From time to time, people from the Luthiers and Merchandisers constituency of the IBMA (unless I’m thinking of the Groupies and Stalkers constituency) ask me to test and review some of the new bluegrass-related products that have come out in the past year. I guess I’m chosen because, aside from the basics like strings, picks, tuners, instrument cases, a guitar, etc., I don’t buy a lot of newfangled music products. I’m just not much a of a gadget guy.
The following column will be understood and appreciated only by people familiar with Facebook. Even then it may not be appreciated much, and I would certainly understand. If you’re not a Facebook user, congratulations! You are up to 68% more productive than the rest of society (I know this statistic is true; I read it on Facebook).
It’s been my habit twice a year to run some sort of quiz. One is a general bluegrass knowledge quiz, which runs around the 1st of the year, while the other is a quiz related to subjects covered by this column, which usually runs around the middle of the year. The weather is warm to unbearably hot, depending on your location, and the baseball all-star break is approaching, so this feels pretty mid-year-like to me.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Obama AND Romney or Obama + Romney.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used.) For example, search for democrat OR republican to find results that refer to
Democrats and/or Republicans.
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".