I have been looking forward to this day for a while. I’ve always been obsessed with following any news or blog mentions of any of the companies I’m an investor and the people I work with. For the past few years I’ve satisfied my obsession with an extensive set of Google Alerts (via email), Yahoo Alerts (via email) and Technorati Alerts (via RSS). Occasionally I’ll add something else to the mix usually through RSS (such as a FriendFeed or Summize keyword feed.) My email rules shunt everything to my "daily" folder so I only have to look through it once a day (when I read through my RSS feeds.)
Last week I deleted all my alerts. I was able to do this because Filtrbox – one of the TechStars companies from last year – is now finding much more than 100% of the information that my alerts were picking up, including 100% of what I got from the alerts. I’d been running the two in parallel for about six months and saw the lines cross about two months ago, but went ahead and had both run just in case. I’m now confident that I won’t miss any of the alert stuff.
Dealing with Filtrbox is so much easier and more pleasant. I enter my keywords into one UI instead of Google, Yahoo, Technorati, and others. I get a daily email digest of everything Filtrbox found. I have a history of all the data so if I want to go find an article from a month ago, I can easily find it in Filtrbox. And I get a bunch of cool data visualizations.
I’ve watched Ari Newman, Tom Chikoore, and team evolve Filtrbox from its starting point last summer at TechStars. I’m blown away – they’ve really nailed it. Ari and Tom took a deliberately "slow and steady" approach – making sure they really built something deep and robust before releasing it to the world. They accomplished this – and it’s ready for action.
As a special bonus for all you Olympic fans (like me), they’ve put together an Olympic Blog Widget that is customizable and pulls from their data sources. Guys – super cool.