FaveBot A Tool for Your Information Trapping Needs

It’s not often I see tools that are specifically for monitoring new content. FaveBot is a keyword-based search engine that monitors for a variety of content, including events, blog entries, and products, it’s free and available at .

You’ll need to register to use FaveBot — registration requires just a user name and password (if you want to track events, you’ll need to add your location.)

Once you’ve registered you can choose to set up a “new tracking”. (I don’t know how many you’re allowed to set up; initially you’ll start with two.) The new tracking gives you a query box and the option to choose from several different categories of information, including blogs, books, dvds, events, podcasts, and videos. Unfortunately the list does not tell you WHICH resource you’re tracking (Google Video? YouTube? Something else?) You do get some hints on that from the notes underneath the new tracking list — you’re advised to use more than one word in your searches and are warned that the video results could get spammy.

Once you’ve chosen a topic/query you want to track, FaveBot immediately gives you a loaded RSS feed with your keywords (assuming it found any.) You can also filter your feed by the kind of content you’ve chosen, or delete certain items from the feed. FaveBot also makes it easy to add the feed to several types of RSS feed readers or get it by e-mail.

My first concern is that you don’t know exactly what resources you’re tracking with this site. I can make some educated guesses, but that doesn’t mean I’d be correct. There’s a second concern that might be yours but isn’t mine: why bother to come to FaveBot anyway? Why not just generate traps and feeds at the source site?

I’m not concerned about this because I see tools like FaveBot as a convenience; if you want to be able to track one topic across several sources this is an easy way to do it. (Of course, you have to know WHAT resources you’re tracking…)

One last thing. FaveBot has a blog, of course. FaveBot noted that it was actually prefiltering the blog search results — which apparently come from Google Blog Search — because of splogs. Eventually that was stopped. But I think it’s a good idea. Prefiltering incoming sources for annoying content like splogs and other feed cruft adds a tremendous amount of value to the service. Just something that ran through my mind.

Categories: News