02.14.08

Automated Content Monitoring

Posted in ImplicitWeb, Orchestr8, Scraping at 12:54 pm by elliot

I use the Internet constantly during the course of my everyday life — looking up telephone numbers, reading restaurant reviews, etc.

One task I’m frequently engaged in is Content Monitoring; that is, checking (and re-checking) websites of interest for updates and new information.

Now wait a sec — wasn’t syndication (RSS, ATOM, etc.) supposed to do this for me? Sure, if a website actually exposes data feeds. If they don’t, you’re mostly out of luck.

Alas, there are many websites out there with no form of syndicated access. This is just plain irritating.

Luckily tools are starting to appear that can eliminate this irritant. My company released a new service earlier this week, which makes great strides at solving this problem.

This new service performs Automated Content Monitoring: a way of programmatically monitoring information sources that currently lack syndication features.

I’m a big fan of leveraging automated techniques to optimize my daily workflow — many of my previous blog posts have focused on this topic. Leveraging algorithms to improve efficiency, access to information, and integration of data is a central theme to the Implicit Web, both a personal interest of mine and business interest of my company. Automated Content Monitoring fits perfectly within this arena.

I’m currently using our new Automated Content Monitoring service to track a variety of information sources: new events at my preferred concert venues, special deals offered by local radio stations, etc. Monitoring each of these information sources automatically frees up my time for more useful activities, and gives notification of website updates far sooner than if I were performing these tasks manually.

We’ll likely see increased uptake of Automated Content Monitoring solutions in the near future, as more individuals succumb to the dreaded Attention Crash.

12.19.07

A Car In Every Garage..

Posted in API, Orchestr8, Scraping at 12:42 pm by elliot

And a Content Scraping API On Every Desktop :)