TwitterQ: E-Mail Alerts for Twitter Keyword Matches?

I got a question from @doctorwallin on Twitter. She asks:

“Thx for all your info. Do you know if there’s a way to get keyword news alerts via twitter, similar to google alerts by email?”


There’s TweetAlarm, which asks for a name, password, e-mail, and then the keywords you want to monitor. This one bothers me a bit though because I can’t find a privacy policy. (When someone wants your e-mail address, don’t you want a privacy policy?)

Then there’s the much slicker Twilert, which lets you sign in using your Google or Twitter account, provides an advanced search option, and keeps count of how many alerts it’s sent you. And it also doesn’t have a privacy policy that I can find. Wha?

PEK Interactive notes another option in this article, while Mashable notes a slightly expanded way to monitor various types of replies and mentions on Twitter.

I’m not just old, I am old school. So looking at this question for a while and reviewing the options, I would probably go with “None of the Above” (though I might use Twilert if it had a privacy policy.) Instead I’d take advantage of Twitter’s own search tools and another service.

You can do a Twitter search at http://search.twitter.com/advanced (that’s the advanced page that gives you all the search options.) Once you’ve run a search, you’ll notice on the results page that you can get an RSS feed of your search results.

I would do all my searches using Twitter, and then use an RSS to e-mail service to get the actual alerts. I like the offerings at http://www.feedmyinbox.com/ — it has a free option that’s somewhat limited, but premium services all the way up to e-mailing an unlimited number of RSS feeds per month. (And it has a privacy policy!)

In January 2009 I wrote an article on effective information trapping with Twitter. Maybe it’ll be useful.

Thanks for the question! I hope this helps.

I have no idea if I’m going to do this regularly but it was easier to answer the question in an article than a 140-character tweet.

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