Documenting Human Rights Violations in Challenging Environments

Information Management Tools

These days, most websites allow users to sign up for periodic emails or RSS feeds. These services can speed up your collection efforts. Instead of actively searching for information, you can automate the process by receiving regular updates on topics of interest to you. You can also monitor the blogosphere to see what people are writing about.

How can I use these tools?

  1. First, choose a tool (such as Google Alerts)
  2. Next, think about what information you want to monitor. Is there a particular news site or blog that you find you are always searching? Do you want to see everything written about a certain topic, such as “human rights in Iran”?
  3. Enter a search term to create an alert for that topic or site.
  4. Type the e-mail where you want information sent.
  5. You can also sign up for online newsletters published by institutions, organizations or companies to share information about a topic.

What about RSS feeds?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication which is a system for standardizing and automating news updates from sites or particular sections of sites based on a user’s preferences. Instead of having to search the web for information, this allows you to subscribe to receive the information directly on your page avoiding mailbox overload and making diffusion easier. To manage your RSS feeds, use a service like Google Reader.