I’m a big fan of Google Alerts because it allows you to easily monitor all kinds of names and phrases online, including the writing of journalists you might be targeting for story ideas.
The service made what I think is a nice upgrade over the weekend. Now you can get your alerts via email, as before, and via RSS. So you can subscribe to alerts and have them delivered to your Google Reader page instead of email. I like this because it allows you to more easily file, sort and share the alerts with the built in tools, but, now that it’s RSS you can bend it some other cool ways.
For example, let’s say you are tracking mentions of your awesome product via alerts. You get it sent to your Google Reader account, you like what your read so you hit the Share feature in Google Reader and the alert content shows up on the your Facebook profile via the Feedheads application or post your RSS to Twitter via Twitterfeed.