Automated notifications?
July 7, 2011 5:58 AM   Subscribe

How to automate notifications from a wide variety of sources?

I'd like a program that watches data from a large variety of other programs and websites, and sends a designated notification icon to the system tray whenever certain conditions are met.

Specifically, I'd like for it to watch:
- Quicken (for major changes in portfolio value; for automatic payments)
- some kind of calendar I'd maintain for it -- Excel, Google Calendar, Outlook, whatever
- (for product releases I've expressed interest in)
- movie listings (for movie releases I've expressed interest in)
- news feeds (for events with large death tolls; for political resignations)
- maybe miscellaneous online accounts (Netflix, Mint, LinkedIn...)
- weather

The more I can customize it, the better.

Does some program exist that already approximates this? If not, how would you recommend I go about implementing it? (I'm not a programmer, but I'm pretty comfortable mucking about with Python or Autohotkey.)

Free implementations are not necessary, though obviously they'd be ideal, and I wouldn't spend more than $100 on this. I'm on Windows 7.

I've investigated web-scraping tools in the form of OutWit Hub, but I want to make sure I'm barking up the most efficient tree before I invest time or money in them.

Thanks in advance!
posted by foursentences to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Starting from the most basic idea possible, would an rss reader do most of what you want?
posted by devnull at 6:16 AM on July 7, 2011

Growl is probably a good starting point.
posted by zamboni at 6:17 AM on July 7, 2011

Yeah ditto on an RSS reader. I'd probably do this with Netvibes and Google Alerts for the things Netvibes lacked widgets for. Alerts sent to a Gmail account with a Gmail desktop client would accomplish a system tray alert of sorts.
posted by Ness at 6:24 AM on July 7, 2011

xFruits may be able to play a part in this.
posted by dgeiser13 at 6:29 AM on July 7, 2011

Other possible components:

Yahoo Pipes
ifttt (still in beta)
posted by zamboni at 6:55 AM on July 7, 2011

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