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I have at least 50 alerts set up through several different services. I know when my husband gives a talk (that he forgot to mention), when my son’s school is referenced in the news, if there’s a storm coming, and when topics of interest are discussed on the web. I stay connected to the information that I need because it finds my email inbox every day, without me even lifting a finger. Bottom line: My daily alerts are important to me.
About two-thirds of my alerts are set up through Deep Web Technologies public portals. I have alerts through Biznar, Mednar, Environar, Techscout and other portals. Each application searches a different set of sources (e.g. Business and Marketing, Medical and Health, Environment, Technical) and each returns specialized results on my topics of interest. I have alerts that are set for only a single source which may not be indexed by Google and doesn’t have an alerts system through its native interface. In this case, I’m getting unique information that I would otherwise need to go directly to the source and perform a search for which is not something I’d carve time out of my day to do.
DWT alerts are simple to set up and forget about. Here’s my preferred routine:
- Log in to a portal, and go to the Alerts homepage.
- Choose my topic, keyword, author or title that I want to automatically search.
- Choose my email preference, which is almost always “If New Results Only”. ( I don’t like logging in to view my alerts, nor do I like to get a bunch of blank emails.)
- Choose the sources or categories that I’d like searched.
- Leave almost everything else as default – frequency (daily), HTML format, etc.
The application scours all of my selected sources for my query term and within an hour, I have a long list of results. After the first alert, I should see only new results that that application hasn’t sent to me yet. And this is what I fell in love with because that’s exactly what I want: New Results, Every Day, In My Email.
Of course, there are plenty of other options for the DWT alerts feature. Some of our customers set up RSS feeds for community news or to feed results directly into a blog sidebar. For groups of researches, the RSS feed option allows for an extremely productive search process, without duplicating efforts.
Alerts keep me plugged in to my communities quite effectively and efficiently and are a well-used feature in the DWT applications. Researchers gravitate toward alerts for the time-saving aspects, particularly for sources that do not have an alerts system in place. Try setting up an alert today on Mednar or Biznar and simplify your information gathering processes!
In late July, I wrote a blog article entitled Strategic Uses for Federated Search, Part 2, which in turn referenced a sponsored article I wrote for CIL Magazine, discussing how federated search will eventually become a must-have in intellectual property research and litigation.
Today, I wanted to discuss an often overlooked feature in our federated search platform, alerts, and how they provide a strategic advantage to anyone that cares about a specific word, phrase or concept in their careers.
Examples How it works? How to use? Limited to certain sources or fields?