How can I monitor changes to my favorite websites?


Is it possible to be made aware when websites have updated their pages? For example, would they have to insert a certain type of script on the site, which e-mails me that the page has been updated?



This question was answered on July 26, 2000. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Despite the vast amount of information that is available on the World Wide Web, most of us frequent only a handful of sites on a regular basis due to time limitations When we find sites that we trust to provide information, we tend to go back to them first Wouldnt it be nice if we could be notified when these trusted groups updated their sites with new information? There are a number of methods for doing just that!

Some sites offer to e-mail you on a daily or weekly basis with their latest offerings If you really like the information provided by a site, this method is pretty easy and painless, but be sure to review their privacy policy before submitting your e-mail address

Another way to monitor your favorite sites is to install a Web Monitor program I have found two free programs that I like that offer different features The first program is called <a href=""><font color="#003399">C4U</font></a> and is geared more towards the novice that wants simple interaction and monitoring Once installed, this program puts an icon in your browser that allows you to quickly bookmark a site for monitoring You can set it to alert you when the text, images, links and/or e-mail addresses on the page changes You can have it alert you when a certain word(s) appear on the page For example, if you bookmark a recipe website and want to be notified when sea bass appears on the page, this program can do it You can set the intervals for how often your sites are checked and it allow you to import from your favorites list Once a change is detected, the programs interface will show you the page in a window with links to show you exactly what has changed C4U runs on Windows (95/98/NT/2000) based systems and supports most browsers

The second program, <a href=""><font color="#003399">OnScans OnAlert,</font></a> is more sophisticated and more geared for web savvy users Not only can it do the basics discussed above, it can monitor several other web-based activities It can notify you when a new bid has come in on an item that youre bidding on It can let you know when a stock price changes by X% o your favorite stock tracking site It can notify you when an item that you want to purchase goes below a set price It can even notify you when a package that you sent has been received OnAlert works on Windows based systems and only supports Microsofts Internet Explorer at this time It can notify you via the program, an e-mail address, a text pager or any cell phone that can display text.

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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on July 26, 2000