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 [Source: This article was Published in searchengineland.com - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Patrick Moore]

Social media provides an enormous pool of insights into your market and competitors. These social listening tools bring those insights right to the surface.

People have always talked about brands and products. They’ve praised and complained about companies in the dining rooms, by the water cooler, over the phone. With the rise of social media, this previously intangible word-of-mouth has finally become measurable — and thus amplifiable — for businesses. Social media listening, the process of using a tool to monitor online mentions of a brand (or anything else), gives companies access to that data.

For this post, we’ve put together a list of 7 most robust social media monitoring tools to bring you real-time insights on your customers, market, and competition.

1. Awario

Awario is a relative newcomer to the social media monitoring and analytics scene. Its ambition is to make social media insights affordable for any brand, be it a startup, an international company, or a digital agency. With pricing plans starting at $29/mo, Awario offers Enterprise capabilities (from Boolean search to Sentiment Analysis to Share of Voice) included in every plan.

You can use Awario to monitor mentions of your brand, competitors, industry, or set up queries for the less obvious use cases. For instance, the app lets you identify guest blogging opportunities, discover content ideas, and find industry influencers to partner with. That’s where the tool’s flexible Boolean search mode comes in handy: it lets you create complex queries that will satisfy even the nerdiest of marketers.

On top of social media, Awario covers news, blogs, and the entire web to give you a holistic picture of your brand’s online presence.

Supported platforms

Twitter,  Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, news, blogs, the web.

Customer rating

  4.5/5 (Capterra).

Reviewers mention Awario’s affordability, Boolean search, influencer marketing capabilities, and excellent customer support as the main pros.

Pricing

There’s a free trial that lets you test Awario out before settling on one of its paid plans.

awario pricing 2

2. Brandwatch

Brandwatch is a suite of 3 tools for marketing and PR teams. Its Audiences product lets you find groups of people based on your targeting rules, such as demographic criteria and interests. It lets you better understand your customers by analyzing their social media posts and pinpointing what sets them apart from the general public.

Vizia is a visualization tool that lets you build custom dashboards based on Brandwatch data. Vizia also works with third-party tools, such as BuzzSumo and Google Analytics, to give you a comprehensive way to measure your marketing efforts.

The company’s social media monitoring tool is called Analytics. It comes equipped with image recognition, API access, and analytical dashboards that can be downloaded as PowerPoint presentations in a click.

Supported platforms

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, VK, QQ, blogs, news, the web.

Customer rating

   4/5 (Capterra).

The tool’s users love its media coverage and customizable dashboards. The biggest con is its cost.

Pricing

Brandwatch offers 3 plans to choose from. There’s no free trial, but you can contact the team for a demo of the product.

brandwatch pricing

3. Hootsuite

If you aren’t looking for an in-depth social media monitoring tool, but would rather opt for something that offers publishing, collaboration, and monitoring features, Hootsuite is an excellent choice.

While the app itself doesn’t monitor sources beyond social media, it offers many useful integrations with tools like Brandwatch and Reputology for your reputation management needs. Some of those are free, while some need to be purchased as add-ons.

Supported platforms

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. More sources available via integrations.

Customer rating

  4.5/5 (Capterra).

Users love Hootsuite’s user-friendly layout and the fact that it supports all major social networks for scheduling.

Pricing

Hootsuite has a free trial that lets you play around with the tool before you jump on one of its three paid plans.

hootsuite pricing

4. Meltwater

Meltwater is an Enterprise media intelligence tool. While not a dedicated social listening solution (Meltwater also offers PR and social media management capabilities), it includes robust tools for monitoring mentions of your keywords across the Internet.

Meltwater’s strength is the analytics the software provides: it lets you create custom dashboards with metrics that matter to you, from audience demographics to the reach of the social media chatter around your brand.

Supported platforms

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, blogs, news, the web, broadcast.

Customer rating

 3.5/5 (Capterra).

The biggest pros mentioned by users are Meltwater’s coverage and powerful reports, with the main downside being its cost.

Pricing

Meltwater’s social media monitoring package is priced at $15,000/year. For more information, you’ll need to talk to the company’s sales team.

5. Talkwalker

Talkwalker is a perfect social media listening tool for big brands and agencies. Apart from providing you with the latest mentions of your brand and competitors, Talkwalker offers powerful analytics that let you spot trends in the buzz around your keywords. It goes beyond basic reporting by analyzing your audience’s demographics, occupation, and interests. It also builds powerful word clouds that let you identify hashtags that are most commonly used together with your keyword.

On top of tracking conversations across social media channels and the web, Talkwalker monitors print and TV mentions. Image recognition is also available in the Enterprise plan.

Supported platforms

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, blogs, news, the web, print, TV.

Customer rating

 4.5/5 (Capterra).

Customers mention Talkwalker’s ease of use, extensive coverage, and real-time alerts as the main pros.

Pricing

Talkwalker offers three subscription plans on their website.

talkwalker pricing

6. Tweetdeck

TweetDeck, owned by Twitter, is an all-in-one dashboard for your Twitter activity. It lets you schedule tweets, interact with your feed, manage your inbox, and track mentions of your company (or anything else) on the network.

While the tool’s social listening capabilities are limited to one social network, its search options are pretty impressive for a free app. You can add keywords in flexible formats, exclude certain terms, and filter results by country, language, or date. You can set up as many searches as you need and reply to tweets right from the dashboard by connecting your Twitter account to the app.

Supported platforms

Twitter.

Customer rating

 4.5/5 (Capterra).

Customers love TweetDeck’s column layout, multi-account support, and scheduling options.

Pricing

Tweetdeck is absolutely free.

7. Agorapulse

Agorapulse is another two-in-one social media tool: while the app primarily focuses on social media management, it also offers listening capabilities for selected social networks. Though Agorapulse doesn’t include web monitoring, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a scheduling app that will also notify you of social brand mentions.

On top of publishing and social media monitoring, Agorapulse lets you find influencers and streamline outreach and communication with the help of its inbuilt CRM.

Supported platforms

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.

Customer rating

  4.5/5 (Capterra).

Users love the fact that Agorapulse combines social media management with social listening, the tool’s ease of use, and its excellent customer service.

Pricing

Agorapulse offers a free trial. After you try the tool, you can pick one of the four available subscription plans.

agorapulse pricing

Conclusion

Social media has become the place where consumers talk about everything — and that includes your brand. As more companies turn to social media monitoring for insights, social media monitoring tools are catching up and becoming more elaborate and affordable. However, don’t forget that the insights the tools provide aren’t everything — it’s the decisions you make and the actions you take based on those insights that will make your brand stand out.

 

Categorized in Marketing Research

[This article is originally published in bmmagazine.co.uk - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Robert Hensonw] 

The reverse image search tool will help users to initiate search about any image from around the globe quickly, all you have to do is upload a photo from your desktop by clicking on the browse button, and it will show you results that include similar images.

These similar images include similar pictures, similar size, and similar dimensions.

Many professional photographers and journalists usually use search by image tool to find out original sources of a particular image that from where an image has been used. The tool will help you that when and where your picture is used and when it was actually published on the internet. The photos are the intellectual property of the photographers, so they need to know that which website is using their photos without crediting them or without asking prior permission from the original photographer.

The reverse image search tool is straightforward and useful for those people too who want to verify any social media account, they need to upload that profile picture in the tool and initiate a search for the originality of the photo. You will find all the relevant information available in popular search engines that include information and matching images.

How to find similar images online with reverse image search tool

The search by image tool is very simple and easy tool and is relatively effective. Through this technology, you are able to find out:

  • Similar photos
  • Web pages that include similar pictures or information
  • Other related photos that have similarity in size or dimensions.

This technology is very useful and relatively provides best results when it is used for personal purpose.

Standardized search through reverse image search

It is one of the best tools in the modern world that best describes any picture which you uploaded. If you wanted to get information about any picture whether it is about a person, an animal or any place then simply upload that picture, and you get adorable information about the facts of the picture. You also can easily verify the dignity of the photos whether it is original or not.

Now another point where you need reverse image search tool for assistance is where you have heard much about a celebrity or an animal, and you want to know more about him then upload that picture and see similar photos.

These similar photos include information about that particular image or other sources from where you can get more information.

How can you initiate a search with images for more information?

The reverse image search tool offered by SmallSEOTools.com is one of the best tools to find out results from most popular search engines in the modern era Google, Yahoo and Bing.

These search engines allow users to detect and search images through content-based technique. The demand for this kind of technology has been increased over the time because most of the people want that their pictures remain safe and secure, and nobody can use it without taking prior permission from the source or without crediting the Author.

As technology has improved itself, it has also become easier to search for all types of data. You are now able to search with content-based technology, the same way as you will search for something with keywords on search engine.

This tool will allow users to initiate a search in the quickest way, so you are able to know more about any picture.

Another question that bothers most people about reverse image search is how to find similar images online? By using CBIR technology, this technology literally means content-based image retrieval technology, and with the user-friendly environment, you are able to find out similar images or related information about any photo. These results are based on those databases that are available on their internet sources.

The reverse image search tool primarily works by making communication and connection with popular search engines. You are able to see all the related results that are available on the databases of some popular search engines, i.e. Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Just click on the results to see other related photos and related information about any particular object.

The search by image tool works with just a few simple steps what you need to do is to have a query picture for which you want to search similar images and upload. After you are done with uploading the image, wait for a few seconds to see results.

The results which are shown to you include similar photos with similar size or dimensions and also other related information. The reverse image search tool will provide you detailed information about any image without wasting your time and fetches data from online databases.

There are other ways to upload a picture that involves giving URL of the picture. The tool basically accepts JPG, JPEG, and PNG file extensions. Once are done with inserting a picture then the tool takes care of the rest. All you can do is simply click on the search image button and then just wait for the results.

Any user whether he is a professional photographer or whether he wants to ensure the privacy of his pictures can use this tool and benefit from it. The professional photographers can easily catch those persons who are using their images without crediting them or without taking prior permission.

Meanwhile, this tool is also helpful to check the dignity of the website, and even people can know the original source of the picture. It does not cost you and also does not waste your time by asking you to log in or register, just enter the URL of the website and use features of this tool to know anything through pictures.

Categorized in Search Engine

Source: This article was Published irishtechnews.ie By Sujain Thomas - Contributed by Member: Carol R. Venuti

Well, Google does not know you personally, so there is no reason to hate you. If you are writing and still not getting that first ranking on the page of the search engine, it means something is not right from your side.  First of all, let’s just get some ideas straight. How do you think search engine ranking is effective a web page? Being in the few lines of code will not always determine whether the page is capable enough to be placed on the first page of the search engine. Search engines are always on the lookout for signals to rank any page. So, it is easier for you to tweak an article and give those signals to search engines for enjoying a huge round of traffic.

Starting with the primary point:

To get that huge round of audience, you need to start with keyword research. It is one such topic which every blogger might have covered at least once. They need to work on that from the very first day of their blogging life. Every SEO blog or blogger might have used Google Keyword Planner for sure. You might have heard of it, because if you haven’t then you are missing out on a lot of things for your massive business growth.

More on Google Keyword Planner:

There are so many types of keyword research tools available in the market but Google Keyword Planner is at the top of the list. It is also one of the major keyword spy tool names you will come across recently. Google Keyword Planner is an official item from Google, offering you a traffic estimation of targeted keywords. It further helps users to find some of the related and relevant KWs for matching your niche. There are some important points you need to know about Google Keyword Planner before you can actually start using it.

  • For using this Google Keyword Planner tool, you need to register your name with Google and have an AdWords account. The tool is free of cost and you don’t have to spend a single penny on using this item. You have every right to create an AdWords tool using some simple steps and get to use it immediately.
  • If you want, you can clearly search for the current Google AdWords coupons, which will help you to create one free account for your own use. It will help you to use the Google Keyword Planner tool on an immediate count for sure.
  • The main target of this tool is towards AdWords advertisers. On the other hand, it is able to provide some amazing deals of information when it is time to find the right keyword for the blog and the relevant articles to your business.

Log online and get a clear idea on how the homepage of this tool from Google looks like. You just have to enter the target keyword in the given search bar and start your search results quite immediately.  Later, you can add filters if you want to.

Categorized in Online Research

When it comes to legal research services and databases for Big Law, the two leading providers are Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis. Not too long ago, they were essentially the only players in the legal research game — but that was before the internet and the lure of Fast, Easy and often Free access to information online.

Having recently touched on the a title="Westlaw versus LexisNxis – Which is Better?" ">"ifferences between Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis, I thought it might be helpful to touch on the subject of low-cost and free legal research services and websites. We often get asked about less expensive options for gaining access to legal information, especially as it gets more difficult for law firms to recover the costs of these services. I have compiled a short list of six legal information resources on the internet today.

This is by no means an exhaustive list; nor is it a recommendation to replace Westlaw, Lexis-Nexis, Bloomberg or any other provider! In fact, those services continue to be a must-have legal information resource for many firms. Nonetheless, it is helpful to stay on top of other information options that are available to lawyers, firms and clients themselves.

1. GOOGLE SCHOLAR

Google Scholar provides an easy, free way to search and read published opinions of the United States Supreme Court since 1791; US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923; and state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950. Select the “Case Law” button under the Google Scholar search box. There is also separate search functionality for patent information and legal journals.

2. FASTCASE

Fastcase allows users to access federal & state law, appellate decisions, and statutes. It also includes visualization tools to portray the relationships between cases and a “bad law bot” to pinpoint cases which have received negative treatment. Fastcase has a relationship with HeinOnline to deliver content through Fastcase searches (HeinOnline subscription required.) Fastcase has excellent technology integration with Word, Outlook & Adobe products to enable extraction of citations and batch printing. There is a free mobile app for Ios and Android for pulling cases on the go. Fastcase has relationships with many bar associations to provide free access to a simplified version of the product. Annual subscriptions start at $695 for a single user, and the company also maintains a “Public Library of Law” website which provides free access to cases, statutes, regulations, court rules and constitutions.

3. LOISLAWCONNECT

This service of Wolters Kluwer offers pay-as-you-go options for access to primary legal content. You purchase either a 48-hr, 7-day, or 31-day pass, with no contracts or recurring payments. Pricing ranges from $29.95 for a two-day pass to Court Rules for one state to $184 for 31-day access to Primary Law National and Bankruptcy. For some services a one-year subscription plan is available. There are no hidden charges for printing, downloading or hyper-linking to material outside of your subscription.

4. FINDLAW

FindLaw is a comprehensive resource with helpful content for both the legal profession and consumers. You can conduct a broad search for free on cases or contracts, and you can browse research materials by type, jurisdiction or practice area. In addition, the site offers an archive of published opinion summaries dating back to September 2000 by the U.S. Supreme Court, all thirteen U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, and some state courts.

5. JUSTIA

Justia, based in Silicon Valley, was created with the mission to “advance the availability of legal resources for the benefit of society.” The site provides free access to case law, codes, regulations, legal articles and legal blog databases. And if you want information to come directly to you, the company publishes a variety of free newsletters, including daily opinion summaries for all Federal Appellate and State Supreme Courts and weekly opinion summaries on a wide range of practice areas, essentially from ‘A’ (Agriculture Law) to ‘Z’ (Zoning and Land Use).

6. LEGAL INFORMATION INSTITUTE, CORNELL UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL

GetLegal in partnership with the Legal Information Institute Center at Cornell Law School provides access to U.S. federal materials including the full text of the U.S. Code and opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court, court rules, CFR and additional federal materials. The site also offers quick links to the current authoritative versions of the state statutes, constitution, regulations and court rules.

COMPARING LEGAL RESEARCH SERVICES

When comparing legal research services and databases, the cost is an important consideration, but not the only one. While free case law information is abundantly available on the internet, it can also be said that you get what you pay for. You will not get the kinds of research aids, secondary materials and treatises or enhancements that make the paid tools so valuable and effective. You may not get the depth and breadth of legal content you need, nor know if the content is actually authoritative and legitimate. In addition, browsing and keyword searches consume a fair amount of time while possibly leaving you without crucial information that could help your client.

When time is money and the right information can make or break a legal matter, these shortcomings can quickly move the value gauge from free or low-price to quite costly.

Our Expense Management experts can help ensure your legal research costs are in line with industry standards and offer strategies and advice on how to reduce them.

The two most important research tools are the legal content service or resource and the person doing the research. When you need legal research help, our trained staff are on call with the skills and the tools to find what you need.

 Source: This article was published ccmchase.com By Natalya Berdzeni

Categorized in Online Research

This article will give you some insights on how to make your research process more effective using online research tools.

10 Awesome Online Research Tools 

Online learning has opened up the opportunity for many people to educate themselves, learn new skills, and earn college degrees even if they are not able to attend classes in a traditional sense of the word. Some just don’t have the time/money to move or commute to another city, or they work full time and have families, which means eLearning is their only option. As great as online learning is, it has several drawbacks. Obviously, it requires you to be online most of the time, which is fine, if you are doing research, writing, taking online tests, or attending your virtual classes.

But being online also makes you more prone to procrastination and distractions. There is also the issue of keeping all those gigabytes of research data organized and having hardware that’s powerful enough to enable real-time communication. These are just some of the issues eLearners face. Fortunately, there is something you can do to make your eLearning experience a lot more efficient and stimulating, especially the research part. We have prepared a list of 10 online research tools every online learner should master.

  1. Todoist.
    Research is a time-intensive activity, which means you will need a tool to organize both your professional and personal life. We advise you to give Todoist a shot. Todoist enables you to manage all of your projects and access them from any platform you own, including your desktop computer, laptop, or portable devices. You can share your tasks and collaborate with other people. Another clever feature is “karma” points, which are given to users if they are successful in assigning tasks to projects.
  2. EndNote.
    EndNote is a multi-functional research tool which helps you search for information in online databases and full texts based on abstracts, as well as manage and auto-complete all of your references. Like Todoist, EndNote also enables you to share your research data with your collaborators. If you prefer to work alone, you can do that too by saving, managing and tagging your research results for better access. Other features include bibliography maker that is capable of creating citations in over 6,000 styles, as well as automatic journal suggestion.
  3. EduGeeksClub.
    Every once in a while, you are going to come across an insurmountable obstacle while doing your research. Instead of giving up, you can turn to EduGeeksClub for professional research help. Get in touch with professional writers and researchers and learn all the ins and outs of thorough research. Also, you can commission a paper from them which you can then use as a resource for your essay, paper, or dissertation. They also provide editing and proofreading services.
  4. Zotero.
    Another essential tool all online learners should make use of is Zotero. Zotero integrates itself seamlessly into your browser and uses its clever ability to automatically recognize content for you. After that, all it takes for you to save it to your personal, fully searchable library, which is another feature in Zotero, in a single click. It supports audio and video files, PDF documents, as well as most image formats.
  5. RefWorks.
    RefWorks is a browser-based tool which has the ability to help learners find the right research data, organize it, store it, and easily share it with their colleagues and collaborators. All of that research information and written work needs to be supported by proper citations, and RefWorks generates those for you automatically, as well as bibliographies in every style. If you are not sure how to make use of its full potential, there are plenty of tutorials on how to do it, right there on the website.
  6. DataElixir.
    One of the best ways to keep up to date with all the latest news, developments and data in science is to find a website which curates all of those on a weekly basis. We recommend Data Elixir. Whether you’re an eLearner, a scientist, or a researcher, you benefit a lot for its weekly collection of all the best data resources and news, and you don’t even have to put in any effort whatsoever. You just have to subscribe to their free weekly newsletter and that’s it.
  7. Paperpile.
    Paperfile is a reference management software which, similar to Zotero, works as an extension for Google Chrome browser, making it accessible for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux users. We recommend that you use it to find and import data from platforms like Google Scholar, PubMed, or arXiv. You can easily export all the PDF documents and data to Google Drive, which means you’ll have the opportunity for collaborative editing of your papers. The collaboration doesn’t end there, because you can send data back and forth between Paperpile and Zotero, for example, as well as Mendeley.
  8. DeepDyve.
    High-quality research papers and scholarly journals can often set you back a pretty penny, so it’s important for you to know exactly what you’re getting for the money you’ve paid. The only trouble is, you are often allowed to look at an abstract for free, and decide if you want to buy the full-text paper, and then realize it’s of no use to you. DeepDyve enables you to access the full-text articles for a limited period of time, enough for you to figure out if the paper is exactly what you are looking for.
  9. ContentMine.
    ContentMine is an online resource which aims to bring over 100,000,000 scientific facts close to the people, by converting the collective knowledge of the world that is present in scientific literature into content which can be read on your computes. All of its tools, features, and services are free and open access. They often cite Wikipedia and similar open projects as a source of their inspiration.
  10. Plagiarism Checker.
    In order to rid your work of duplicate content, run it through Plagiarism Checker, which will scan and determine if there is any duplicate content present. If there is, you either need to provide better citations, or rewrite your work so that it’s more unique.

These 10 awesome online research tools will change the way you do research for good, and for the better, and your eLearning process will be made much more streamlined and efficient. In the end, that’s the thing that matters the most.

Source: This article was published elearningindustry.com By Antonio Tooley

Categorized in Online Research

'Civic technologist' Friedrich Lindenberg shares a range of tools journalists can use in investigative journalism projects

Investigative journalism has long been the marker by which news organizations – and journalists – measure their worth.

"As a journalist, your main tool is talking to people and asking the right questions of the right people," said civic technologist and self-described "OpenGov and data journalism geek" Friedrich Lindenberg in a webinar on investigative journalism tools for the International Centre for Journalists last week.

"This is still true, but also you can ask the right questions with the right databases. You can ask the right questions with the right tools."

Lindenberg listed an arsenal of tools the investigative journalist can equip themselves with. Here are some of the highlights. 

DocumentCloud

Lindenberg described DocumentCloud as a "shared folder of documents", offering different folders that can be used for various investigations, control over who can access which documents, the ability to annotate different parts of documents, search throughout and embed segments or entire documents.

Even better, DocumentCloud looks for "entities" – such as people, companies, countries, institutions – identifies them and makes them searchable, which is especially useful for legal documents that may stretch into hundreds of pages when you are only interested in a few key points.

DocumentCloud is run by IRE but Lindenberg encouraged journalists to contact him at SourceAfrica.net, where an open source version of the software is available.
DocumentCloud screengrab
Screengrab from documentcloud.org

Overview

A "bit more of an expert tool", according to Lindenberg, Overview lets the user import documents from DocumentCloud or CSV files and then counts the frequency of words to make a "hierarchy of terms" for words.

When used this way, Overview can give a quick rundown of large numbers of documents, making it easier to understand the core topics.

OpenCorporates

Popularised by dramatisation of the Watergate scandal All The President's Men, "follow the money" is one of the mantras of investigative journalists everywhere.

Many large and expensive business registries exist to track the myriad connections between individuals and companies, but few within the reach of the press.

One of those few is Open Corporates, where users can search by name or company and filter by geographical jurisdiction.

DueDil

DueDil has a similar function to OpenCorporates but is a "slightly better research tool", said Lindenberg, as you can narrow the search on individuals with similar names by searching by birth date.

Where OpenCorporates has a global range of company information, DueDil mainly draws on UK companies. Both operate on a freemium model with monthly fees for greater access.

Investigative Dashboard

Both OpenCorporates and DueDil were built for business purposes, helping people to conduct due diligence on companies and individuals before any signing any contracts.

Investigative Dashboard though is tailor-made for journalists. Users can search business records scraped from websites in a range of countries or go through the directory of more than 450 business registries, company lists and "procurement databases" – which highlight the 'hot point' where companies and governments do business – to find detailed information.

"They also have a broad network of researchers in different regions," said Lindenberg, "and they will look at other databases that they will be familiar with and maybe even have stringers and contacts on the ground who will find information and documents."

Paul Radu, an investigative reporter at the OOCCRP who helped build the Investigative Dashboard, told Journalism.co.uk the platform has researchers in Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

"We do pro bono due to diligence work for journalists and activists and these people have access to all the open databases," he said. "But also we managed to get some funding to access some pretty expensive databases that are very useful in tracking down the information across borders."
Investigative Dashboard screengrabScreengrab from investigativedashboard.org

Tabula

Governments are partial to releasing reports and figures in PDF files, making it difficult for journalists looking to analyse and investigate the data contained within.

In the UK, you can specify usable file formats (Excel or CSV for example) in Freedom of Information requests. But if you are still faced with data locked up in a PDF, you need Tabula.

"It's the gateway drug to data journalism", said Lindenberg of Tabula.

Simply download and install the software, open a PDF in the program, select a table and Tabula will convert it into a workable file format. Magic.

Lindenberg suggested many more tools to help journalists analyse documents and data, scrape web pages and further their investigations alongside the hour-long webinar.

However, he stressed that for best results viewers should pick one tool for a project and learn to use it well, rather than trying to get to grips with lots of new things at once.

"Learning these tools requires a bit of time experimentation," he said, "a bit of willingness to get into this new thing and once you've done that you will get some benefits out of it.

"If you're saying 'I'm not a computer person' I want you to stop doing that and say instead that you're a journalist who has arrived in the 21st century and is using digital tools in a way to conduct fantastic investigations."

Source: This article was published journalism.co.uk By Paul Radu,

Categorized in Investigative Research

Search multiple social networks at the same time on this free website

What is it? A free search engine to help journalists find posts about certain topics on social networks.

How is it of use to journalists? Social media is becoming an increasingly powerful channel for sourcing stories, but with the number of platforms now around it's becoming more difficult to stay on top of the chatter.

It may be that you're looking for reactions on social about certain news events, or you might be trying to find eyewitnesses, photos or videos from the scene of a story.

With Social Searcher, you can search for keywords on multiple platforms at the same time.

The social networking search engine supports a wide variety of platforms, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, and YouTube.



You can save individual searches you may need to perform more often, and use advanced filters to help you find what you're looking for quicker.


search results social searcher
Screenshot of search results.

Social Searcher enables you to search based on 'post types', for example, and find results that include links, photos, videos or any combination of media.

Each search also comes with its own analytics dashboard, where you can see the most popular related hashtags, the overall sentiment of the posts (i.e. if the language denotes a positive view of the topic), or other keywords that are often featured alongside the terms used in your search.

Social Searcher is free to use for up to 100 searches a day, after which you can choose from a number of pricing options available.

These include additional features such as the ability to save individual posts, access web mentions of keywords, and use the 'monitoring' service.

'Monitoring' enables you to save the mentions history, access advanced analytics and export data as a CSV file.

Social Searcher started out in 2012 as an Android app allowing users to search through Facebook without logging in and has since expanded to become a comprehensive tool for finding posts on social media.

 Source: This article was published journalism.co.uk By Catalina Albeanu

Categorized in Search Engine

Search engines are an intrinsic part of the array of commonly used “open source” research tools. Together with social media, domain name look-ups, and more traditional solutions such as newspapers and telephone directories, effective web searching will help you find vital information to support your investigation.

Many people find that search engines often bring up disappointing results from dubious sources. A few tricks, however, can ensure that you corner the pages you are looking for, from sites you can trust. The same goes for searching social networks and other sources to locate people: A bit of strategy and an understanding of how to extract what you need will improve results.

This chapter focuses on three areas of online investigation:

1-Effective web searching 

2-Finding people online

3-Identifying domain ownership

1. Effective web searching

Search engines like Google don’t actually know what web pages are about. They do, however, know the words that are on the pages. So to get a search engine to behave itself, you need to work out which words are on your target pages.

First off, choose your search terms wisely. Each word you add to the search focuses the results by eliminating results that don’t include your chosen keywords.

Some words are on every page you are after. Other words might or might not be on the target page. Try to avoid those subjective keywords, as they can eliminate useful pages from the results.

Use advanced search syntax.

Most search engines have useful so-called hidden features that are essential to helping focus your search and improve results.

Optional keywords

If you don’t have definite keywords, you can still build in other possible keywords without damaging the results. For example, pages discussing heroin use in Texas might not include the word “Texas”; they may just mention the names of different cities. You can build these into your search as optional keywords by separating them with the word OR (in capital letters).

You can use the same technique to search for different spellings of the name of an individual, company or organization.

Search by domain

You can focus your search on a particular site by using the search syntax “site:” followed by the domain name.

For example, to restrict your search to results from Twitter:

To add Facebook to the search, simply use “OR” again:

You can use this technique to focus on a particular company’s website, for example. Google will then return results only from that site.

You can also use it to focus your search on municipal and academic sources, too. This is particularly effective when researching countries that use unique domain types for government and university sites.

Note: When searching academic websites, be sure to check whether the page you find is written or maintained by the university, one of its professors or one of the students. As always, the specific source matters.

Searching for file types

Some information comes in certain types of file formats. For instance, statistics, figures and data often appear in Excel spreadsheets. Professionally produced reports can often be found in PDF documents. You can specify a format in your search by using “filetype:” followed by the desired data file extension (xls for spreadsheet, docx for Word documents, etc.).

2. Finding people

Groups can be easy to find online, but it’s often trickier to find an individual person. Start by building a dossier on the person you’re trying to locate or learn more about. This can include the following:

The person’s name, bearing in mind:

Different variations (does James call himself “James,” “Jim,” “Jimmy” or “Jamie”?).

The spelling of foreign names in Roman letters (is Yusef spelled “Yousef” or “Yusuf”?).

Did the names change when a person married?

Do you know a middle name or initial?

The town the person lives in and or was born in.

The person’s job and company.

Their friends and family members’ names, as these may appear in friends and follower lists.

The person’s phone number, which is now searchable in Facebook and may appear on web pages found in Google searches.

Any of the person’s usernames, as these are often constant across various social networks.

The person’s email address, as these may be entered into Facebook to reveal linked accounts. If you don’t know an email address, but have an idea of the domain the person uses, sites such as email-format can help you guess it.

A photograph, as this can help you find the right person, if the name is common.

Advanced social media searches: Facebook

Facebook’s newly launched search tool is amazing. Unlike previous Facebook searches, it will let you find people by different criteria including, for the first time, the pages someone has Liked. It also enables you to perform keyword searches on Facebook pages.

This keyword search, the most recent feature, sadly does not incorporate any advanced search filters (yet). It also seems to restrict its search to posts from your social circle, their favorite pages and from some high-profile accounts.

Aside from keywords in posts, the search can be directed at people, pages, photos, events, places, groups and apps. The search results for each are available in clickable tabs.

For example, a simple search for Chelsea will find bring up related pages and posts in the Posts tab:

The People tab brings up people named Chelsea. As with the other tabs, the order of results is weighted in favor of connections to your friends and favorite pages.

The Photos tab will bring up photos posted publicly, or posted by friends that are related to the word Chelsea (such as Chelsea Clinton, Chelsea Football Club or your friends on a night out in the Chelsea district of London).

The real investigative value of Facebook’s search becomes apparent when you start focusing a search on what you really want.

For example, if you are investigating links between extremist groups and football, you might want to search for people who like The English Defence League and Chelsea Football Club. To reveal the results, remember to click on the “People” tab.

This search tool is new and Facebook are still ironing out the creases, so you may need a few attempts at wording your search. That said, it is worth your patience.

Facebook also allows you to add all sorts of modifiers and filters to your search. For example, you can specify marital status, sexuality, religion, political views, pages people like, groups they have joined and areas they live or grew up in. You can specify where they studied, what job they do and which company they work for. You can even find the comments that someone has added to uploaded photos. You can find someone by name or find photos someone has been tagged in. You can list people who have participated in events and visited named locations. Moreover, you can combine all these factors into elaborate, imaginative, sophisticated searches and find results you never knew possible. That said, you may find still better results searching the site via search engines like Google (add “site:facebook.com” to the search box).

Advanced social media searches: Twitter

Many of the other social networks allow advanced searches that often go far beyond the simple “keyword on page” search offered by sites such as Google. Twitter’s advanced search, for example, allows you to trace conversations between users and add a date range to your search.

Twitter allows third-party sites to use its data and create their own exciting searches.
Followerwonk, for example, lets you search Twitter bios and compare different users. Topsy has a great archive of tweets, along with other unique functionality.

Advanced social media searches: LinkedIn

LinkedIn will let you search various fields including location, university attended, current company, past company or seniority.

You have to log in to LinkedIn in order to use the advanced search, so remember to check your privacy settings. You wouldn’t want to leave traceable footprints on the profile of someone you are investigating!

You can get into LinkedIn’s advanced search by clicking on the link next to the search box. Be sure, also, to select “3rd + Everyone Else” under relationship. Otherwise , your search will include your friends and colleagues and their friends.

LinkedIn was primarily designed for business networking. Its advanced search seems to have been designed primarily for recruiters, but it is still very useful for investigators and journalists. Personal data exists in clearly defined subject fields, so it is easy to specify each element of your search.

You can enter normal keywords, first and last names, locations, current and previous employers, universities and other factors. Subscribers to their premium service can specify company size and job role.

LinkedIn will let you search various fields including location, university attended, current company, past company and seniority.

Other options

Sites like Geofeedia and Echosec allow you to find tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, Flickr and Instagram photos that were sent from defined locations. Draw a box over a region or a building and reveal the social media activity. Geosocialfootprint.com will plot a Twitter user’s activity onto a map (all assuming the users have enabled location for their accounts).

Additionally, specialist “people research” tools like Pipl and Spokeo can do a lot of the hard legwork for your investigation by searching for the subject on multiple databases, social networks and even dating websites. Just enter a name, email address or username and let the search do the rest. Another option is to use the multisearch tool from Storyful. It’s a browser plugin for Chrome that enables you to enter a single search term, such as a username, and get results from Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr and Spokeo. Each site opens in a new browser tab with the relevant results.

Searching by profile pic

People often use the same photo as a profile picture for different social networks. This being the case, a reverse image search on sites like TinEye and Google Images, will help you identify linked accounts.

3. Identifying domain ownership

Many journalists have been fooled by malicious websites. Since it’s easy for anyone to buy an unclaimed .com, .net or .org site, we should not go on face value. A site that looks well produced and has authentic-sounding domain name may still be a political hoax, false company or satirical prank.

Some degree of quality control can be achieved by examining the domain name itself. Google it and see what other people are saying about the site. A “whois” search is also essential. DomainTools.com is one of many sites that offers the ability to perform a whois search. It will bring up the registration details given by the site owner the domain name was purchased.

For example, the World Trade Organization was preceded by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades (GATT). There are, apparently, two sites representing the WTO. There’s wto.org (genuine) and gatt.org (a hoax). A mere look at the site hosted at gatt.org should tell most researchers that something is wrong, but journalists have been fooled before.

A whois search dispels any doubt by revealing the domain name registration information. Wto.org is registered to the International Computing Centre of the United Nations. Gatt.org, however, is registered to “Andy Bichlbaum” from the notorious pranksters the Yes Men.

Whois is not a panacea for verification. People can often get away with lying on a domain registration form. Some people will use an anonymizing service like Domains by Proxy, but combining a whois search with other domain name and IP address tools forms a valuable weapon in the battle to provide useful material from authentic sources.

Source:http://gijn.org/2015/05/05/online-research-tools-and-investigation-techniques/

Categorized in Investigative Research

No matter how popular and easy to use an email platform like Gmail may be, having to actually go ahead and manage email on a day-to-day basis can be a daunting, dreadful task. Using extra email management tools that work with Gmail may not make you fall in love with email, but it will certainly help take some of the headache out of it by giving you back some of your precious time and energy.

Whether you use Gmail for personal or professional reasons, on the web or from a mobile device, all of the following tools may be of great benefit to you. Take a look to see which ones catch your eye.

Inbox by Gmail

Inbox by Gmail is basically a must-have if you regularly check your messages from your mobile device. Google took everything it new about how its users were using Gmail and came up with a brand new, super intuitive, highly visual email platform that simplifies and speeds up email.

Group incoming email messages in bundles for better organization, see highlights at a glance with card-like visuals, set reminders for tasks that need to be done later and "snooze" email messages so you can take care of them tomorrow, next week, or whenever you want. More »

Boomerang for Gmail

Boomerang
Photo © drmakkoy / Getty Images

Ever wish you could write an email now, but send it later? Instead of doing exactly that – leaving it as a draft and then trying to remember to send it at a specific time – just use Boomerang. Free users can schedule up to 10 emails per month (and more if you post about Boomerang on social media).

When you write a new email in Gmail with Boomerang installed, you can press the new "Send Later" button that appears next to the regular "Send" button, which allows you to quickly pick a time to send (tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon, etc.) or the opportunity to set an exact date and time to send it. More »

Unroll.me

Mailbox
Photo © erhui1979 / Getty Images

Subscribe to too many email newsletters? Unroll.me not only allows you to unsubscribe from them in bulk, but also lets you create your own "rollup" of email newsletters, which brings you a daily digest of all the newsletter subscriptions you actually want to keep.

Unroll.me also has a nifty iOS app you can use to manage all your email subscriptions while you're on the go. If there's a particular subscription you want to keep in your inbox, just send it to your "Keep" section so Unroll.me doesn't touch it. More »

Rapportive

Profile
Photo © runeer / Getty Images

Do you communicate with a lot of new people via Gmail? If you do, sometimes it can feel eerily robotic when you don't know who's on the other end of the screen. Rapportive is one tool that offers a solution by connecting to LinkedIn so it can automatically match profiles based on the email address you're communicating with.

So when you send or receive a new message, you'll see a short LinkedIn profile summary in the righthand side of Gmail featuring their profile photo, location, current employer and more — but only if they have filled out that information on LinkedIn and have their account associated with that email address. It's potentially a nice way to put a face to an email message. More »

SaneBox

Folder
Photo © erhui1979 / Getty Images

Similar to Unroll.me, SaneBox is another Gmail tool that can help automate your organization of incoming messages. Instead of creating filters and folders yourself, SaneBox will analyze all of your messages and activity to understand which emails are important to you before moving all of the unimportant emails to a new folder called "SaneLater."

You can also move unimportant messages that still show up in your inbox to your SaneLater folder, and if something that gets filed into your SaneLater folder becomes important again, you can move it out of there. Even though SaneLater takes the manual work out of organization, you still have full control for those messages you need to specifically put somewhere. More »

LeadCooker

Email
Photo R?stem G?RLER / Getty Images

When it comes to online marketing, it's no question that email is still massively important. Many email marketers send messages all at once to hundreds or thousands of email addresses with the click of a button using third-partyemail marketing platforms like MailChimp or Aweber. The downside to this is that it's not very personal and can easily end up as spam.

LeadCooker can help you strike a balance between emailing lots of people and keeping it more personal. You still get a lot of the features of traditional email marketing platforms like automated follow-ups and tracking, but recipients won't see an unsubscribe link and your messages come straight from your Gmail address. Plans start at $1 per 100 emails with LeadCooker. More »

Sortd for Gmail

Stack of Papers
Photo © CSA-Archive / Getty Images

Sortd is an amazing tool that completely transforms the look of your Gmail account into something that looks and functions much more like a to-do list. With a UI that's as simple and as intuitive to use as Gmail itself, the aim of Sortd is to offer people who struggle to stay on top of email a better way to stay organized.

Sortd is the first "smart skin" for Gmail that divides your inbox into four main columns, with options to customize things the way you want. There are also apps available for both iOS and Android. Since it's currently in beta, the tool is totally free for now, so check it out while you can before pricing is put in place! More »

Giphy for Gmail

Animated GIF
Image made with Canva.com

Giphy is a popular search engine for GIFs. While you can certainly go straight to Giphy.com to search for a GIF to embed in a new Gmail message, a much easier and more convenient way to do it is by installing the Giphy for Gmail Chrome extension.

If you love using GIFs in Gmail, this is a must-have to help you save more time and compose your messages more efficiently. The reviews of this extension are pretty good overall, although some reviewers have expressed concern about bugs. The Giphy team seems to update the extension every so often, so if it doesn't work for you straight away, consider trying it again when a new version is available. More »

Ugly Email

Eye
Photo © ilyast / Getty Images

More email senders are now using tracking tools so they can get to know more about you without you even knowing it. They can typically see when you open their emails, if you clicked on any links inside, where you're opening/clicking from, and what device you're using. If you really value your privacy, you may want to consider taking advantage of Ugly Email to help you easily identify which Gmail messages that you receive are being tracked.

Ugly Email, which is a Chrome Extension, simply puts a little "evil eye" icon in front of the subject field of every tracked email. When you see that little evil eye, you can decide whether you want to open it, trash it, or maybe create a filter for future emails from that sender. More »

SignEasy for Gmail

Signature
Photo © carduus / Getty Images

Receiving documents as attachment in Gmail that need to be filled out and signed can be a real pain to work with. SignEasy simplifies the whole process by allowing you to easily fill out forms and sign documents without ever leaving your Gmail account.

A SignEasy option appears when you click to view the attachment in your browser. Once you've filled out the fields that need completion, the updated document is attached in the same email thread. More »

Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Elise Moreau

Categorized in Social

A new Canadian-made Internet search tool that detects child sexual abuse images online has logged more than five million unique web pages with 40,000 images in the past six weeks alone, the Toronto Star has learned.

Project Arachnid, created by the Winnipeg-based Canadian Centre for Child Protection, is searching 150 web links a second for child abuse imagery in an effort to have it removed from public view, a form of lingering abuse for victims.

When the search tool identifies illegal material, the centre sends notices to the site host requesting its removal.

“If we can make this content more difficult to find, the breadth of exposure for victims will diminish over time,” says Signy Arnason, director of Cypertip.ca, a project of the Centre which receives tips about child abuse from across the world.

One of the most powerful findings from an international survey of 128 child abuse victims being released today by the centre is the lifelong impact that exploitative images published online can have on victims, including ongoing paranoia and fear of being stalked, sleeplessness, poor self-image, “powerlessness” and “shame and humiliation.”

“The fact that images/videos of a child’s sexual abuse were created at all, not to mention that they may still be possessed by the abuser and be publicly available for others to access, has an enormous negative impact on the individual,” the study says. “The impact can perpetuate into adulthood and may reduce the ability of an individual to recover and function in society.”

Among respondents, 73 per cent said they worry about being recognized; 88 per cent believe it has affected their education/academics; 91 per cent believe it has affected their employment; and 93 per cent believe it has affected friendships.

Author : ROBERT CRIBB

Source : https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/01/17/new-web-searcher-digs-into-the-internet-darkest-corners.html

Categorized in Online Research
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