Defining and Using Alerts

Ways to Track Stuff

Overview and Definitions

Being notified when something happens is a powerful efficiency enabled by the Internet (and Yahoo!). Instead of needing to actively monitor [multiple] data sources, you can set up an Alert and be passively notified when some criteria is met.

Alerts are the common name for this (“I’d like to set up an alert”; “please alert me when…”). This functionality is also talked about as “tracking”. For example, “I’d like to track this stock, therefore alert me when it ____.”

Sometimes “Saved Searches” behave like Alerts, in that new items in a SRP (search results page) will be emailed or alerted to a user. This is the how HotJobs, and other Yahoo! “listings” site (such as autos, real estate, and auctions) behave.


Alerts may be delivered in many ways.

Email Alerts
Receive notification via one or more email addressed.
Instant Messenger
Receive an instant message notificaion.
Tool-tray / Desktop Alert
if you have Yahoo! Instant Messenger installed, a notification will appear/float directly on your deskop.
Audio Alert
some types of alerts, generally through the IM platform, may be audio-only. (Just a computer chirp, not a popup window or text message.)
Voice Alert
choose to be telephoned when something happends…
Mobile email/SMS Alert
receive a SMS or email message delivered to your mobile phone.
RSS / Feeds of Alerts
receive a syndicated feed on current information. This psudo-push technology delivers new content as available. (It’s not true “push”, as your feed reader will generally look for aggregated updates on a set time schedule.)

Features / Opportunities across the Yahoo! Network.

  • Personal Information Management (PIM)
    • Yahoo! Mail Alerts
    • Yahoo! Calendar Alerts
      • Birthday Alerts
      • Meeting Reminders
  • Financial Alerts
    • Finance Alerts
      • % change notifications (e.g. “when it goes up 5%”)
      • total $ dollar change (e.g. “when it goes up $5″)
      • threshhold alert (e.g “when it gets to $40″)
    • Credit Alerts
      • Be notified when inquiries into your credit report are initiaited.
  • News / Information Alerts
    • News
      • Editorial, such as “Breaking News”, or “Morning Headlines”
      • User-entered Keyword, such as “Kobe”, “Google” or “San Francisco”
      • Editorial-suggested Keyword. Usually a module next to a popular news story.
    • Weather Alerts
      • Severe Weather
      • Snow/Ski Reports
      • Suft/Tide Reports
      • Daily/Weekly forecasts
    • Travel
      • Airport/Weather Conditions
      • Flight Status/Change
      • Best Fares
    • Sports Alerts
      • Your team’s news
      • In-game, when somebody scores
      • In-game, when period/game ends.
      • In-game, when lead changes
  • Price Watching Alerts
    • Shopping
      • Be notified when the price of X goes up/down by % or $.
      • Be notified when a pre-release product is released.
    • Travel
      • Best Fares
      • Last Minute Deals
  • Listings Alerts
    • Autos
      • When new used cars matching your criteria are available
    • Auctions
      • When there is X time left.
      • When you win, or are outbid.
      • When new products match your interests.
    • HotJobs
      • When new job openings match your criteria (realtime/daily/weekly)
      • When somebody views your resume
    • Other “listsings” properties
      • When new used listings matching your criteria are available