Sometimes an article you read in the paper can help you change for the better. Or so I thought as I put down the novelist Ann Patchett’s wonderful account of giving up shopping for clothes and electronics last year and being much the happier for it. I figured keeping such a New Year resolution would be easy because I grew up on hand-me-downs and that trick of flipping a collar that had frayed in the Kolkata of the 1970s.
One moment loud carols in Bengali seemed to echo up and down Kolkata’s Park Street, the next minute the familiar silhouette of a small woman in a white and blue saree striding purposefully onstage appeared on the big screen at the open-air Christmas celebration that would go on for a couple of days. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s appearance at Allen Park seemed that evening part of a docudrama of Kolkata’s secularism.
Every few months, it seems, a senseless terrorist attack in the UK or France hits the front pages. The headlines are followed by attempts to understand how the perpetrators, often young Muslim men, become radicalised in the West. Islam is often indicted as the culprit, but the absence of a similar frequency of terrorist incidents in countries such as India or Indonesia with much larger Muslim populations makes such theorising seem superficial.
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".