Tim Bray, in reporting on a visit to an Intelligence Technology gathering said:

They’ve also done something way cool with their Google appliance; one of the bright geeks there has set up a thing where you can subscribe to a search and get an RSS feed. Well, duh. Anyone could fix up one of those using the Google API, I wonder why Google isn’t supporting this already?

I can't help but to laugh because at this point we all know that "way cool" means "shockingly obvious". Hell, we've all seen it coming a mile away, but... when?! In fact, I'd go so far as to say we've been waiting far too long now. Years.

What's it gonna take for some visionary search company to pop this out? You'd think that in a company where engineers spend 20% of their time doing whatever they want, this would have been conceived, designed, built, and shipped a long, long time ago.

I want the future now, damnit!

Oh, wait. That's right. Technorati and Feedster have basically been doing this since day one. You wouldn't think this is one of those Feed Search vs. Web Search issues, but the line seems quite clear.

Sure, a few "verticals" have this stuff--notably news. But that's only a small piece of the web. It's a toe dipped into the RSS pool. That "search, find, subscribe" notion doesn't exempt web searches.

Remind me to come back to this topic when it's time for my 2005 predictions in a few months.

Posted by jzawodn at September 09, 2004 11:04 PM

Reader Comments
# Adam Trachtenberg said:

I wrote a Google SOAP API -> RSS feed PHP script a while back (May 2003) as a way of tracking what Google thinks about me. The whole thing is only about 20-30 lines of code.

I also did one to find Amazon's top 10 best selling items, while I was at it, but it's not as interesting. Then again, maybe that's because the feed I created is tracking kitchen utensils. Maybe another topic would be more interesting. :)

on September 9, 2004 11:42 PM
# -i said:

I use the email feature of bloglines.com to achieve basically the same thing ... I subscribe to a google web alert and it's as good as an RSS feed to me!

on September 9, 2004 11:49 PM
# Philipp Lenssen said:

You can subscribe to RSS search results for both Amazon and Google results at my FindForward: http://www.findforward.com
(just look for "RSS" or "Atom" in the search menu)

on September 10, 2004 02:48 AM
# Jonathan Aquino said:

Seems to me that Google Alert is currently producing better (i.e. more frequent) reports than Google's own Web Alert service.

on September 10, 2004 08:13 AM
# Martin Thornell said:

Search-based feeds can be created on the RocketNews Search Engine.

on September 10, 2004 08:14 AM
# MikeD said:

A lot of people have been doing 'subscribe to search' for quite a while. The delivery mechanism often starts out being notifications, but soon simplifies down into the client retrieving XML instead.

on September 13, 2004 06:49 PM
# John K said:

Speaking of search - is there a way to search on Yahoo for the backlinks to a page?

on September 14, 2004 12:21 PM
# M. Ford said:

has a rss feed service too.
and of course, http://www.feeddemon.com allows you to create 'Watches', filtered feeds for your own search terms from all of your incoming feeds....
FeedDemon is so cool!

on September 15, 2004 01:47 PM
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