A few days ago we covered Talkwalker Alerts - a free web alerts service that does pretty much what Google Alerts does, by letting you add as many web-based alerts as you like and monitor them via an RSS feed. It’s a good service and a reliable one should Google decide to axe its offering. Mention is a similar service that’s more suited for users who use alerts extensively to monitor specific topics being discussed online. The service has both free and premium accounts available, with the free accounts limited to a total of three alerts and 50,000 mentions per month.
Mention has apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android that allow you to monitor these alerts as they come. The service does not send email alerts, and your inbox therefore remains clean from the clutter. Mention has its own ‘inbox’ that you can read the alerts in. Alerts can be narrowed down to include or exclude a certain phrase/word, originate from specific source(s), and be in a language of your choice. Mention allows you to view stats for your alerts and download them in report form as a PDF file.
Note: Mention is a paid web service that offers a thirty-day free trial, after which you have to upgrade to its $19.99/month Pro or $99.95/month Team plan. We’re giving away 5 Pro accounts that will remain free for one year (you’ll be saving $240!). You’ll find additional information about taking part in the giveaway at the bottom of the post.
Sign up for a free Mention account and create your first alert. You can use its web interface, desktop apps, or mobile apps – all work equally well. An alert can created by entering a phrase or a single keyword. You can then enter multiple keywords or phrases for the alert. There are three types of entries here; when it comes to the first group the alert will trigger if at least one of those entries are found. In case of the second group, the alert will only trigger if all of those entries are detected. Lastly, there’s the group of entries to be excluded i.e. the alert will not trigger of any of those are found. After specifying as many entries for these sections as you want, select a language and proceed to the next step.
You will now need to select the sources you would like the alerts to come from. Mention can monitor the web, public Facebook activity, tweets, news, blogs, videos, forums and images. Mention has a ‘priority’ inbox that learns the sources you deem more credible based on how you read alerts. It evolves over time and with usage. You can also keep the service from showing duplicate alerts i.e.e the same alert found at different sources, by enabling the ‘Anti-Noise’ feature.
Once you’ve created the alerts, you will start receiving them in your inbox i.e. the ‘Mentions’ section. At first glance, this section appears to have a lot going on. In reality, it isn’t just a simple viewing interface; it’s also very powerful in terms of filters. You can view all alerts, unread ones, or just the ones in your ‘Priority’ inbox.
To filter the alerts by source, pull down the ‘sources’ dropdown. You will see the number of alerts received from each source, and select any one of the sources to view alerts from it exclusively.
When it comes to individual alerts, they can be favorited, their sources can be blocked from appearing again, and of course, they can be deleted. You can also create a task out of an alert by clicking the large arrow button at the right of the top bar. The task can be assigned to anyone and categorized. The alert can be shared via Twitter, Facebook, or email. Each alert has its own favorites, tasks, activity, and users tabs, ensuring that your alerts are never mixed up or end up in the same box.
The five buttons at the top-left allow you to quickly add a new alert, view the current status of your quota, view stats for the alerts you’ve added, invite friends to join Mention (you get 100 mentions credited to you account when a friend accepts your invite), and manage your account and alerts.
Mention is also available for teams but that’s a premium feature. It has a very rich statistical overview of your alerts. You can narrow the view down by date, source, priority or favorites. The overview can be downloaded as a PDF and is somewhat similar to the PDF reports that Google Analytics allowed users to download.
Mention is a very sophisticated service for managing and monitoring online content. The Windows app is an exact replica of the service’s web interface. It has a built-in browser that lets you view alerts easily. It also gives you desktop notifications for new alerts.
The mobile apps do everything possible in the desktop apps, sans the stats overview. You can easily add new alerts, read them as they come, and manage them any way you like. The app gives you in-app notifications when new alerts arrive.
Mention isn’t likely going to be too useful to the average user; it’s meant more for people responsible for managing brand reputations, PR, or social media, and has the potential to become an indispensable tool for them.
We’re giving away 5 Mention Pro subscriptions that will remain free for one whole year. The giveaway will last till the end of the coming weekend. The steps for participation are simple:
- Follow @addtips on Twitter.
- Tweet/retweet the giveaway.
- In the comments below, provide a link to your tweet. To do so, right-click the timestamp below your tweet and copy its URL.
Update 1: The giveaway has been closed. Winners will be contacted shortly.
Update 2: Winners contacted. If you submitted an entry, please check your Twitter Direct Messages, Facebook Messages or GTalk feed.