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Turning alerts into stories

It is of interest when someone else writes something about the topic of one of our websites. Even more relevant when they write about the site itself. For example; or

We use google alerts to keep our web/communications staff informed about anything being said about us, good or bad. Now and then one of the things is valuable to record and point people at. Currently this is done by hand, and is easy enough but any time someone is doing a repetitive job which takes more minutes every week, you gotta stop and see if a small script can help. There’s a tipping point where it’s worth doing a few hours work to save a few minutes of regular work.

Google alerts provide an RSS feed, so what we need is a tool which will allow our communications manager to see the latest few matches for a given search “Wendy Hall” “Web Science” “(ECS or (Elelectronics Computer Science)) and Southampton” etc.

Each feed item would have a “capture” icon which would save the title/link/summary into a database of “in the news/blogs/web” for that subject, but allow us to edit it afterwards for clarity.

Another interesting tool is which removes all but the “meat” of a webpage. A de-templater tool, if you will.

Posted in Templates, web management.

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