long time ago! If you’ve been interested in Reddit but could not work out a good way to monitor it, try IFTTT. You’ll save a tremendous amount of time and I’d be shocked if you didn’t find useful resources.

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

ALA, IFTTT, Googly Eyes, More: Afternoon Buzz, February 20th, 2015

IFTTT has changed its app name to IF and launched a suite of iOS and Android apps called Do. “Take action with the tap of a button. Do empowers you to create your own personalized button, camera, and notepad. Run Recipes right when you want to.” I’m going to need to set aside about six hours to play with this…

The ALA is hosting a copyright tweetchat. “Next week is Fair Use Week so let’s celebrate with a copyright tweetchat on Twitter. On February 25th from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern), legal expert Brandon Butler will be our primary “chatter” on fair use.”

Denmark has opened a huge digital archive. “Denmark’s largest digital photo album with nearly two million images will open to the general public today at 4pm. Danes will have access to the online database at Arkive.dk, which includes 1,841,254 documents such as photos, diaries, letters, and sound and video recordings.”

Interested in OneNote? CiteWorld has an overview that’s not quite thorough enough to be a tutorial.

Whoops! Looks like Google may have accidentally labeled some sites as hacked.

A global coral reef project is headed to the Indian Ocean. “The Catlin team is creating an extensive database of satellite-located, panoramic images of the reefs, along with scientific data on reef growth and environmental impacts. This material will be added to the Catlin Global Reef Record online database, which already hosts more than 217,000 panoramic images.”

Someone with MS has created a Yelp for disabled people. “AXSmap functions as both a directory of accessible places and a way for people to leave their own reviews. Users can rate locations on a number of easy-to-understand metrics like how accessible the entryway and bathroom are, the number of steps to the front door, whether or not a place is guide dog friendly, how quiet it is, and more.”

Yes, the social network Ello is still alive. And it has plans. I couldn’t get that into Ello. Never got much interaction when I tried to post there. Even Google+ is better. Good Morning, Internet…

Fun Friday: a Chrome extension gives everything on the Web “Googly Eyes”.

UK Archives, NLM, Pinterest, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, May 9, 2014

The Wellcome Library has launched the Sandbox, a new developmental Web space. Available now: Beta Browse and Toggle-a-Tron.

Delicious has gotten acquired. Again.

The National Archives of the UK has begun capturing official government tweets and videos.

WordPress has released WordPress 3.9.1, a maintenence release.

The National Library of Medicine has launched a new blog, Voyaging to the Future.

The Mashable headline for this article is “Marissa Mayer: Stop Asking If Yahoo Is a Tech or Media Company.” I read it and my brain snarked, “… because she doesn’t know either.”

The Buffer people have put together a list of over 30 IFTTT recipes for social media. And no, they’re not all Buffer-oriented. Quite a good list.

Who loves Pinterest? Why, the police! “A quick search on Pinterest shows about 85 boards from police departments around the country — including Kansas City, Mo., police — who have used Pinterest to help solve burglary and robbery cases, locate missing people and educate parents about street drugs their kids may be using.” Good afternoon, Internet…

I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Norway, IFTTT, White House, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, January 17, 2014

The National Library of Norway has put over 135,000 in-copyright books online for free — and the authors get paid and everything!

Georgia Tech researchers have analyzed over 45,000 projects on Kickstarter and have developed a list of the phrases that pay (literally).

Happy 13th birthday Wikipedia!

PC World (WARNING! PC WORLD!) offers an IFTTT article 10 IFTTT recipes to make you more productive at work.

Mashable opines that the Yahoo comeback is smoke and mirrors. The comments on ad buying especially resonate with me. As someone who has been buying Google AdWords regularly for a few years (it’s one of the things I do at the warehouse), I’m astonished how much easier it’s been to develop and implement campaigns at Facebook and Google AdWords over time — even FourSquare. But as a small business advertiser, I’m still beating my head against Yahoo.

So Facebook is now offering trending topics — but you still can’t keyword search public posts from the site? AW, C’MON FACEBOOK!

The White House is covering all the bases for a social State of the Union address.

Techmeme is expanding its event listings. They’re still tech, and still expected to be fairly large in scope, but they are not necessarily expected to be Techmeme headline generators. Good afternoon, Internet…

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