Where a web page offers a feed, you can keep up to date with changes by using a feedreader – but what if the page doesn’t offer that facility, or you’re not yet ready to take a leap into the world of RSS feeds?
An alternative product I use is “WatchThatPage“, a simple-to-use free web service which e-mails you when there are changes to any of the webpages you’ve chosen to “watch”.
More and more of the pages I watch have started using feeds which I track on my Google reader/iGoogle (even the university news pages have finally implemented RSS feeds). However, “WatchThatPage” is great if you’d rather have e-mails of changes, and is a way of keeping an eye on, for example, an employer’s web page where they advertise any vacancies, as and when they arise. If they only have the occasional job vacancy, they’ll probably just edit a static web page, and are unlikely to provide a feed for changes.
“WatchThatPage” has been going since 2001, which is positively antique in internet years, so there’s always the chance that it will suddenly be discontinued (hope I haven’t jinxed it) and I’m sure there are other similar services out there. The usual caveats also apply, along the lines of “I accept no responsibility if it’s suddenly hacked and half the university research data is lost by a vicious trojan which eats all the data on the network” – but until the service dies or is superceded by some fancy new contraption, I’ll keep watching …