1. 22

Hi,

I built this thing that emails me when someone comments about one of my projects, and thought I’d put it out there as a free service. It’s really simple: you add a list of keywords, then you get an email whenever those keywords are found on Lobste.rs, Hacker News, or Reddit.

I’m posting it in the hope that others may find it useful. It’s completely free. I’d love any feedback.

Thanks for looking!

  1.  

  2. 6

    this is basically kibozing in 2017, isn’t it

    1. 4

      It doesn’t cost much to put it up for everyone to benefit.

      That’s so nice of you!

      1. 3

        That’s a feature on Lobsters already. I don’t know if it requires them yo use the @ before the name, though. They always fid that when I gog notifications.

        1. 8

          I didn’t know about that.

          F5Bot allows you to monitor arbitrary keywords or phrases. So you can get notified whenever someone mentions your startup, or even your competitor.

          1. 5

            That would be an advantage over the built-in functionality.

        2. 3

          What did you use to build this? (if I may ask)

          1. 2

            Sure. I wrote it in PHP, and not much else. I didn’t use any framework. I threw together the plain HTML and CSS. The only real javascript is Datatables.js which I use to make the keyword table sortable.

            Because I wanted to put this out there for free, that lead me to chose the most boring and simple stack I could think of. I maintain a pretty large project in Node.js, and it’s great for what it is, but I can get a PHP site up and going with much less hassle.

            1. 2

              I take it you use a cron job to trigger website monitoring then? There’s a lot to be said for going with something as boring/quick as possible.

              1. 1

                Yep. It’s a cron job the runs wget to load the scraper page (which includes some security checks first, of course).

          2. 2

            Lovely little product that I would pay for, the trackreddit interface is abysmal.

            Tech wise though - is the reason you don’t support searching the entirety of Reddit a scaling issue? I ask because the global comment firehose seems to be freely available, so I’m wondering if there is a reason you don’t use that over selecting specific subreddits. Thanks!

            1. 4

              Thanks for the feedback!

              I built F5Bot in only a couple hours, so I didn’t do a lot of research or planning. It appears that the ‘comment firehose’ you posted doesn’t even go back one second in time. Is that right? I’m not sure how I could realistically use that without hitting Reddit several times a second, and even then I would miss a lot when Reddit goes down (which is often, I now know). Also, when I posted to Hacker News, a couple commenters mentioned Reddit API limits.

              So I just took the lazy/easy way by monitoring only the few subreddits that I actually cared about anyway. In this case, I can check back every couple minutes, and if sometime goes wrong I can check back even later without missing anything.

              Would this be substantially more useful to you if it pulled all of Reddit, instead of the current subset?

              It’s nice of you to say I could charge money for this. I think I’ll leave the current feature-set up for free. Realistically, it only took me a couple hours to build, so I don’t think it makes sense to monetize that. In fact, I was thinking about going the opposite way and open-sourcing it. I might add premium features in the future, but I’m not sure yet.

              1. 5

                Hey, we’ve documented some API rules here.

                You should use a unique user-agent as mentioned in the previous link. Also using OAuth will increase the rate limit to 1 qps. If you’re using PRAW, it’ll automatically handle rate limiting for you. If you have any more questions, feel free to reply here, post on r/redditdev, or PM me.

                1. 2

                  Would this be substantially more useful to you if it pulled all of Reddit, instead of the current subset?

                  Yes. Social Media monitoring is quite a large market: Mention, Hootsuite, etc but they all come with complex UI, reporting and cost quite a bit. There are a few in the cheaper “just notify me” space but the ones I have used have been fairly awful UI wise.

                  As to hitting reddit every second, I had made the assumption you’d be doing that anyway - but yes, it would be worth reading around to find out what they deem acceptable.

                2. 2

                  Just checked out trackreddit. You weren’t kidding about the interface! I guess maybe they were thinking to make it more powerful, but man, they did not optimize for the common use case at all.

                  1. 1

                    It actually works, but the email notifications send you to their mobile feed which has an ever worse UI than the main app. Also when it came to cancel, you can’t within the app and they ignored my request for 2 months leaving me with no choice but to raise a PayPal complaint.

                    Felt like a hobby project gone wrong.

                3. 2

                  Wow! Thanks for sharing, I’ll definitely check this out :D

                  1. 2

                    I’ve been working on something similar too, but sending notifications to slack - https://littlebirdie.io/ it’s sort of in beta phase at the moment, but you’re free to check it out.

                    1. 2

                      Could use a forgot password function.

                      1. 1

                        Yeah. I’m working on that. I’ve had a couple users email me, and I’ve manually reset their passwords. If you need me to manually reset yours, just let me know.