I've seen several people (Michael Arrington, Jeff Barr's links, Postbubble) talking about Feed Crier, a new service that lets you receive alerts in your IM client for when your favorite RSS feeds (craigslist, news, blogs) are updated. I'm surprised by this, because this is not some new mind blowing technology.
But ok. I think this service is fine and dandy.
Do I see someone using it to be alerted to Sam Ruby's latest Atom comments? Nope. No offense, Sam - I wouldn't use this to subscribe to alerts for anyones blog.
This is only useful to me for data feeds. Problem is, I don't think FeedCrier could understand syndication extensions.
Even so, I still wouldn't be a Feed Crier customer. Not because I don't see the value in it, but because I already have such functionality, and mine has more cowbell (like extension support).
Plus mine is free.
And it lives on my desktop.
And since it lives on my desktop I can also access private data like my bank account, my Paypal transactions, and my QuickBooks data.
Oh, and it can send more than just IMs. It can send pages, emails, and/or SMS messages.
Its easy enough for anyone to use, but extensible for you if you think you are a Mr. (or Miss) smarty pants.
Ok, ok, I'm talking about RSSBus (I know - what's new, right?). RSSBus can run on your desktop, and has operations that let you turn all kinds of data sources into rss feeds (like Quickbooks and my bank account like I mentioned before). Some of the demos that come installed show how you can create your own "feed crier":
- The EmailToInstantMessage demo consumes an RSS feed of emails in your POP3 mailbox. For each new email, it sends you an IM (ok, you got me - it only does Google Talk and other XMPP - Jabber, that is - IMs).
- NewFileNotification - monitors a feed of a directory listing. If a new file is dropped in the directory, an email goes out.
- PayPalToInstantMessage sends out an IM each time a new transaction occurs to my PayPal account.
- ...these are just a few of the many possibilities.
I personally receive emails everytime something comes posts to my bank account. I also receive an SMS message everytime I get an email matching certain criteria (I'm not telling you what criteria, but that would be a great prank on me wouldn't it?). As for regular news feed alerts, I monitor a dozen or so feeds and send myself emails when they update. This way I only need to check my regular feedreader once a day or so, but I can still stay informed by reading the alert emails (I am in my email pretty much all day long anyway).