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Boolean Operators: Pinpoint Media Monitoring

Boolean Operators: Pinpoint Media Monitoring

Home Blog Mention News Boolean Operators: Pinpoint Media Monitoring

Boolean search is for hardcore media monitors

It’s a great problem to have: what if you’re just too popular?

It happens.

Some companies are talked about so often that simple media monitoring is a burden. Mentions are flooding in, making them hard to analyze effectively.

That’s yesterday’s problem. Our new advanced Boolean queries make monitoring as precise as you need it.

This is for hardcore media monitors.

What you can do with Boolean operators

Boolean queries let you:

  • Broaden or narrow your alert as much as you like
  • Use 113x more search terms per alert
  • Limit your alerts to certain countries – as many as you like
  • Narrow your alerts to certain websites
  • Find results with different spelling

It’s especially great for large companies that are talked about all the time.

It’s also great for companies with generic names – like Mention.

Not only is our name a normal English word, it gets used all the time on social media. People even use our exact Twitter handle (@Mention – tweet us!), because “@mention” is a standard Twitter term. Life is hard.

With Boolean, we can limit our results to only receive the mentions we want. For instance, we can use the “near” command so that we’re only alerted when “@mention” is closely followed by “monitoring” or “app.” And we can use 20,000 characters for each alert!

Cool, but what’s with the name?

George Boole, the inventor of Boolean logic

You may be asking yourself, “but why ‘Boolean?’” Let’s talk history.

That dapper Englishman is George Boole (1815-1864). He was the father of five children. He was also “the father of the information age.”

George invented Boolean algebra (remember algebra?). This breaks down every calculation into “true” or “false.” Then you add these statements together using connectors like “and,” “or,” and “not.”

If you change “true/false” to “zero/one,” you have binary code, which is essential in computing. Thus, George Boole is “a founder of the field of computer science.”

He was a smart chap.

But enough about George.

How it works: Boolean operators 101

Mention Mugz

Those “and,” “or,” and “not” commands are the keys to Boolean search. Our “assisted queries” can already do this, for up to five “ands,” five “ors,” and five “nots.”
But Boolean lets us use up to 20,000 characters. We technically can’t call it “unlimited,” but it’s basically unlimited.

Plus, it has lots of other cool features. Let’s illustrate by making up a fake campaign. We’ll call it “Mention Mugz.”

(Not actually for sale, but I know a guy)


Suppose Mention Mugz is a worldwide campaign. Our alerts can target specific countries using geofilters.

“Mention Mugz” and “NZ,” for example. We’ll only receive alerts when Mention Mugz are talked about in New Zealand. We can also exclude any country from our results if we’re not interested in that market (we’d never exclude New Zealand).

The near command

We anticipate a lot of buzz around our Mugz. But what if people don’t use the exact phrase “Mention Mugz?” Near alerts you to mentions when two keywords are close together. We can listen for instances when “Mention” and “Mugz” are used in a sentence, but not next to each other.

For instance, “have you heard about Mention’s insane new Mugz? They’re changing the hot drinks game!”

We could also include “mug,” “mugs,” even “cups,” just in case the branding hasn’t caught on.

URL filter

What if we want to focus on MySpace conversations? We’re predicting a comeback, and are focusing our efforts there. We just “Mention Mugz” and “” Dead simple.

We can even narrow down to sub-URLs, subreddits, and subforums.

More complex alerts

Mention Mugz, Mention Bookz, and Mention Penz

Here’s where it gets really tricky.

What if we launch a whole range of office supplies? We’ll call it “Mention Stuffz.” We have “Mention Mugz,” “Mention Bookz,” and “Mention Penz.”

So we set up an alert for Mention Stuffz. But we have a weird marketing team who only wants to know:

  • How the Penz are doing in Germany (“Mention Penz” + “DE”)
  • How the Mugz are doing in USA (“Mention Mugz” + “US”)
  • How the Bookz are doing everywhere except UK (“Mention Bookz” – “UK”).
Boolean search is for media monitoring ninjas

And, we can use the near command for each of those and we can limit it to certain URLs.

As you can see, Boolean is strictly for media monitoring ninjas.

Is it hard to use?

For mere mortals? Yes. But we have an onboarding team to set the whole thing up. They’ll get you started, and help you make changes as you go.

Plus, we’ve already established you’re a ninja.

Wait, what happened to George?

Shouldn’t a man that smart live forever? Sadly, in 1864, he caught “a chill.” In those days, a chill was essentially a death sentence. At that point, modern medicine was still “future medicine.” People thought that symptoms should be treated by doubling-down on their cause. Mary Boole put her ill husband to bed and drenched him with cold water.

We’ve come a long way.

For more information, read our Boolean Operators list.

Try it for yourself

To see how Mention’s Boolean alerts can help you keep an extra-close eye on your brand and your competitors, request a demo with us today!

Patrick Whatman

Guest Blogger @Mention