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Author Topic: Dumb question re Website Watcher  (Read 6747 times)

jeromg

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Dumb question re Website Watcher
« on: August 23, 2007, 05:43:06 PM »
Hi there,

It seems like several people are very fond of Website Watcher (http://www.aignes.com/), however I've downloaded the trial version, and I can't seem to find the right way to use it, even though it seems to be very powerful. I'd be interested to get some usage scenarios from people who are using it on a daily basis.
Personaly, I get most of my information through RSS feeds (I'm using Google Reader as my main rss reader). I'm just afraid I might be missing something with Website Watcher, advice welcome !

Cheers  /jerome

mouser

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2007, 06:30:49 PM »
I use website watcher every day.  But if you like RSS feed reading then you might not use it as much as I do.

Basically I use ww like a super-browser.  I have added hundreds of web pages, from blogs to cnn to nytimes, to software sites, etc.  WW will check for changes and show you a list of all web pages that have changed since your last visit, and then highlight the changes on each page as you visit.  I use it more than I use a normal browser.

Curt

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2007, 10:16:20 AM »
I have the UpdatePatrol, but was not able to configure it to my liking - it kept telling me about increase in number of members and such.

Did anyone compare WebsiteWatcher and UpdatePatrol, and have a say? :tellme:

rjbull

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2007, 10:18:28 AM »
I've been using WebSite-Watcher for quite a while now, registering through one of the DC Discounts   :Thmbsup:  (Thanks Martin!)

I like it and use it a  great deal.  Like Mouser, I have quite a few web pages set up.  Many of them are checked daily.  If, for example, you wanted to watch the online inventories of camera shops for particular items, you can be alerted when anything new appears.  You can set particular keywords, just as in some RSS readers, so you could check if a new version of a program is available by checking for the version number on its web page.

I've only scratched the surface of WSW.  One day I might aspire to something advanced, like using WSW to log in to my account at the county library and finding out if any of my reservations are ready to pick up.  The account is password-protected, and WSW can do the login automatically.  Or, you could use WSW to check low-traffic newsgroups .

At work I use it for competitors and customers web sites.  It checks the first time and says "OK;" a week later, or whenever, I run it again, it shows which sites have changed, and what the changes are.  They're highlighted to make them obvious.  That's a good way to spot new press releases and new products as soon as possible.  It keeps the before and after pages, too, so you have them on file until the next time you check.

Perhaps the key point for you is to realise that it works on pages that don't have RSS feeds, and in fact that seems to be most of the web.  I've only just started to look into RSS (with GreatNews) and so far, compared with WSW (which you can also use as an RSS aggregator, though I haven't) I'm not sure I know what the fuss is about   ;)  However, RSS is probably better suited to fast-changing and public things like blogs.


rjbull

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2007, 10:32:09 AM »
I have the UpdatePatrol, but was not able to configure it to my liking - it kept telling me about increase in number of members and such.

Did anyone compare WebsiteWatcher and UpdatePatrol, and have a say? :tellme:

Curt,

I've never heard of UpdatePatrol before.  But, WebSite-Watcher has a feature that might help you.  Many web pages show dates, which means that normally those pages would show up as "changed" each time you run WSW.  The fix is to invoke WSW's wizard that picks up such items, and automatically converts them into regexs which make WSW ignore them on future runs.  I think you have to run it at least twice so there is a change to be seen for it to run automatically  ;)

Paging Martin Aignesberger?  Martin?  I'm close to getting out of my depth!  ;)


aignes

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2007, 11:04:09 AM »
Quote
Paging Martin Aignesberger?  Martin?

yep, I'm here since I monitor DC regularly :)
- Martin Aignesberger,  author of WebSite-Watcher

TucknDar

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2007, 01:12:27 PM »
Quote
Paging Martin Aignesberger?  Martin?

yep, I'm here since I monitor DC regularly :)
What tool do you use to monitor DC?


 :P

All kidding aside. I use WsW too, and find it save me a lot of time! While I do like RSS, I certainly wouldn't use it over WsW, which I think is far more powerful.

bitbrain

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2007, 01:53:26 PM »
Curt,

you should contact the developer of UpdatePatrol to get help. No need to invest in a new tool - UpdatePatrol can exclude member counts etc. Contact point is support@bitberry.com


jeromg

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2007, 04:49:28 PM »
Thanks all, this gives me a few ideas how to use WW. I've got the strange feeling that I'm missing something if I don't use it. Mouser, I'm a great fan of yours, and you seem to use WW extensively, so I have to like it!  ;)

I'd be interested in other usage scenarios anyway.

Cheers  /jerome

mouser

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2007, 07:55:10 PM »
If you are a big RSS reader you may find it less useful than I do, since I prefer it over RSS and use it even on sites that support RSS.  But even so, think of it as a program which can be used in a similar way to RSS (showing you new updates) for sites that don't support RSS.

One separate thing that WSW (and other web page change monitoring programs) does that RSS won't is something i love, which is show me when a website author quietly changes a line or two on their page.  It's fun to see occasionally that a blog item or a story will suddenly trigger a change alert and when i go check it out i notice a single sentence has been added or removed.  Kind of feels like a secret view into the inner workings of the site that you wouldn't know about otherwise.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2007, 07:57:20 PM by mouser »

Darwin

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2007, 08:19:57 PM »
I use a similar application to monitor sites for changes - job postings sites, software development sites (to be alerted about updates/new releases), blogs, etc. Website Watcher won the website change monitoring tool award in the donationcoder review. Read the review - it'll give you a lot of ideas as to how to use this application.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Curt

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2008, 05:59:06 PM »
Curt, you should contact the developer of UpdatePatrol to get help.

- in the end  he contacted me!


Quote
Does UpdatePatrol do what you need?
If you miss something, please let me know!


Bitberry Software    Hello again, Brian from Bitberry Software here.

I'm currently planning what to include in the next major update of UpdatePatrol, and I'd like to hear your opinion.

This is your chance to influence what is included in UpdatePatrol 4.0.

What do you use UpdatePatrol for?
I'm sincerely interested in getting to know what you use UpdatePatrol for. What kind of sites are you monitoring and how is it helping you or your business?

Please help me understand what problems UpdatePatrol solves for you and helps you with.

Getting access to this information will help me improve UpdatePatrol to help you even better.

What do you miss the most?
What is the most important thing you would like to see added to UpdatePatrol? Please let me know!

I cannot guarantee that all requested features are added in version 4.0, but your feedback will help me a lot to decide which ones to include.

Need to upgrade or change your email preferences?
Visit the Customer Portal at http://www.bitberry.com/cc.login.html.

Well, one feature I surely will recommend him to add  is  to warn the customers when their license is about to expire: Mine expired two weeks ago, and I didn't know until today when I tried to update!  :mad:  :down:

http://www.updatepatrol.com/
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 06:13:10 PM by Curt »

Shades

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2008, 08:45:12 PM »
There is some irony in your last post Curt ;D

Curt

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2008, 09:14:45 AM »
 ;)  yes, ironi is not as hard as sarcasm...

I have to admit that I haven't used the program for more than half a year, so maybe the program itself would tell me that the license was about to expire? I don't know. So, in reality, my request may have exposed my ignorance!

mwb1100

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Re: Dumb question re Website Watcher
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2008, 04:33:37 PM »
so maybe the program itself would tell me that the license was about to expire? I don't know.

Heh - when installed it does initially have a configuration that monitors the update announcement webpage.  I also missed out on the most recent update by one day - I knew of the update from when it was posted, but just didn't get around to downloading it.  When I went to try, I found that my subscription had expired the day before.

Oh well - I'm not sure how important the update is.  At some point I'll look to see if the paid upgrade will be worthwhile.

edit: removed reference to BitsDuJour - turns out I didn't buy it through BDJ
« Last Edit: July 30, 2008, 04:39:20 PM by mwb1100 »