My dad fell ill just before I left home and he never got better. I was optimistic enough to believe he would, or maybe not grown-up enough to countenance the alternative. He was from a family who believed negative emotions should be packed away in a box and discreetly buried. So we didn't talk about the fact that he was clearly depressed by his illness. Instead we talked about movies and TV shows, books and records.
Last week, as the internet exploded with goodwill for Danny Baker, Danny Kelly wrote in the Observer of his surprise at realising that his friend had quietly become a national treasure. Which set us thinking: who else do we count as a national treasure, and what makes one worth treasuring? We thought we'd ask you, the readers, to offer suggestions over the next few weeks, and reveal the results before the year's end. But first: some questions.
Google (have you heard of Google? How to explain. OK, imagine shouting questions at a very tall pile of leaflets) has noticed a 140% increase in “how to” searches. Top of its list is “how to… tie a tie,” followed by, “how to… kiss.” “How to… get pregnant,” is number three, followed by “lose weight” and “draw”. Six and seven are “how to… make money,” then “how to… make pancakes.” Which make me think the world is holding back.
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".