Page Monitors

Introduction

For this blog entry, I will explain my experiences with page monitors and how I incorporated them into my term project on the music industry. First off, a brief introduction to page monitors is necessary. Page monitors were the next big thing several years ago. A page monitor is a program or web based program that you download. Each day, week, or month (or whatever time period you set) it downloads the web page you are trying to track, and if it's different it will send you an email. Some tell you what has changed while others just tell you that it has changed.

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Watch That Page

On the surface, page monitors are not all that impressive. After realizing that they can be used for a lot more than news, however, they can become quite a helpful tool. I used WatchThatPage.com, which is the best free page monitoring site. Through the use of the services provided by WatchThatPage.com, I kept track of several music news websites that didn't have RSS feeds or email alert capabilities. I set up all of these page monitors so that they gave me either daily or weekly updates. The web pages I received updates on included:

  • Music Label News
    • This web page provides the latest news on notable music labels. New items include stories on the largest of companies like Sony Music Entertainment, in additional to smaller labels like Sunset Records and Surveillance Records.
  • Music Technology News
    • This web page provides news on the latest technology available or being developed in the music industry. The news stories cover topics ranging from new audio/sound capabilities to the latest features on major music sites.
  • Music Industry Business News
    • This web page shares relevant business news as it pertains to the overall music industry and the larger business arena. Many of the stories that make up this web page include not only music companies, but also companies engaging in very different businesses. For example, news stories on Coca-Cola's mobile advertising through ring tones, and EJamming Inc.'s deal with MTV.
  • Music Video News
    • This web page provides music news as it relates to digital videos. News story topics include happenings with video web site, Youtube, as well as information on record labels like Island Def Jam's introduction of mobile phone videos.
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My Thoughts

Overall, I had a good experience with page monitors and found them to be useful when necessary. I prefer to just get news stories through RSS feeds or email alerts, but in this case, I wanted to keep track of several sites without those capabilities. So instead, I used page monitors from WatchThatPage.com and they ended up being pretty easy to use and helpful. Basically, the page monitoring service becomes a form of email alert, sending a message to your email account once daily or weekly about any changes in the page of interest.

An important distinction to make, however, is that email alerts are generally more user-friendly and better organized given that some sites have already put more effort into organizing this feature. When RSS feeds and email alerts aren't available, I would suggest using page monitors and the web sites I have provided to help you stay informed about important current events for the music industry.

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