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How to get a message when certain RSS feeds are updated
As you probably know, it’s possible to get an alert or an action when certain email messages arrive into Outlook using the Rules feature. Office-Watch.com shows how to do the same thing for an RSS feed. It will let you filter down a larger feed into just the entries that you want or let you know when important news happens.
A simple RSS like World News is OK but has too many entries when you’re only interested in a topic like, for example, Rwanda. With Outlook Alerts you can be notified when new RSS items arrive with certain words.
Click on the RSS feed then choose Move | Rules | Create Rule ..
Now you can see a standard Create Rule dialog for new items arriving in the RSS Feed folder. Note that the dialog text talks about ‘e-mail’ but, in this case, it will work for RSS items.
In the above example we’re getting alerts from a news feed when an item has the word ‘Rwanda’ in the subject.
When a matching item arrives you have the initial choices of:
- An alert box popping up
- Playing a sound
- Moving the item to another folder.
The alert box looks like this:
We like the third option, moving the item to the Inbox. That way it appears in a folder that’s viewed regularly, possibly on more than one device.
The Create Rule dialog only shows a few of the options available. To see more choices go to Rules | Manage Rules & Alerts … then choose the rule, Change Rule | Edit Rule Settings. This opens the Rules Wizard for the selected rule:
In this rule we’ve added the word ‘Rwandan’ to the original ‘Rwanda’ so that headings using either word will trigger the rule.
For a broader rule you could choose ‘with specific words in the subject or body’ to detect key words in both the heading and the body of each RSS item.
There are plenty of ‘action’ options available. The badly worded option ‘move a copy to the specified folder’ will copy the item to another folder (the default is to move).
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