Saturday, May 07, 2005

Fun With Google News Alerts

I've set up a few google news alerts to let me know every time certain subjects pop up. For instance, I want to know every time "Buddhist Peace Fellowship" surfaces in the news. I also am quite curious to hear about polyamory in the news. It gets interesting as Google includes many sites as "news" sources that I normally wouldn't stumble across: Some of them blogs, some of them conservative Christian "news" sources like WorldNetDaily. Their motto is "A Free Press For a Free People". The headline across the top today, really an ad for a book: "'Miracles' driving massive growth of Christianity."

Those folks at WorldNetDaily are really concerned about polyamory, of course, and any other wild deviance that defies their God. In December this columnist thought he'd be funny about a conference held by the American Academy of Religion. Tried to say he was bored thinking about all that deviant sexuality (when he was the one that cooked up all those titles to amuse and horrify the prudish readers).

And then there's the National Review Online, where contributing editor Stanley Kurtz continued to attempt the polyamory scare tactic over gay marriage rights. The old, next thing you know, more than two people can marry....can't have that...

I started doing this when the news alert was still the beta version. Back then, limiting quotes didn't work, so for "Buddhist Peace Fellowship" I sometimes got obscure Christian missionary treatises with strategies to convert Buddhists.

Now that limiting quotes do work, I've also plugged in "open relationship". There's an amazing number of articles that come up about parents keeping an "open relationship" with their kids, or businesses keeping an "open relationship" with their customers through blogs. But thanks to that little search, I got the scoop on Will Smith's coming out. (Didn't Hollywood invent open relationships?) But then, there was the contradicting story, where he appears to deny he came out as poly. OK, I know, old news now and probably a ploy to draw attention to his movie Hitch.

It's usually nice to see polyamory come up in Q&A columns. They're usually pretty straightforward and accepting. At, "Dear Ari" gives worthy advice on "building unconventional families."

Google includes a news source I won't find on my library's list of news sites: college and university student papers. Like the advice columns, these are usually accepting as well as exploratory.

Usually I get some paper's religion calendar for "Buddhist Peace Fellowship". Today I got a fairly local religion calendar for the polyamory alert. I finally find near the bottom that the Unitarians will have a sermon titled "From Abstinence to Polyamory". Those wacky Unitarians, if you don't fit in anywhere, you just might fit in there. They are at least poly-friendly. Funny thing about the Corvallis religion calendar, what I found most useful were the Buddhist calendar listings...more contacts for my address book, and another strategy for finding new Buddhist contacts.