When I'm asked what I do all day, I usually answer that I monitor changes in information and relay those changes to the appropriate people, at the appropriate time. Perhaps I could put an anagram on this process and call it JITI (Just In Time Information). The key to JITI is a combination of human knowledge and creativity combined with automated resources designed to capture, filter and format the information in a way that makes clean-up, organization and dissemination easier. One of the newest resource I've discovered is the webpage bookmarking tool called Diphur.
WatchThatPage.com (WTP) as my go-to resource for monitoring changes in websites. In fact, WTP is still my favorite resource because of its simplicity, and how I can get great results compiled in a single email. However, WTP does not have the ability to set up RSS feeds of those results, and as far as I can tell, has no plans to do so in the immediate future. When I came across Diphur last week, I thought I'd give it a go to see how well it compares to WTP for monitoring changes in webpages. So far... it looks pretty promising.
Diphur allows you to bookmark webpages, and 'tag' those webpages with bookmarks that you define. For example, I monitor changes in AmLaw 100 firms' client alerts and news pages, so I find the page I want, enter the URL into Diphur, and then tag it with Law Firm>>News, and now I have an ability to upload these tagged pages into an RSS feeder, or get email alerts that monitor the changes. When there is a change in one of the webpages that Diphur is monitoring, I can see those changes in one place. This morning, for example, there was a change in one of the Dechert law firm pages, and I received an update that looked like this:
Something changed on the website your bookmark is monitoring, please see the changes below.
> 7% change via dechert.com for the day Mon, May 17, 2010
Nice and clean looking update, with the changes in the webpage clearly displayed for easy reading and dissemination. Although Diphur doesn't compile all of the pages I'm monitoring into one update like WTP does, the RSS feed option can kind of work as a one-stop place to monitor the changes.
Diphur allows you to set the percentage of change that needs to occur. This prevents a lot of the minor changes (changes in dates, etc.) from being sent to you every day. Depending upon the page you're monitoring, you can adjust the percentage of change that needs to occur before an update is sent to you. It will probably take some tweaking to get the page results just right, but tools like these sure make monitoring hundreds (or thousands) of webpages a whole lot easier to do.
Diphur is a brand new resource (launched on April 5, 2010), and is still working out some of the kinks. They have blog that discusses some of the issues (read: bugs) that they are dealing with, as well as following up on their ongoing philosophy "to listen to users and implement what they want". You got to like a philosophy like that!
So, if you have to monitor changes in webpages, go give Diphur a try. Let us know what you think about it, and how it compares to resources that you may already be using.