Monday, August 18, 2008

Google Alerts via RSS

I am trying to become a more efficient consumer of news and information. I was a bit late coming to the RSS party, mostly because I didn't truly realize the value it could create. However, once I started using RSS it became a passion of mine. I found it incredibly valuable to have my news & information delivered to me rather than having to go find it constantly (which always drops off when I get busy).

I found lots of cool tools that allow me to mix RSS, and filter RSS, and generally create mashups (more on this in future post). However, the one itch I could not scratch was the ability to consume my Google Alerts as an RSS feed. It seemed ridiculous to me that I couldn't find a little RSS icon anywhere on the Google Alerts page.

Luckily, after much searching, I found someone who had noticed that the URLs for individual Google Alerts looked a lot like those for Google News. So here's the scoop, if you want your Google Alerts as an RSS feed:

1. Goto Google News and enter the query that you would want to use for your Alert.
2. Look at the URL that is created as a result and pull out the q=______ section (hint: this is your querystring)
3. Add the querystring onto the following URL:

Obviously replace the ________ with your querystring from step 2.... and Voila! You now have an RSS feed to import into Google Reader or whatever reader you prefer.


Michael said...

You should also check out — it can track keywords / phrases in podcasts, videos, blog posts, news articles, (new) books, etc. Plus it can find local events matching your keywords. You can track your output (results) on the site or via RSS feeds.

Matthew Quinlan said...

Thanks for the heads up Michael... I will definitely check it out.