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Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 technology  research  practice

A Research Tip

  • Research & Writing

ChangeDetection.com is a tool I recommend to help you monitor webpages and be notified automatically if they’ve been updated. No one wants to be sitting around refreshing a web page until that important agreement gets uploaded and goes public. This tool will watch the page for you and email you when it’s updated. Being the first one to share that sort of update with a colleague or client often pays off with new work or with increased trust and respect.

If I wanted to be notified of updates to a Government of BC page listing all current agreements between them and, for example, the Stó:lo Nation, I would plug the page URL into ChangeDetection.com and set it to email me whenever there is a change to the page. Another example of a webpage that may be of interest to monitor is this federal Ministry of Finance page of all open consultations with the public (which could lead to new legislation). Typically, ChangeDetection.com checks pages once per day for changes.

Of course, many websites already have an email subscription feature that emails you when a new document is added. ChangeDetection.com offers no particular benefit in cases like that. For example, the BC Government press release website has a great email subscription for notification of new press releases. However, there are also many sites where the email subscription option is difficult to find or absent altogether. (I’m looking at you, Federal Court practice directives.) In those cases, I don’t hesitate to copy the URL into my account on ChangeDetection.com.

So, next time you come across a webpage and think “I should bookmark this and check on it from time to time”, consider also adding it to ChangeDetection.com. Few of us have the follow through to actually go back and check that page regularly, so why not let ChangeDetection.com do it for you? Just set it and [you won’t] forget it!

My sincere thanks to Debbie Millward who first shared this site with me.

Bronwyn Guiton (@BronwynMaye)

Post-script for techies:
ChangeDetection.com isn’t just an RSS reader with a push notification feature for when a blog has been updated. That sort of notification of new pages is fairly common. ChangeDetection.com actually maintains a log of recent changes to an existing page and allows you to see the difference between any two versions of it. Since any and all changes to the page will be detected, occasionally this makes for some irrelevant notifications. I fondly recall the day last summer when the Government of BC changed every last “and” to “&” on their website menus. These are the little changes that you’ll still get notified about and it’s up to you to decide how much of this noise is worth the convenience of being the first to hear about a relevant new agreement or initiative.

One comment on Stay on Top of Changes to Specific Webpages With ChangeDetection.com

  1. Peter says:

    nice service for monitoring web changes is also https://www.wachete.com

    Up to 10 pages for free

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