We live in distractible times, for bad reasons (cf. the news) and good (cf. Alto’s Odyssey, or the soccer [also, I think people are paying attention to basketball now?]). It is common from time to time to feel that one’s ability to focus is slipping away. (And focus has certainly been an evergreen topic here at ProfHacker!) Last week, David ‘MacSparky’ Sparks (prior) wrote a post about focus that is both helpful and compassionate. You should definitely read the whole (short!)
Today offered a vivid reminder that social networks are (also) surveillance machines, as SnapChat published heatmap of students participating in National Walkout Day. And, in general, as we’ve come to know over the past two years, the information ecosystem created by social networks is pretty poisonous. Amy Collier reminds us today that even Pinterest can be a powerful vector for disinformation. We’ve posted before about ways to understand better what’s going on with your social media accounts.
Entertainingly, there was a minute when people argued that the democratization of access to media would *automatically* result in a space for rational discourse, where people would be persuaded by the best arguments and we would eventually all grow together toward the good. It turns out, of course, we live in a world where corrective information often hardens one’s position.
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 Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.
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, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie
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".