Users can configure email alerts for each defined topic via the topic management dialog (small dots within the topic markers indicate that active alerts exist). Summary Alerts report on the number and sentiment of documents matching the defined topic in a specific time frame. Clipping Alerts also include the content of the matching documents, as well as a link to its source. All alerts are sent in a hybrid format containing both HTML and plain-text representation.
These alerts list the number of positive, negative and neutral documents matching a specific topic definition. In the case of multiple alerts for several topics, only a single email is being sent summarizing all topics. Summary alerts can be delivered either daily (documents published on the previous day; 0-24 h) or weekly (documents published in the last 7 days; Mon to Sun 0-24 h). Later portal queries for the chosen topic may be higher than stated in a previous email alert; e.g., documents collected through weekly crawling after the alert was sent out, as compared to documents from real-time RSS data acquisition services.
The second type of email alert provides clipping services and uses a more verbose format, including the matching text snippet of each document, a link to the source, and relevant metadata such as sentiment. For each configured clipping alert, the system sends out a separate email (in contrast to summary alerts, where all active topics are delivered in a single email). There are three delivery options for clipping alerts:
- As-it-happens – whenever new content matching the topic definition is added; this can lead to multiple emails per day or even within an hour, depending on the current activity level,
- Daily – including the information about all matching documents added in the last 24 hours (more specifically, since the last daily alert), or
- Weekly – with information about all matching documents added in the last seven days (more specifically, since the last weekly alert).
As-it-happens clipping alerts never include documents added before the alert has been set up or changed. Daily and weekly clipping alerts always report on the full time frame (a weekly alert set up on Friday will cover the full week since Monday).
In addition to selecting the delivery frequency of clipping alerts, users can restrict them to negative or positive documents – or keep the default setting of ‘unfiltered’ to receive all matching documents.
Date Processing Strategy
While summary alerts operate on the publication date, clipping alerts consider when documents were added to the repository. Potentially, this might result in older documents being included in clipping alerts – i.e., documents with a publishing date outside the 24-hour or 7-day window in the case of daily or weekly alerts, respectively. To avoid reporting outdated documents, however, the alert disregards recently added documents that were published more than seven days before the requested time frame. This strategy ensures that all recent activities regarding a specified topic are reported, and that content is not omitted when combining data acquisition mechanisms of varying intervals.