The new service, called PositivePress, is intended to overcome the transitory nature of the web by making a permanent and fully functional archive of selected sites that can then be shared. In order to make this happen, PositivePress has three main features.
- Capture. PositivePress users can capture ongoing information streams from any web site that has an RSS feed. Each feed can be matched with keywords so that, for example, one could collect all mentions of Microsoft (s msft) that appear in Yahoo News (s yhoo). Sites without RSS feeds can be captured manually, and Iterasi is apparently working on a system that will allow such sites to be collected on a regular basis. Iterasi has tweaked the system so that sites that rely on offsite elements (avatars, for example, or images hosted on picture hosts) won’t break when archived. The service will also resolve any shortened URLs to the original full URL, a useful feature in light of the recent threatened shutdown of URL shortening service Tr.im. PositivePress does not archive videos, however.
- Archive. Once sites have been captured, they can be viewed and searched, using what amounts to a custom search engine.
- Report. PositivePress includes a slick tool for sharing results from the archive by email. Users can create emails (with their own branding) that can be sent to individuals or groups. Sites can be annotated, and links in the emails go back to the archive, and also to the original URL of the site. The service includes reports laying out how often the emails are viewed and other related statistics.
The service is aimed at advertising agencies, consultants and marketers within larger organizations, and others who need to collect business intelligence over time, although Iterasi has other types of users, ranging from law enforcement agencies to universities. PositivePress is compatible with all operating systems and most browsers (although not IE 6, which is an interesting choice, given the service’s mainly corporate clientele).
Pricing for the new service is variable, depending on how many clients, feeds and pages a user wishes to track. Package costs range from $99 to $699 per month. The existing free Iterasi service isn’t going away, however. It is being rebranded as Iterasi Personal, and its 10,000-plus users will still be able to use the service to collect and share web pages.
Do you use Iterasi? Will you and your clients find the new service useful?