One thing that a lot of people is asking me is “How do I get started using Notifier for Reddit? or What tips do you have for me that can help me use it more effectively? So this tutorial is going to be a longer walkthrough of all of the main Notifier for Reddit features currently and then there’s going to be a smaller video that covers each of these on a shorter format. The key concept with Notifier for Reddit is that you create Searchers.
A Searcher is like a little robot, you can think of it out, that’s out there searching Reddit for whatever that you tell it to search for.
So I’m going to get started by adding a Searcher and for this first example, we’re going to start very simply.
- In the Search String field, I’m going to type in the words, “Hello Reddit World!”.
- The next option you have to select is Posts/Comments. This is whether you want this Search String found in Post or Comment or both. I’m going to keep both selected.
- Now with the Case Sensitivity, this simply means it’s going to try to match this exact String with the capital H here, capital R under Reddit etc. I do not want case sensitivity for this example
- For the Notification Interval, daily means that you’ll get notified a summary email once a day and that summary email will contain all of your results. The other option, which is what I’m going to select for this example, is to do instant and that will instantly send you an email when this search time occurs.
- The next option is to Include/Exclude Subreddits. This is to choose whether you want to include only certain Subreddits or if you want to search for everything except or excluding certain Subreddits. For this simple example, I’m just going to keep it at none, click Add and our new Searcher is active and searching Reddit currently for this String for us.
Now, it’s unlikely that this string would actually occur in Reddit although it is possible. So in order to make this happen, I am going to go over to this test Subreddit. I’m going to copy this String Search “Hello Reddit World” and go to my test Subreddit to make a new post. It’s important to mention that Notifier for Reddit will find text if it’s both within the subject or the title of the post as well as the body so you can put it either way. You don’t have to put it in both.
I’m going to click Post and now my email has just shown up. It says that my searcher for “Hello Reddit World” has found a new post.
And here is the post. It tells you the time in UTC that the event occurred. It also tells you the String that your Searcher is searching for. It tells you the Subreddit and tells you if it was a post or comment and then it gives you the actual content, the raw HTML content of that post. You can immediately view it on Reddit by clicking on the “View on Reddit” button.
And now as I said before, and just to illustrate this, this is searching for both posts and comments so if we go right back to our test post, and if we just type in “Hello Reddit World!” as a comment, we should get an email for that. It will show, Your Searcher for “Hello Reddit World!” found a new Comment and once again you can click on it in order to get taken to that exact comment.
Now if you want to make changes to your Searcher, you can do that as well. You can go back to the Notifier for Reddit dashboard then you can click on Edit and from there, you can change anything about your Searcher.
Boolean AND Operators
So one thing that Notifier for Reddit supports is Boolean Operators. So let’s say we found out – we investigated and we realized that we don’t want to search for “Hello Reddit World!” and search for something else that has to appear in that string. So if we type in AND Hello Other World!, this will now only match a string whenever both “Hello Reddit World!” and “Hello Other World!” are in that text. So I am going to copy this new requirement and click Save. And in order for this to key off now, we would need to make a comment with both and you will get the alert email. So that is how Boolean AND Operators works in Notifier for Reddit.
Boolean OR Operator
You will notice that we also support Boolean OR Operator and the way they work is it will return either match. So if I type in OR (it has to in capital letters, that’s very important) in between the two strings, it will notify you if you get “Hello Reddit World!” or if it has “Hello Other World!”
Now let’s talk about Including and Excluding Subreddits. Right now, with our original search term with just “Hello Reddit World!”, this will key off whenever it occurs anywhere in any Subreddit on Reddit. Now, this may not be helpful for you, because maybe you only want to monitor a certain Subreddit. The only way you can do that with Notifier for Reddit is by selecting an Include or an Exclude.
So what you want to do is select an Include and get the name of this Subreddit (the actual name). You can get it by just copying nfr_test or even easier sometimes is to just copy from the URL. So I’m going to copy nfr_test and put that in the Include Subreddit field. Keep in mind that it’s currently case sensitive and if you want to include multiple Subreddits, you just separate them with spaces (there could be space between the comma or not). So you separate them with commas and then you can put a space or no space, it does not matter for that. And that is how the inclusion works.
With excluding, you select exclude and the Searcher will search all of Reddit and create a match if that search time occurs except if it’s in this current Subreddits that you entered in the Exclude field.
* (star) Operator
Another great thing that you can do with Notifier for Reddit is you can follow any subreddit that is public, any new post or comment in that Subreddit, and you will get notifications of it. To do that, we’re going to use the Star Operator.
As an example, I’m going to come back to our original search term and replace it with * which means everything. I want to get notified for any posts or comments in this Subreddit so I’m going to do both. It knows that we’ve entered in * character so it knows that we’re going to do include basically. So for the Subreddit, it already got in there, our test (nfr_test), so I will keep that and I’m going to save the edit.
Now I am going back to our example Subreddit and I’m going to make any comment and our new notification will show in the inbox. It tells us of the comment and what the text was, just like everything else.
Finally, let’s talk about how a method for effectively using Notifier for Reddit. What I think you should do is build your search terms iteratively. And what I mean by that is you start with something broad and then you find ways to narrow it down as you notice that the results you’re getting are not relevant to what you are looking for.
As a simple example, suppose you want to find or get notified whenever the note-taking App Notion was mentioned on the internet. What you would first do is set up a broad match, just the word Notion and you would probably do both posts and comments. You will start with Case Sensitivity of False, an instant Notification Interval, and probably none for the Include/Exclude Subreddits.
What you will find out very soon is that you’re going to start getting notifications that are much too broad. With the Case Sensitivity set to False, you’re going to notice that you’ll get text strings where people mention, “I have a notion of this sir” or just that normal word in English, right? What you can do at that point is you adjust and build iteratively on this Searcher.
- So maybe you want to only include certain Subreddits because maybe you found some relevant Subreddits where, when that keyword occurs, it means the concept of the Notion note-taking Application.
- You can also take the approach of excluding certain Subreddits where you know that maybe there’s a Subreddit that is about the word Notion and for whatever reason, you want to exclude that and only get all other matches that would probably be the Notion application on Reddit.
- Another approach you can take is to vary the Case Sensitivity matching. Now one thing I notice is that most of the time when the word Notion is used and where it’s not referring to the note-taking Application Notion, it will be the lower case. So if you make it an explicit upper case match with the first letter being capital N and do the Case Sensitivity to True, then you are much more likely to get matches that what you are actually searching for.
- And lastly, another great approach you can take is to use Boolean Operators to kind of further narrow down your matches. So if I’m searching for Notion and I’m worried because I’m getting matches on the regular English usage of the word Notion, I can add in a Boolean Operator AND maybe say something like notes or App or tool. Something like that will help narrow down my results and make them more relevant to what I’m searching for.
What I can recommend everyone does, and I probably should have mentioned this at the beginning of this tutorial, is to create your own example Subreddit or feel free to use nfr_test and use it to test out how the tool responds to your search terms because you want to make sure you are keyed in and things are behaving as you expect. So create your own Subreddit, test out the tool to make sure your matches are happening just as you expect and you’ll be a lot more successful with using it.