Journalism in the Public Interest

How Are You Using ChangeTracker?

One change found on by our ChangeTracker was the removal of direct criticism of the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina.A few weeks back, we launched ChangeTracker, a tool that keeps an eye on White House Web sites and sends alerts when a page changes. We’ve used it to find a few interesting changes to, but we’re hoping to hear what you’ve done with it.

The day ChangeTracker launched, we also wrote up instructions on how you could duplicate it, in the hope that you would set up change trackers to watch other Web sites. This seems to have been a success—we can see via our logs folks have copied our code more than 50 times.

But we can’t see what sites they’ve chosen to track. (That point was driven home when we found out that our own, industrious Paul Kiel had set up a tracker without telling anyone.) So while we’ve been tickled pink by the success, we realized that we should probably ask:

How are you using ChangeTracker?

We’d love to highlight interesting uses.

Hope to hear from you soon.

P.S. If you’re new to ChangeTracker, please do give it a try.


I haven’t used ChangeTracker yet, other than to follow your posts on the changes and the like.  I just wanted to say thank you, I think it’s an awesome and invaluable tool, and the moment I figure out what I want to track I will use it!  Also - ProPublica was just mentioned (among very few others) as a good non-biased news source by Normon Solomon (founder of the Institute for Public Accuracy) on an episode of The Joan Kenley Show that was about the corporate media and the Madison Avenue dramatics that are used to sell wars.

I saw that episode when it was aired.

About the change tracker so far so good. I use it just to see whats changing/happening and now I know when there is an update to a story that maybe I wouldn’t have know before until I went and checked.

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This looks like a very cool tool, am I right in thinking it compares the latest text on a site to a cached version? I can see how this would be useful to outline mistakes! May integrate it into a reseller hosting platform so that users can use it on the sites they sell. Great Idea.

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Jennifer McHarg

May 5, 2009, 11:37 p.m.

This is a fascinating tool!  While I just found out about it and haven’t implemented this yet, it sounds like a great way for people to find changes on sites that don’t use RSS.  I prefer the ease of using RSS on blog sites when they update their content, but this could be great for non-blogs.  Thanks for sharing this!

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