Tinker, build, hack, preferably with APIs.

10 Minute Guide to Monitoring the Web

or how I stopped worrying and learned to love persistent search
Here's the problem: you want to know when certain things get mentioned on the web, but you're not about to search it every day. Wouldn't it be great if a search could persist over time and alert you when new results appear? Good news--not only is it possible, it's also pretty easy, and by the end of this tutorial, you'll know how to do it.

Step I: Crafting smart searches

The most important part is to discover the magic search words that return what you seek. These are called "search operators." To get up to speed, Google supplies an overview and a cheatsheet. If that's too much reading, play with the advanced search available on any Google search, and you'll see something like the graphic to the right. For this example, we want to watch for any mention of Howard Rheingold by the New York Times, Boston Globe, or San Francisco Chronicle. This can be broken into three parts: