One of the services I’ve been obsessively testing for the past week is SeekSift. SeekSift enables you to supply syndicated (RSS) sources and get updates from them through e-mail, but there’s a twist: it tracks and searches either the specific topics you supply to it or what it learns from you through its rating system. For bloggers, job-seekers, weather-freaks, and and simply those who want to track things — this is a yet another option you won’t regret trying.
Setting up is easy. Signup through its ‘press enter as you go’ interface (which, by the way, you’ll be seeing everywhere in SeekSift — not sure if that’s a good thing), and you’re on your way to make a tracker. A tracker is essentially a ‘setup,’ and you can have as many as you like.
Supply your tracker a name — I’m tracking YouTube so you can guess the name of mine. Supply it with the type of content you want to track from — in my case ‘Technology (news & blogs)’ — and you’re onto the next step to pick your sources. If you don’t see a source in there that you know off, you can add one.
After that, you can either choose to leave it as it is, or filter everything — either by supplying keywords or by giving it a good sample of titles and whether they’re relevant to you. In my case, both would’ve worked fine, but the latter would have require a lot of title-search from my side giving the number of sources I was tracking from, so I just the keyword option fit me best, and all I had to enter was ‘YouTube.’ Lastly, you pick the hours from its clock when you’d like to receive the updates, and click submit. This procedure took 5 minutes, and I have to bet it’ll save you 5 hours of manually hunting and sifting through.
First thing that strikes about SeekSift is that the interface is kept to a very minimal. This is a major plus, since they’ve focused their time and energy on what’s really important (or at least in SeekSift’s case): the smart and hard-core backend. Once you’re setup and have everything ready, let’s face it, your use of the interface will be very minimal — so why not keep the interface minimal as well.
The reason it took me a whole week to write about SeekSift is I had to use it to evaluate how useful it comes to me. I can tell you something right now: most of the things I wrote about this week have been ones that came to me through SeekSift. As a blogger, it’s a must-have tool.
There is, however, a big downside to SeekSift. Something so simple, and something they’ve totally under-valued: RSS. Yes, you track RSS feeds, but shouldn’t you be able to get RSS feeds as well? There is no option to export and obtain an RSS feed of your trackers, and for that reason — or at least until they add one — I’ve had to manually create a GMail label filter and setup Johan Fitie’s quickmail.php script to forward all the e-mails in the filter through RSS. I realize most people wouldn’t want to go through all this, so I really hope the folks at SeekSift have their notepads ready.
[tags]SeekSift, Meme Trackers[/tags]