Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bramble, Pizza, and Google's been long enough (April, I think) since I wrote about anything. And there has been so much. Just didn't feel like writing.

But this was too good to pass up. In a manner that seems absolutely in character, Utah Senate Majority Leader Curt Bramble tried to throw his weight around with a pizza delivery girl and her boss. The blog post that Anna wrote regarding her encounter with Senator Bramble was just too good. And the subsequent posts are worth reading as well. I can't do it justice, although here is a teaser:

"Look, I'm the majority leader of the state senate, I've lived in this house for 30 years, and I've never bounced a check." He's gruff. I am uncomfortable, my eyes pleading, but I say nothing. "Do you know what that means? I'm a public figure. If I bounced a check, it would be all over the papers. I'd lose my reputation!"

Suffice it to say that Curt Bramble tries to bully everyone. It didn't matter that a private business can do what they want. They don't have to accept checks, credit cards, or even cash, for that matter. If they want to be paid in chickens they can require their customers to pay in chickens (probably won't have many customers, but they could do it if they want). There are many businesses that won't take checks. Look for them. They are all around, including many of the fast food restaurants. None of that seemed to matter to Senator Bramble.

Now how does Google play into this? It seems obvious that Anna had no idea that her blog would generate much notice (it hadn't much to this point) and was surprised that it attracted so much attention. She (and others) don't realize that Google indexes blogs with regularity.

There is a mechanism built in to most blog software that notifies Google when a new blog post is made. When Google is notified, it sends its spiders rushing over to check out the new post and index it, making the results available fairly quickly in Google's vast index of the web.

For example, this link has the latest blog posts in Google's index for the phrase "Bramble pizza". You can see all the results, results from the last month, week, day, 12 hours or even last hour.

What is even more interesting is that you can sign up for a Google Alert to have that information delivered to you once a day, if you want. You can also put the RSS feed for that alert into your RSS reader of choice and be notified anytime something new about Bramble and pizza is posted to the blogosphere.

That's how many people keep up on news and information to blog about. Set up a number of alerts and RSS feeds and you will get an endless stream of posts and news items to blog about and comment on. I guarantee that there are people out there that have a Google Alert set up for any news or blog posts regarding Curt Bramble.

By the way, politicians could also use that to find out what people are saying about them. That frightens some people (you shall remain nameless). But I know that at least one senator (that of pizza fame) happened to comment on a posting that I did about him last November. It literally took only four hours and 56 mintues after I posted about Curt Bramble giving incorrect information about the voucher bill for him to comment on this blog. How did he find that post so quickly? Could it be that he (or his 'staff') spends hours scouring the Internet to find what people are saying about him? I think it more likely that he is using technology, such as Google Alerts, to find that information.

If you are a blogger, try out Google Alerts. You'll get an endless supply of material.

Update: It took Google less than two hours to index this post and have the information available in Google and for it to show up on Utah Bloghive. I wonder if Senator Bramble has seen it yet.

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