Yotify and Alerts.com, and they each do a decent enough job of being your personalized web scout. But recently, we were introduced to Trackle, a new service in the same genre. At first, we'll admit, our reaction to hearing there was yet another alerts service available was one of apathy - there are already plenty out there, including the old standby, Google Alerts - who needs another? As it turn out, Trackle was the one we were waiting for. After playing around with Trackle, it was clear that this one could be a winner.In the past, we've looked at alerts service like
What Trackle Does
Like Yotify and Alerts.com, Trackle is your personalized web scout. Instead of having to constantly revisit web sites and services for the news you want to follow, you can use Trackle to be updated automatically when there's a change in whatever it is you're following. Want to track prices of a new Canon camera? Want to know when your favorite band has a new album on iTunes? Want to get the latest sports scores? Trackle does all that and then some.
Trackle Has the Most Alerts
What makes Trackle unique, though, is the sheer quantity of alerts they've made available. It's here that Trackle really outshines their competitors. They've also added some alerts that are unique to their service (at least so far), like the ability track crime in your neighborhood - you can even select and de-select checkboxes for the types of crime you want to track when setting up that particular alert.
There are also plans to give third party developers the ability to create their own alerts in the next version of Trackle. And the company promises their service can scale to support however many new ones are created.
Alerts We Love
For the Facebook obsessed, a Trackle alert can notify you when someone sends you a message, adds you as a friend, posts to your wall, etc. Of course you can see all these things on Facebook, but with Trackle, you can set up an SMS alert for this. That's especially useful for students and employees who have to deal with Facebook being blocked by their I.T. department or for anyone who doesn't spend their entire day in front of a computer.
Bloggers and other information hounds will appreciate Trackle's scouring agents that let you track anything on the web, including blogs, RSS feeds, news, and more. Although other sites allow this too, what's different about the way Trackle works is that you can set up one alert but associate it with different keywords. So, for example, you could fill in "TweetDeck," "Twhirl," and "AlertThingy" as keywords you wanted to track across blogs, but save the whole alert as "Tracking Twitter Applications" instead of having each keyword as its own alert.
Smart and Well-Organized
Trackle is smart, too. Once the system has shown you something once, it's not going to show it to you again and again, even if that particular link rises to the top of Google's search results. Your alerts will always be new information so as not to waste your time.
However, one of the best things about Trackle is the look and feel of the site. The overall design is visually appealing which makes the service easy to use. Left-side navigation leads you to just the type of alert you need and each alert is clearly marked with an "Add," "Info," and "Share" button. ("Share" because Trackle lets you email or Twitter alerts). That same sense of organization is available in your Trackle inbox - the tab where you can catch up on your alerts. When you have new alerts in a particular category, a number appears next to the category name, designating the number of new alerts available. You can click the category to be taken right to it or you can scroll down through your list.
Only One Problem
The only downside to Trackle - and watch out, it's a big one - is that it appears to have been designed mainly for U.S. usage. So for example, when you're tracking crime, home prices, events, etc., you have to pick from a list of U.S. states. That's too bad, because Trackle's service deserves to be used the world over. We hope they'll expand to include other parts of the globe soon.