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Trackle, the surprisingly useful service that sends you personalized alerts from around the web, is now extending its technology to other web sites with new “Trackle It” buttons.
The concept sounds a little dodgy at first. Updates? You mean like RSS feeds, or maybe Google Alerts? Well, kind of — but much more tailored to your interests and needs. For example, let’s say I wanted to keep up-to-date on crime in Noe Valley, my neighborhood in San Francisco. Well, I could add the Crime Scene RSS feed from the San Francisco Chronicle’s web site, but that would cover the whole city. Or I could set up a Google News Alert, but then I’d have to figure out the right combination of keywords.
With Trackle, on the other hand, I can enter my address, the type of crimes I’m interested in, and how close the crimes need to be to my home for me to care. Then I can specify whether I want to receive the updates via the Trackle site, email or text message.
Until now, Trackle activity has been focused on the Sunnyvale, Calif. company’s web site. But with a “Trackle It” button, other sites can use the service. For example, EveryTrail lets users post photos combined with Google Maps to provide guides to various hikes and trails. But with 30,000 posts every month, that can be a lot to follow, so there’s a Trackle It button that lets users sign up to for alerts whenever a trip is posted for a specific geographic location (such as Yosemite) and around a specific activity (such as skiing).
Right now, site owners have to work directly with Trackle to set these buttons up, but the company plans to eventually offer Trackle It buttons through a self-service site. Publishers can also add widgets to their sites to provide updates from Trackle. A local newspaper could add a widget for local crime updates, for example.
These new tools also offer ways for Trackle to make money, in addition to advertising and the cut it takes from any e-commerce deals spurred by its alerts (like a “tracklet” set up to monitor when a product drops below a certain price on Amazon). Publishers can add Trackle It buttons to their sites for free, but the company charges for additional features like marketing analytics data.
Trackle has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from angel investors and New Enterprise Associates.