PagerDuty Blog

Announcing Google Reader Alerts

We understand how painful it can be when monitoring tools don’t work. Without reliable alerting and on-call scheduling, you’re bound to lose sleep, dollars or customers. Since launching PagerDuty, we’ve focused on building a product that provides a single dashboard for the tools you use to monitor your infrastructure. Said another way, when s*IT breaks, we wake you up.

Our vision to be the central command center for IT teams means we’re always on the hunt for new opportunities to increase the tools we integrate with and the ways customers can receive alerts.

Today, we alert you with emails, SMS and phone alerts to over 170 countries around the world, and recently iOS and Android push notifications. While these were a good start, our work wasn’t done yet.


Our best alert yet: Google Reader

google reader logo
Based on overwhelming customer interest, we’re happy to announce our latest notification type: Google Reader alerts.

We’re big fans of RSS readers as a way to make sense of the sprawling World Wide Web. Outside of our inboxes and GitHub accounts, Google Reader is our watering hole for the latest Hacker News posts, Android vs. Apple flamewar and xkcd comic. We like Twitter hashtags and Facebook likes as much as the next social media expert, but these services haven’t replaced the need for a simple, open solution for content digestion.

With Google Reader, we leverage Google’s track record of ensuring that the latest RSS post arrives safely, every time. Google Reader is the de facto RSS reader standard and we are confident we picked the right partner for the future.


Google Reader and PagerDuty in action

The PagerDuty Google Reader alert type can be enabled in a few easy steps. In minutes, you’ll be in RSS bliss.

Step 1: Create a PagerDuty free trial if you don’t have an existing account.

Step 2: Login to your PagerDuty account.

Step 3: Once logged in, click on My Profile settings under your email address.

Step 4: Under Contact Methods, click the new menu option of RSS, “Create Google Reader RSS Feed”.

Google Reader RSS feed for PagerDuty

Step 5: Copy your new RSS feed.

Step 6: Head over to Google Reader and add a new rss subscription, pasting your feed url like any other RSS-enabled site.

Voila. Now you can receive unlimited Google Reader alerts for PagerDuty, with the same customized notification rules you’ve come to expect.

Respond, acknowledge or resolve alerts without leaving Google Reader. Just email your your account address, for example, with ‘acknowledge’ or ‘resolve’ and we’ll update the alert status.

Google Reader Alerts for PagerDuty

Early Google Reader love

We’ve been dogfooding the new features at the PagerDuty offices and it’s given us richer social integration with our services and escalation policies. It’s hard to imagine life without Google Reader now.

But don’t just take our word for it. Feedback from our Google Reader private beta has been incredible.

“Our best partnership yet.” – Alex Solomon, PagerDuty Co-founder and CEO

“Reeder usage has jumped 10x since the beta launched. That’s a lot of alerts!” – Reeder, popular RSS reader app

“Thanks for making my midnight alerts even harder to sleep through, I reaaally appreciate it.” – Anonymous customer

“Cease and desist.” – Google


One step forward, two steps back

This is just the beginning. The following features are planned for later this year:

  • Alerts go social. Share your favorite PagerDuty alerts on Google Buzz or Wave.
  • Get extra weekend alerts. Subscribe to a curated list of PagerDuty alerts hand-picked by our staff to make you feel better about your next outage.
  • More notification services. Our team is testing alerts sent via custom GIFs, USPS mail and barbershop quartets.

We hope you like Google Reader alerts as much as we do. If you’ve got another notification type you’re dying to have added to PagerDuty, tweet us your ideas @pagerduty.