Here’s something I’ve been wondering about recently. When I go to an auto site or a realty site to search for a vehicle or a place to live, I usually know what I’m looking for within a range of options. For example, we’re going to be in the market for a mini van in the near future, and we’re leaning toward Toyota Siennas and Honda Odysseys. We know what price and year range we’re looking for, in addition to options, etc. The problem is that any time I want to see recently added vehicles, I need to go to the site, select all of the same options and parameters again, then view the results. Basically, it’s a pain and a waste of time.
Search sites such as Google and Technorati let me enter a search query and then subscribe to its results in my RSS reader (Bloglines in my case). Anytime something new is found, I’m notified in my reader, all without me visiting the site or manually performing the search.
I can’t think of any technical reason why the same idea can’t be applied to searches for vehicles, houses, or anything else that has structured data. Please: Just let me pick a price range and any options I’m looking for (number of bedrooms and bathrooms, ZIP code, square footage, etc.) and subscribe to the search results. Don’t make me visit your site everytime I want to see what’s new – bring the updates to me!
Maybe these options already exist on some sites, but I haven’t seen it personally yet. If you know of any that let me save and subscribe to my searches, please let me know!