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Notes on tech

Notes on technology, business, enterpreneurship, economy, markets along with interesting general tidbits.

How did I get started working on FooBar Search Alerts?

9/23/2004 01:05:00 PM, posted by anand

How did I get started working on this notification project?

Back in the summer of 2003, the startup for which I was working decided to layoff their entire engineering team. As a result of that decision, I found myself out in the job market looking for opportunities. During 2003 the job market was not that strong and for a few job postings, there were always a million candidates. Only if you were lucky enough to be among the first few to submit your resume, would it be looked and read by a human. All the others would go straight to the trash bin (atleast thats what I thought). Now to beat others in submitting the resume, you had to constantly monitor the job posting sites and then send your resume the moment a new listing appeared on their site.

It occured to me that it would be great to write some code that would constantly monitor some sites and then send me an email as soon as it noticed something that would interest me (so basically, it had to weed out the ads, banners, markup, javascript etc -- because that doesnt interest me). That idea gave birth to one of the initial versions FooBar Search Alerts.

Initially I wrote some stand-alone code that would work just from my laptop. By July 2003, I found a job (no, not through the search alerts). Once I found the job, this project was mothballed. In April 2004, it was revived and I started work on it again. This time, I wanted to extend the original idea and create a web based service that could be utilized by other people. After months of laboring on the code and getting all the pieces correctly designed and implemented was born the "FooBar Search Alerts" service.

It can help you find whatever you were looking for without you needing to go back and look for it manually. To use it, simply go here and enter the url of the page that you want to monitor. Then enter the keywords that you are looking for on that page. The last step is to enter your email address, where you want to be notified when your keywords match on that page. Click on the submit button and voila! your alert has been created.

Feel free to give it a try. Its free for personal non-commercial use. Also, do send me your feedback, I do appreciate it.
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