Monitoring High Priority Feeds for Breaking News

Posted on November 28, 2006

Marshall Kirkpatrick, who is leaving TechCrunch on good terms, is blogging about ZapTxt, a tool that makes it easier to monitor feeds using specific keywords. Kirkpatrick says ZapTxt is one of the tools that helped him combat "information overload."
The single most helpful tool for me in my efforts to blog about news events first has been an RSS to IM/SMS notification tool. I use Zaptxt to subscribe to very high priority feeds. It sends me an IM and SMS whenever a high-profile company blog is updated and in a number of other circomstances. There are quite a few services that offer this functionality now and it's invaluable. A big part of taking a prominent position in the blogosphere is writing first on a topic. That's a large part of what got me the job at TechCrunch and it's something that an increasing number of people are clearly trying to do.

In sectors where people are already using tools like the above, I expect further developments to emerge that differentiate writers' handling of the huge amount of information available. New tools and new practices. It's a very exciting time to be someone who works with information.
Using tools like ZapTxt you can monitor blogs or websites (that have an RSS feed) for the use of specific keywords that you provide. ZapTxt will send you an email, IM or mobile device when one of the blogs you are monitoring makes a new post using one of the keywords you provided. Of course, you could quickly suffer from information overload by monitoring too many sources with ZapTxt just like you can get overloaded by trying to read too many feeds in your RSS aggregator.