Saturday, June 23, 2007

News Monitoring, Part Three: Google Alerts

Nobody can know about every news site on the Web. Even Google doesn’t know about all news sites. However, Google bots know and track many more sources than any Internet user has ever visited. Google Alerts service is the best solution for those who don’t want to miss any important news.

Say, you’re interested in any information published on the web about the movie “Devil Wears Prada” and you need to track all feedbacks on this movie. Put the title of the movie to the “Search terms” field at Google Alerts Service. Then tune service’s setting to your needs – select types of sources you want to monitor (news, blogs, web pages, or comprehensive), select how often you want to get alerts from Google and then enter your email address. That’s it. Since now Google will send you alerts informing you that a new article on defined topic appears at some website you’ve probably even never heard of. An alert message from Google includes URL and a short summary, that allows you to understand if you need to click the link and read the full text of the news.

Monday, June 18, 2007

News Monitoring, Part Two: ChangeDetection

Imagine, you’re interested in, say, pharmaceutical market. You might need to read earning reports of the most influent pharmaceutical companies. You know where these companies publish their reports at, however, you don’t know when exactly they update their websites. Unfortunately most these websites do not provide with RSS feeds. So you could add these websites to your bookmarks and visit them five times a day in order not to miss important information. Is there any way to optimize your work? Actually there is one.

You can automatically monitor any web page for updates with the help of ChangeDetection website. It is as easy as 1-2-3: click the link at this page to open a ChangeDetection wizard, put the URL of the web page you want to monitor and your email on the pop-up form. That’s it. You’ll get an alarm from ChangeDetection as soon as the page is updated.

I use ChangeDetection to monitor four or five pages for changes. It’s not too many, I could do it manually, however, I don’t trust my memory. I’m sure, I’d forget to visit these websites and check for updates. You know, there are so many interesting things to do, let’s robots do routine work!