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Axol: Google Alerts that actually work

personal automatic news feed

Axol is a tool similar to Google Alerts. Unlike Google Alerts, it's actually reliable and you can read the results in your RSS/Atom reader.

I'm in the progress of documenting and cleaning it up, but I've been personally using it for months and quite happy with it!

On the high level it does two things:

  1. crawls for results from different sources

    At the moment supported sources are

    • Reddit
    • Hackernews
    • Github
    • Twitter
    • Pinboard

    Adding new sources is fairly easy, ideally it would be a matter of writing a simple adapter.

    Crawlers are meant to run periodically, e.g. I'm running them every few days via cron. (the tool is not really meant for instant search alerts, you're better off using something else for it)

    The results are automatically deduplicated and kept in sqlite databases.

  2. Generates the feeds and HTML reports
    • Feeds can be consumed by your RSS reader, so you can go through new results regularly.
    • HTML reports are a nice way to overview:
      • the most popular results
      • the most relevant users/subreddits
      • the overlap among different queries

In addition, it can be used as a tool for doing one-off standalone searches:

axol adhoc "Google Alerts"

This will search for "Google Alerts" simultaneously on all websites and open browser tabs with HTML summaries.

1 amendrefile

1.1 DONEset up search term alerts on rare topics i'm interested ingooglesearchalertblogpkm

1.2 TODOneed dynamic sorting on pages (esp. summary…)graxolemind

1.3 ugh. basically I can't really view 60meg thing in browser…axol

1.4 STRTYeah, def need backend for proper reading. These huge htmls are not sustainable, also need easy way to excludeaxol

1.5 DONEDo not enforce primary key? That way updates are sort of automaticaxol

1.6 DONESet up searches for qs and pkm on GitHub?pkmkibitzrblogaxol

1.7 TODOwe've got search alerts at homeaxol

Search alerts at home: ….