Follow changes to any Web site (even without an RSS feed)

Started by ., Feb 24, 2010, 11:49 AM

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One of the things that tickles me the most about men's rights advocates is their tenacity in infiltrating feminist forums and blogs and refuting disinformation until the truth becomes so glaring that they are banned.  No such swarm by the feminists ever occurs with the same frequency and intensity on our own blogs and forums, and I sometimes wonder what feminists are thinking when they see so MANY of us coming out of the woodwork and dominating the discussion on their home turf.  It must seem like we are either vastly superior in numbers, or just more organized.  I picture the femmies scratching their heads and wondering, "Where are all these MRAs coming from?"

There is a technology called RSS that lets you track comments and stories on someone's blog, and a lot of MRAs use the Google Reader to follow such RSS feeds and keep tabs on what our friends and enemies are saying.  Since every blog has an RSS feed by design, it's easy to use Google Reader to track blogs.  But what about Web sites that don't have RSS feeds that enable you to track them?

On January 25, 2010, Google announced that it was expanding the capabilities of the Google Reader so that it could now track traditional Web pages for changes and use the Google Reader to display snippets of only the information on the Web pages that has changed -- no RSS feed required.

This is a fantastic way to keep abreast of any developments on a traditional Web page.  Not only is it useful to track opinion-based content (like blogs, etc.) but also statistics and even legislative changes that have been posted to a Web page.  For example, if you're monitoring a state's laws on mandatory arrest, you can just instruct the Google Reader to keep an eye on the Web page on the state's Web site which displays that particular public statute; if it ever changes, even slightly, Google Reader will let you know.

Check out the following article, written on the official Google Reader blog:

Follow changes to any website
Monday, January 25, 2010 by Brian Shih

At Google we're always looking for ways to take advantage of work being done in other parts of the organization. So when a team approached us with a way to follow changes from websites without feeds, we jumped at the opportunity. Post by Liza Ma, Product Manager.

Feeds make it easy to follow updates to all kinds of webpages, from blogs to news sites to Craigslist queries, but unfortunately not all pages on the web have feeds. Today we're rolling out a change in Google Reader that lets you create a custom feed to track changes on pages that don't have their own feed.

These custom feeds are most useful if you want to be alerted whenever a specific page has been updated. For example, if you wanted to follow's latest products, just type "" into Reader's "Add a subscription" field. Click "create a feed", and Reader will periodically visit the page and publish any significant changes it finds as items in a custom feed created just for that page.

Here are some more example feeds for sites without feeds that you could follow:

We provide short snippets of page changes to help you quickly decide if the page is worth revisiting and we're working on improving the quality of these snippets. If you don't want Google to crawl or create feeds for a specific site, site owners can opt-out.

If you have a feed-less page you've been dying to follow, sign in to Google Reader and try it out for yourself. As always, if you have any feedback, please visit our official help forums or our Twitter account.

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