- What can InfoMinder service do for me?
- Why I should track web pages with InfoMinder?
- Do Tracking and Minding mean the same?
- Do URL and Page mean the same?
- What are some possible usages of InfoMinder?
- Do I have to install any software on my computer?
- Do I need Internet connection for using InfoMinder?
- How do I become a user of InfoMinder?
- How do I Sign In subsequent times?
- What if I can’t remember my Id or password?
- How to set up a page (URL) for tracking?
- How do I get to know when the page changes?
- How do I find out what has changed?
- Tell me more about creating and managing Minders
- How am I notified about changes?
- How do I get and view the changed page?
- What does InfoMinder consider as change?
- So, what are not considered as change?
- Tell me more about tracking and notification
- When tracking several pages, will I get too many Emails?
- What are the ways in which I can control my Email notifications?
- Can I stop tracking of a page and restart it at a later time?
- Can I View/Edit all my Minders and their settings?
- Can I quickly locate one or more of my Minders?
- How do I delete a Minder?
- What are the default settings of a Minder that I create?
- Can I quickly enable tracking for some or all of my favorite web sites?
- What is URL authentication?
- What is RSS and why should I track RSS links?
- IE Assistant for InfoMinder
- As a Web-master, can I make it easy for users to track pages of my web site?
- So, how do I incorporate the “Mind-This-Page” button in my site?
- How is Import Bookmarks option useful?
- How is “Most Tracked Pages” option useful?
- Can I change my password?
- Can I change my name?
- Can I change my default Email id?
- What if I canï¿½t remember my InfoMinder Id or password?
- Can I change my Preferences?
- Why I am not getting notifications?
- What are the possible causes of tracking errors?
- How do I get around the tracking errors reported by InfoMinder?
- Giving Feedback
- Contacting Technology Strategies
- Requesting new features
- Licensing InfoMinder
- Customizing InfoMinder
InfoMinder is a change notification service for tracking updates to web pages. It lets you track one or more web pages and notify you when these pages change. You can choose the frequency with which you want to monitor the pages. You can also specify the number of changes to occur before you receive the notification. Further, you can even narrow the notification process by specifying that you should be notified only if the changed content has some words that are of interest to you. For tracking a page, you just need to define a “Minder” in InfoMinder by specifying the URL of the page you want to track. InfoMinder keeps looking for updates in the specified page(s) and sends you notification through email.
The major benefit of InfoMinder is that the service saves time and effort for you. Most web users bookmark several web pages and visit them occasionally or frequently. InfoMinder automates this process and sends you notification if these pages change. This way, you do not have to visit a website multiple times to find whether it has changed or not. That is, you can stay informed about the happenings in the areas of your interest with all the cumbersome dirty work delegated to InfoMinder server. What is more, you can structure and group the notifications according to your categories of interest with the change previews included in the notification mail. And you neede to visit web pages only when the update is relevant for you; this way, you further save time by reducing the number of visits to web sites.
Yes. They are both used to mean the same in the context of InfoMinder.
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. It specifies the location of a resource residing on the Internet. It is normally the address of a web page. Each page of a web site will have its own URL. This address is required by the browser to display the corresponding page on your computer screen. You can see the URL of the current page displayed some where at the top of the browser window.
The following are examples of URLs:
Such a web resource file is what is displayed as a web page by your browser when you visit that site. Hence, while URL is the address of a resource, page is the resulting view of that resource. However, the terms URL and Page are frequently used to mean the same.
- Research departments can use this product to keep track and be automatically be notified of changes to the web pages they are interested in.
- Marketing departments can use this to track competitive products, press announcements, alliances and partnerships etc.
- Sales departments can use this to track and obtain sales leads. For example, by tracking a government site, they can come to know of new RFPs ( request for proposals).
- An investor can track the companies they have invested in to make the right buying and selling decisions.
- Developers can track technologies, products, standards, tools etc. that help them perform their jobs better.
- Web-masters can monitor changes being made to their web sites.
No. You need not install any software on your computer. You can access InfoMinder services through any standard web browser, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. And you can get your change notification through Email or you can see the changes whenever you visit the InfoMinder site by signing in.
You can, however, optionally install the IE Assistant for InfoMinder to obtain additional functionality. This is available free of charge and can be downloaded from InfoMinder site.
Not all the time. For example, to register and create a set of minders and modify them, you need to be connected to the internet through a browser. However, you can elect to receive notifications through e-mail. Depending on how you receive e-mail (corporate intranet or internet) you may have to connect occasionally to receive the notifications. From the e-mail, if you need to visit any of the links, you will need to connect to Internet. However, it is possible for you to opt for changed pages to be attached with the notification Email.
The tracking of the pages are done by our servers and hence for that purpose you need not be connected to the internet.
You need to visit the InfoMinder web site at www.infominder.infoassistants.com and go through the following steps:
- Click on the Get Started link.
- Fill in your Name, your email address and desired password and click on the Next button.
- Follow the instructions given in the next page to confirm and activate your InfoMinder account.
Once through this procedure, you are an InfoMinder user. Your email id becomes your InfoMinder login id. When you are presented with the Sign In page, you can specify your id and password. You can then create minders by specifying the URL of the page that you want to track for changes.
Before you can sign in, you should have registered with InfoMinder. (See How do I become a user of InfoMinder?) Once you sign up, your Email id becomes your InfoMinder id and the associated password will be the one you selected. Subsequently, whenever you want to access InfoMinder, you can sign in using this InfoMinder id. For this, you type in the Email id in the InfoMinder id field and the password in the next field and press the Sign In button. If both are correct, you will be presented the View Minders page where your minders, if any are displayed.
In the Sign In page, you will also see a check box titled “Remember Me”. This helps you since you do not have to remember and type all of the id and password every time you want to sign in. Note that these access ids are saved on your local computer and hence you should tick this option only if your computer is not likely to be used by others who should not be accessing your InfoMinder account.
It is possible to change your current password. See Can I change my password?.
Your id is the email address you entered when you registered. You need to remember this to retrieve your password. Here are the steps:
- Go to sign in page www.infominder.infoassistants.com
- Click on the link Forgot id/password.
- Specify your email id and click Submit. Note that this id should match the email id in your InfoMinder profile.
Your id and password will be sent to you through email.
When you want to specify a new URL for tracking, you can use the Create Minder option.
The only mandatory information that you need to specify is the address of the page (URL) that you want to track. This can be typed in. Alternately, you can copy and paste it from the Location field of your browser window.
To create multiple minders from your favorites/bookmarks, you can use the import bookmarks feature.
If you are on a Windows platform using Internet Explorer and if you have installed the IE Add-on module, you can click the right button and choose “Mind This Page” or “Mind This Link” option to create a minder. (See IE Assistant.)
Normally, you will be notified through Email. Alternatively, you can sign in to InfoMinder and see the changed pages marked with an icon in the View Minders page. Note that it is possible for you to disable the Email notification.
When you get an email notification, it can contain a preview of changes, if you havenï¿½t disabled it using the option in Preferences. You can also click on the View Changes link in the Email. You will be presented with the page with the changed portions marked. The changed text is marked with Red color with Blanched Almond background. Note that you can change these highlighting color combination using the Preferences option.
In addition to specifying the URL to track, you can specify additional options:
By default InfoMinder fills this field at the time of the creation of the minder from the “title” information in the HTML page corresponding to the URL. This will be done only if you have not specified your own description while creating the minder. You can change the description of the minder later. Description of the minder gets displayed in the notification mails and in the View Minder pages of InfoMinder web interface.
Categories are means for classifying and grouping your minders. When you select a category name while in the edit page of a minder, you are attaching that category with the current minder, which means that the current minder falls in that category. So, by attaching same category name to multiple minders, you are grouping them under one classification. Note that the category names are arbitrary, but meaningful words that are coined by you. You can attach multiple categories to same minder; for instance, one of the URLs that you are minding could fall in two categories, such as, “Competition” and “Fiber Optics”.
InfoMinder allows you to opt for Email notifications that are grouped as per your categories. So, instead of getting one notification mail for each of your minders or getting a single digest notification mail for all your minders, it is possible to get one mail notification for each category. (See description of “Send Alerts As” under Preferences.)
To attach a category name to the current minder, you can simply type in the name in the text box. Or if you want to pick a category name from your already existing list of categories, you can press Select button near the Categories field. Then you can pick one or more categories from the existing list of categories. If there are none, or if you want to create a new category, you can press the “Category List” button. You can type in the name of the category and press Add. This window allows you to also delete an existing category name from your master list. However, this deletion will have no effect on the existing minders included in that category.
Using this option, you can temporarily disable and later re-enable tracking. This feature is useful when you are away on vacation or not interested in tracking a page for some time.
Changed Text Marking
Normally, changed text in a page gets marked by the foreground and background color combinations that are set in the “Minder Default Options” of the Preferences page. However, for individual minders, you can select a different color combination by editing the minder. You may do this only if the default color combination clashes in some way with the colors used in the web page affecting readability.
The email you specified at the time of registering with InfoMinder (or your current email id, if you have changed it in your Profile) is used to notify you about changes. If you do not want to receive of email notification for the current minder, you can blank out this field. In that case, to view the changes, you need to visit www.infominder.infoassistants.com and sign in with your InfoMinder id and password.
You can specify any other email id here for notification. See also Preferences to find out more about the ways in which you can control the email notification.
Frequency of notification
This decides how often you will be notified when changes occur in the page you are tracking. When you create a Minder, normally the frequency of notification takes a default setting as decided by your Preferences setting. To begin with, daily notification option is set in your Preferences, which you can change to any number of days in the range 1 to 30, in which case, that becomes the default notification frequency for all Minders that you create henceforth. The frequency field in the Create Minder page allows you to choose different notification frequency for different Minders. Note that at the individual minder level you can set tracking frequency to number of hours also(if the user account has hourly tracking capability). The allowed range for hours is 1 to 720.
The following facilities allow you to restrict the number of notifications.
InfoMinder can detect certain date/copyright related changes that occur regularly on many web pages. The following are some examples of such changes.
Daily News Digest for Saturday, January 11, 2003
last updated 12 Jan 2003
Last Modified at Saturday, January 11, 2003 9:40:08 AM
©2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1995-2003 Sun Microsystems, Inc .
If this option is enabled and the page contains only the changes as described above then InfoMinder ignores those changes and doesn’t send out an unnecessary alert
Number of changes to be detected before you are notified
Instead of getting notification for every single change, you can decide on a threshold value. This specifies a minimum number of changes occurring in the page during the specified tracking period. Only when the number of changes in the page during the tracking period equals or exceeds this value, you will be notified. This facility is useful when some pages have certain predictable and recurring changes, such as date of update. See also How are the changes counted?.
The restriction applies only to the notification; when you visit InfoMinder site, you can view the last changed page even though it does not meet this condition that you have specified.
This is yet another way to qualify the change tracking. You might want to be alerted only if the changed content has one or more words of your interest. You can specify the keywords and also specify that you want notification if any one of the keywords or all of them occur in the changed content.
You can also specify your keywords using complex boolean expressions in ‘Advanced Filter’ mode. Some examples of boolean expressions that you can use in ‘Advanced Filter’ mode are listed below. The boolean operators “AND”, “OR” etc must be specified in capital letters.
- Boolean searches
Search for changes contaning either apples or oranges
Search for changes contaning one of apples or oranges and fruits
Search for changes containing apples and oranges
Search for changes that contain apples but not oranges
- Phrases (surrounded with double quotes)
- Wildcard searches
Search for changes that contain words test or text.
Search for changes that contain words starting with the letters “win” such as Windows, WindowsNT and Windows2003
Search for changes that contain words starting with the letters “win” and ending with “98” such as “Windows 98”
Note: Wildcard characters ? and * cannot be the first letter of the search word
The restriction applies only to the notification; when you visit InfoMinder site, you can view the last changed page even though it does not meet this condition that you have specified.
You will also find a link, This URL requires authentication. See What is URL authentication for information on this.
where <name> is the cookie name and <value> is cookie value. The <value> shouldn’t contain ‘;’ and ‘=’ characters.
Incorrect values can result in tracking errors or not tracking correct page. It is recommended that InfoMinder browser assistants be used to track pages with cookies. InfoMinder browser assistants provide a right-click option called ‘Mind This Page (with Cookies)’. Browse to the desired page, right-click and select ‘Mind This Page (with Cookies)’ to track the current page with the cookies set by the web site.
Tracking same page with different cookies
Sometimes, you may need to track same web page with different cookie values. Since InfoMinder doesn’t allow a URL to be tracked more than once, the following work-around can be used.
Append a dummy URL parameter to the URL before you create a new minder. For example, you are tracking a web page called http://www.foobar.com/index.html. You can create additional minders for the same URL by appending the following dummy URL parameters.
The name ‘dummy’ can easily be replaced with any other name (without spaces and ‘&’ characters) provided that is not already being used by the website. Please note that If the URL that you are tracking already has some URL parameters, then you need to append “&” character first. For example, if the above URL were http://www.foobar.com/products.html?cat=electronics then the URLs with dummy parameters should be:
This allows you to track form-submitted pages. For example if you are tracking jobs, most websites allow you to select a category and position before displaying the jobs list. You can use this field to provide form data.
The format for typical form submitted data is:
where <name> is the form field and <value> is the form field value
The corresponding Post Content Type field value should be application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Other types of post data can also be specified here. However the value depends on the page you are tracking.
Current version of InfoMinder browser assistants donot provide a mechanism to automatically capture this data (as they do for Cookie ). However, future versions will provide a mechanism to simplify this.
Post Content Type
Mime content type of the Post Content field. For typical form-submitted pages, this value is: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Normally, you will be notified through Email. Alternatively, you can sign in to InfoMinder and see the changed pages marked with a “New” icon () in the View Minders page. Note that it is possible for you to disable the Email notification for a specific minder by removing the Email id in the Minder Edit page. Also, you can choose to get a single digest mail for all of your minders or one mail for each category.
When you get an Email notification, it can contain a preview of the changes. You can click on the View Changes link. When you sign in, you will be presented with the page with the changed portion marked. The changed text is normally marked with the default Red color with Blanched Almond background, or the colors you specified in your Preferences setting.
You can also see changes by directly signing in to InfoMinder any time and clicking on the URL of the desired Minder listed in your View Minders page.
Yes. After signing in, in the View Minders page, click on the Edit icon of the corresponding Minder. You will be in the Edit Minder page. In that you can use the Enable tracking option to disable tracking of the particular Minder. You can re-enable it any time later.
In the View Minders page, the first column contains check boxes for selecting minders; you can check the box on one or more minders and then choose Delete Checked option to delete the checked minders.
Any new visible text that gets added in the page is considered a change.
Any text that gets dropped is not considered a change. Any change done within any of the HTML tags and that does not contribute to the visible part of the page is also not considered a change. Change in images on the page is also not recognized as change.
What is tracked? Only the page specified or something more? Only the page specified by the URL is tracked. Other URLs pointed from the page are not tracked.
When and how frequently is the tracking done? This is internally decided by InfoMinder server by combining all requirements and optimizing the access to the pages that are being tracked.
This is completely under your control. The number of mails you receive depends on the number of minders, their tracking frequency and the email options that you have set and above all the number of changes taking place in the pages that you track and the filtering option that you have set for the minders. By default, InfoMinder sends the changes in a digest format; that is, it combines all changes into a single email. However, it is possible for you to specify category-wise or individual notifications. See Preferences.
You may choose not to receive any notification mail for any specific minder. Instead you can view the changes using the browser. For disabling Email notification, you need to go to Edit Minder page and blank out the Email address.
The above two options are applicable to individual Minders. There are some more Email related options, which are applicable to all your Minders. These you choose using the Preferences option.
Yes. When you sign in, InfoMinder shows you a list of all your minders. The Minders are listed with the URL, Description, Number of changes and Date of creation/change. This list can be sorted by any of these attributes. You can click on a column header to sort the list in the order of that column values. Clicking on the same column header once again reverses the sorting order. That is, you can order your list of minders in ascending or descending order by any of these columns.
To view or change any of the associated options of a Minder, you can click on the Edit link corresponding to that Minder.
InfoMinder provides a search facility, using which you can locate specific minders, when you have a large number of minders. As search argument you can type in one or more words and press the Search button. InfoMinder will list all minders with one or more of these words occurring either in their URL name, description or the categories associated with them.
When you create a Minder, you need to specify only the URL of the page that you want to track. Other options and values are automatically taken by default. The Description, if you have not given, will be picked up from the title value given for the HTML file corresponding to the page.
The change marking color combination will be picked from the Preferences setting.
The Email id for sending notification will be picked up from corresponding value in your Profile.
Frequency of notification will be picked up from the corresponding value set in your Preferences.
Number of changes to be detected before notification is also picked up from your Preferences.
Yes. InfoMinder gives you a facility to create Minders from one or more of the URLs that you have saved in your browser environment. See Import Bookmarks.
On Web sites, sometimes access to specific pages is restricted. This means that only the individuals who know the access id and password can access such pages. This access control obviously applies to InfoMinder also, which needs to access a page to track changes. When you create a Minder, InfoMinder tries to access the page to check whether it is a genuine web page and also to see whether any access restriction exists for the page. InfoMinder is able to detect the access restriction, if that exists. In such case, it asks the user to provide the id and password. If user does not have these particulars for the page, that page can not be tracked.
The authentication id and password can be re-specified by the user using the Edit option. In the Advanced Options page, you can see a This URL requires authentication link, which allows you to modify the id and/or password.
When the authentication information provided is incorrect, an error notification will be sent to the user. User can supply the correct information as explained above or alternatively disable or delete the Minder.
RSS (RDF Site Summary – and, RDF stands for Resource Definition Framework) is a standard way for sharing headlines and other Web content. It is like a distributable “What’s New” for web sites.
Since RSS channels are aggregation of news feeds of various categories sourced from large number of internet resources and updated frequently, they are the focal points for monitoring the latest happenings. Ability to create minders on such resources provides “single window” points for staying in touch. InfoMinder provides a directory of popular RSS resources from which user can pick for tracking.
InfoMinder provides browser assistants for the following browsers.
- Microsoft Internet Explorer v4.0 and above
- Mozilla Firefox Browser 1.0 and above
- Netscape Navigator 6.0 and above
Once this is installed, while browsing, you can right click and choose to create a minder for the page that you are currently browsing. You can also right-click on any link or select one more links and create minders. These features greatly simplify the process of creating minders and also allow users to decide and act right in the midst of browsing. These tools are indispensable if you are planning to track a page that requires cookies.
These assistants be downloaded from tools section of InfoMinder web site.
Note that if a page has MindThisPage button, that gives the user part of this functionality and it is independent of the browser. (See InfoMinder for Web-Masters)
Yes. InfoMinder provides a facility for this purpose, which can be incorporated in pages of web sites. On your web pages, you can include a MindThisPage button. So, when a user is browsing through that page, and is interested in tracking the page, all that the user need to do is type-in the Email id for notification and submit it by a single click on this button. A Minder for the page gets created and tracking of the page starts right then.
InfoMinder provides a choice of graphic image for the button and a fragment of HTML code required for displaying and handling the processing associated with the button. All you need to do is include these in the source file corresponding to the pages that you want to have the MindThisPage button displayed.
This is a facility provided in InfoMinder for creating Minders directly from the list of web pages of your interest. If you use, Internet Explorer 5.0 or above, you will probably have these URLs saved using the options provided under Favorites menu option. If you use Netscape browser, you will use the Bookmark option to save the URLs of your interest. Import Bookmarks option of InfoMinder allows you to create Minders directly from such list.
Since the ways in which these two browsers keep this list are different, the procedure for importing from them are also different. Internet Explorer keeps this list in some internal format, but gives a mechanism to convert it into an HTML bookmark file. You can use File/Import and Export menu option of Internet Explorer for this purpose. In the case of Netscape browser, the book mark is maintained as an HTML file named bookmark.htm and hence there is no need for any conversion. This file can be found within the directory in which Netscape browser is installed and under the folder Users\YourId, where YourId is the name by which you have identified yourself within Netscape browser.
When you choose, Import Bookmark option, you will be shown the step by step instructions. When you specify the above bookmark file to InfoMinder, it will display all the URLs you have saved so far. You can select one or more of those URLs and create Minders for them. These Minders will be created with default Minder options. During this import, URLs already being tracked by you will be discarded and such discarded URLs will be reported in an error list.
This option gives you the list of URLs that are being tracked by most users. The list will contain the top 20 such URLs. It also gives you a single-click way for you to create Minder for one or more of those URLs, if you are not already tracking that URL.
Yes. Use the Profile option and then click on the Change password link.
Yes. You can use Profile option to change the name that gets displayed on all pages once you sign in with InfoMinder.
Yes. You can use Account|Profile option to change the default Email id. Note that this will not affect your login id; the original email id that you used at the time of the registration will continue to be your InfoMinder id.
Yes. The Preferences option allows you to change the following settings:
Changed Text color and Background color: This decides how InfoMinder marks the changed text in the changed pages saved as part of your Minder notification. When you change these settings, they are effective only for the future notifications and the pages that were already marked will continue to be shown with the old color combination.
Number of changes to be detected before you are notified: This tells that only when the number of changes occurring in the tracked pages equals or exceeds this number, a notification should be posted for our Minders. This setting is applied to all Minders that get created automatically. When this setting is altered, the change will affect only the Minders that get created in future. The permitted values are 1 to 99999. Note that for individual Minders, this setting can be altered. See also How are the changes counted?.
Frequency of Monitoring page: You can choose the number of days. This setting decides how often you will be notified of changes occurring in the pages specified in your Minders. The permitted values are 1 to 30. This setting is applied to all Minders that get created automatically. When this setting is altered, the change will affect only the Minders that get created in future. Note that for individual Minders, this setting can be altered and set to certain number of days (1 to 30).
Send Alerts As: This is related to Email notification. You can choose to have a single digest mail sent for all Minders or one digest mail for each category or one mail for each Minder. When you opt for a single digest mail, all the changed pages information will be included in a single mail. In the case of category-wise digest, the change information will be grouped as per the categories and one digest mail will be sent for each category (See Categories). When you opt for one mail per minder, you will get one mail for each changed minder.
Attach changed page: This is also related to Email notification. When you choose Yes, the notification mail will have the changed page or pages included as attachment. If No is selected, you will have to Sign in to InfoMinder to view the changed page.
Include Preview of Changes: This is also related to Email notification. When you choose Yes, the notification mail will have few lines of changes included. If No is selected, the notification mail will not have the preview of changes.
Display Options: This is related to the View/Edit Minder page display. There is a column for displaying date; this column can display either the date of creation of the minders or the date of last change in the page, as per the choice made here. Another option related to the display is about the number of minders to be listed in one page.
The possibilities are:
There are no changes at all in the page specified in your Minder or change in the page may be what InfoMinder does not recognize as change. See What are not considered change?.
The conditions you specified for the minder can be the reason for not getting notification. For example you might have specified the number of changes as more than 1 and that many changes may not be taking place during the tracking period specified for the minder. See How are the changes counted?.
Likewise, you might have specified one or more keywords, which may not be occurring in the change. See Tracking for keywords.
There might have been an error in tracking the page. An error alert mail should have been sent to you in such case. You can also sign in and see whether the Minder is marked with an error icon . Minders marked as Error are no longer active. (See What are the possible causes of tracking errors.)
The Email id you have given might have been wrong. If this was the case, when you sign in, you can see the Minder marked as changed; only the Email notification might have been failing. You can use the Profile option to check and correct your Email id.
You might have disabled tracking! Check this by clicking on the Edit icon of the minder.
The URL specified might have been wrong or invalid.
The page might have moved or changed its address.
The page need authentication and you have not supplied the id and password.
The page authentication id/password given by you are incorrect.
There might have been a transient failure somewhere in the network.
You can copy the URL from your Minder to the address field of your browser and see whether you can access the page. If you find that the page could not be displayed, then you need to find the correct URL and update your Minder.
If the page needs authentication, make sure you are able to access the page using the browser by supplying the required id and password. If you are able to access the page, update your Minder by specifying the correct id and password. See What is URL authentication?.
Reset the error and see whether it is recurring.
You can use Feedback option to send any of your commentsto us. This could be about a problem that you faced or a feature that you would like to see in the product.
Technology Strategies can be contacted at their following offices:
US Office Dorai Thodla Technology Strategies LLC 21265, Stevens Creek Blvd #205 Cupertino, CA, 95014 650-283-5012 Email:email@example.com
You can use Feedback option for requesting a new feature in InfoMinder.
Please contact Technology Strategies LLC, at 650-283-5012 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact Technology Strategies LLC, at 650-283-5012 or send e-mail to email@example.com