I recently found this fantastic tool called Social Mention, a real time search platform.
Been playing around with it and found it to be really useful for several things but mostly to get a feel for the general buzz out there. The tools is limited when it comes to other languages out-side of English, but I am sure that it will be fixed as the tool develops.
I have tested their alert services and they work great take what Google does with their alerts little further adding sites and mentions that Google does not include. Their alert are however limited to only one delivery per day, while Google is quite dynamic and delivers material as it happens.
Verdict: Great tool, worth using and best of all it is free!