It's really hard to give a blanket protocol for monitoring yourself online. In the crudest sense, you can go to Google and type in "XYZ Credit Union" (with quotation marks). You can do that once a week or once a month. But having to do it manually and remember is unnecessarily time consuming.

Try to automate your searches. Google provides two options: e-mail or RSS. In XYZ's case, I would have separate, automated searches for "XYZ Credit Union" and "XYZCU." It gets really super-tricky if your name is common though, like "First Community" or "Members Choice." Those terms are so commonplace that the results are too much to sift through to find the handful of relevant gems. There is a real art and science to it. For example, someone could blog about ICONiQ and not use the actual name. They might say something like, "There's a real jerk out there who really pisses me off," and the blogger hotlinks "real jerk" back to my Web site ( So I have an automated Google Alert set up to tell me whenever anyone links to my Web site. To monitor just my own name and my two companies, I have no fewer than 20 automated searches.

It can get very complicated. If you have a federal charter, you'll have to look for XYZ FCU, XYZ Fed, XYZ Federal, XYZCU, XYZ Credit Union. You can refine your search to include or exclude certain terms, using Google's advanced search features. The good news is that Google picks up stuff at YouTube and many other popular sites. The only other major one you need to monitor is Twitter.

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