After some heated discussions with Jack Krupansky about how to search for data, and how to find information that we may not necessarily be looking for, but will find interesting, I’ve been thinking a lot about searching and filtering on the internet.
What I realized I have a need for, is a way to do persistent searches, and places watches for certain data. For instance, I did a search a while back for a network driver for my 12″ apple powerbook’s apple extreme wifi card that would allo wme to set the card in promiscuous mode. There currently doesn’t seem to be such a thing. But there might be in the future. And I would love to be notified of such a thing in the future.
Chris alerted me to the existance of Feedster, which allows you to do basically exactly what I want, though it only searches blogs. Basically, you can run searches on blogs, and then get an rss feed of the search results, which update realtime. Pretty slick, though it’d be a lot better if it wasn’t restricted to just blogs.
I’ve also been toying with the thought of resurrecting my “html diff” tool, which allowed for watching a page for “significant” updates (defined as changes in the page content that weren’t randomized per page load, such as ads or quotes or such). It would be a cool way to place “watches” on certain pages that may not be updated very often. Hmm… I think I could probably even do an rss feed of it pretty easily.
An example use would be to place a watch on a page that described a software version number, to be notified when the software was updated. I’m sure there are tons of uses I’m not thinking of.