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TOP 5 IN REAL ESTATE NETWORK, Sept. 2010—(MCT) — Change is usually considered to be a good thing. Of course there are always exceptions when it comes to these kinds of generalities. Still if something of interest to you is going to change, you’re probably going to want to know when the change happens and what that change is. Take websites, for example. If there is a page on a website that’s of interest to you, it may be of value for you to know when something on it changes.

Of course I’m not talking about websites where changes are constantly taking place, such as news sites and the like. But say there’s a Web page that hasn’t changed for a while, and you’d like to be made aware if something on it changes. Until recently, there was only one way for you to find out if something was different since you last looked at it, and that would be to keep checking on a regular basis.

But checking on a page over and over again can be tedious, and what if you if you need to check on multiple pages? It can quickly become overwhelming. That’s why you’ll be happy to learn that there’s a website that’s designed to detect if any changes on a Web page occur, and it will immediately notify you when it happens.

ChangeDetection.com is a free service that can track any changes on virtually any web page on the Internet. When you first go there, you’ll be asked to create a free account. The account requires an e-mail address to receive the change notices and, of course, a password.

Next, you’ll be asked for the website address you want ChangeDetection to monitor for changes. You then give the page an alert name that will let you easily identify the page such as “Job Opportunity” or “Contest Page” for example. You can also tell ChangeDetection how often you want to be notified about the change: once a day, once a week or just once a month.

A nice feature lets you tell ChangeDetection you only want to know if a sizable change occurs. This is a bit vague, but if it’s selected, ChangeDetection will ignore small alterations such as dates or numbers.

Additional tweaking selections include notification only if text is added or notification only if text is removed. You can even have ChangeDetection look for specific words being added or removed. When a change is detected, ChangeDetection will immediately send you an e-mail notifying you of the change. No more repetitive surfing needed.

After you define your pages to be monitored, you can go to the ChangeDetection summary page to see all of the Web pages you are monitoring. ChangeDetection maintains a history of each page and lists the date and time you were last notified, the monitoring schedule you selected for each page and a log file that specifically shows each of the changes. Additionally you can view recent page changes by most any of the aforementioned tweaking adjustments.

An account summary shows you how many pages you are monitoring, how many have changed for the current day and past week as well as how many alerts were sent to you.

ChangeDetection offers some examples of how you can use it to watch websites to stay on top of new job notices, detect when new software versions are announced, see when a company changes its policies, keep an eye on investments and lots more. But if you think about this for a while, I’m sure you’re going to come up with lots of your own reasons why you’re going to find ChangeDetection to be of value to you.

Finally, ChangeDetection gives you some HTML code you can add to your own website. Visitors can simply enter their e-mail address and click on a button. Then whenever you make a change to any page on your website, your visitors will be notified of the change automatically. It’s a great way to make repeat visitors out of casual ones and keep loyal ones coming back.

I know that as creatures of habit, we are inherently resistant to change. But when it comes to something like ChangeDetection, at least those changes won’t sneak up on you anymore.

(c) 2010, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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