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You Don’t Have to Use an Aggregator to Keep Track of Your Favorite Topic

With the increase in the number of blogs aggregated by OraNA, the idea of categorizing blogs into smaller groups, each with its own theme and its own feed may be a good idea (for me, I still want to keep track of everything).

For example, there are aggregators that aggregate blogs about JDeveloper and others that aggregate blogs about Oracle E-Business Suite. But, is this the best way to keep track of your favorite topic? Well, the keyword here is topic. Aggregators aggregate blogs not topics. A blogger who writes about Java and has a Java related blog for example, may also write about other topics that have nothing to do with Java.

So, is there a better way to keep track of your favorite (Oracle specific) topics? The answer is yes. You use the OraNA feed and ZapTXT.

ZapTXT is a free service that lets you keep track of RSS enabled web sites in real time. Just tell ZapTXT what topic (by keywords) you’re interested in and which feed(s) you’d like to monitor, and ZapTXT will notify you by email, instant messenger or mobile device whenever your keywords appear in the feed(s). You will even get a unique RSS feed for your notifications.

Once you have created an account with ZapTXT, you are all set to create “ZapTasks”. A ZapTask is a set of keywords you enter to monitor a given RSS or Atom feed that you specify. You can add your own feed, select one from a list of tags or create an OPML file to monitor keyword(s) across multiple feeds. You can specify multiple keywords separated by boolean operators like AND and OR. You can also enter a phrase in the keywords field and enclose it in quotation marks to perform an exact match.

Once you have created a ZapTask,

  • You can view all of your alerts online.
  • You can modify your delivery preferences or deactivate your alerts at any time.
  • You can install ZapTXT Mobile Widget to access your ZapTXT data from your mobile phone.

For example, you can create a ZapTask to monitor the OraNA feed for any occurrence of “jdeveloper OR jdev OR adf”. As soon as your keyword appears in the feed you get a notification.

And here is an example of an e-mail notification:

ZapTask: name of your search
Title: Title of the blog where your keyword was found

A snippet of the blog post where your keyword was found

Link to full posting: URL
To see past alert results go to: http://zaptxt.com/myzaptasks/

ZapTXT is a very useful service that helps you stay up to date and focused on your favorite topics.


Filed in Interesting, Oracle, Technology, Tips on 05 Dec 06 | Tags: ,


Reader's Comments

  1. |

    Hmmm, I get enough e-mail as it is. I think ZapTXT just transforms a problem rather than solving it.

    Still, it’s nice to know such things exist. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Cheers, APC

  2. |

    Hi Eddie, I use Wizz RSS and Oracle News extensions (in FireFox) to keep track of the blogs (like this one). I once tried Google Web Alerts on Blogs but my mailbox almost exploded after 2 days… I’m afraid that ZAPTxt would have a similar effect ;-) CU Roel

  3. |

    Thanks for the write up Eddie. Appreciate it. ;)

    APC/Roel Thanks for the comments. ZapTXT is really meant to be a monitor and push mechanism for content based on keywords or phrases across headlines of your trusted sources. Unlike Google Alerts, we don’t monitor the entire web or blogosphere. Rather you pick your trusted sources for a given topic and we’ll make sure to deliver a notification to you, at the place of your choosing.

    Compare this to a traditional Feed Reader where you receive every post from every feed that you in one static place. ZapTXT lets choose IM and SMS for ‘perishable’ or time sensitive information and Email or RSS for content that can wait for you until you have time.