UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Email Subscription Service For This Blog

Posted by Brian Kelly on 19 Feb 2007

R-Mail subscription

Roddy MacLeod recently pointed out the difficulties end users may have in understanding how to add RSS feeds to RSS viewers. I think Roddy is right – and we do need to make interfaces much easier to use, especially for users who make use of email and Web browsers, but don’t understand RSS readers.

In response to this I recently subscribed to three services which deliver RSS feeds using email. The services were R-Mail, RSSfwd and Feedblitz.

At the delivery end, the services seem similar: with all of them I received a HTML-formatted email, with embedded images.

The Feedblitz subscription service seems to be the most sophisticated, allowing the delivery to be suspended (perhaps when going away on holiday) together with a host of other options which can be accessed from the dashboard, as illustrated.

Feedblitz Dashboard

However as the aim of this service is to provide an interface which is very easy to use, especially for the inexperienced user, I have chosen the R-Mail service, and provided an interface to this at at the top of the right-hand sidebar widget.

8 Responses to “Email Subscription Service For This Blog”

  1. Interesting feedback on these tools. As an RSS junkie it goes against the grain for me to advocate the use of these or to acknowledge that they even exist. But I agree that they will enable users who are uncertain about the newer technologies to access content, and perhaps eventually encourage them to explore RSS.


  2. ajcann said

    Is it possible to get stats out of any of these services? I don’t see any way to do this for RSSfwd subscriptions, which otherwise I am very happy with, but I’ve got no idea how many people use this facility.

  3. Note that a posting on Subscribing to iNG by email on the info NeoGnostic Blog describes the Blogarithm email subscription service. I notice that this service is also being used on Karen Blakeman’s blog.

  4. Hi Karen – Funnily enough, in the past I also had a tendency to avoid mentioning technologies, services or applications which didn’t fit in with my technical ideological preferences. However when I reflected on what was meant by a ‘user-driven’ approach to development, I decided that whilst I would continue to promote what I felt were best practices, I also needed to support best practices for technologies which I did not necessarily feel provided the best solution, but which might be satisfactory solutions for particular groups of users.
    Hence this posting about email delivery of RSS feeds and a subsequent posting about reading RSS in MS Outlook 2007.

  5. Hi AJ – A problem with chosing a simple solution is the limited functionality. So, in this case, I don’t have access to any statistics.

  6. […] that not everyone would be likely to make use of an RSS reader – and, indeed, I also provided details on how to subscribe to this blog via an email subscription.  And just as I was surprised by the popularity of the email subscription to the blog (and, […]

  7. […] you know that you can choose to receive blog posts by email?  I’ve written about this previously and described how this may have advantages for end users who either do not have access to RSS […]

  8. […] you know that you can choose to receive blog posts by email? I’ve written about this previously and described how this may have advantages for end users who either do not have access to RSS […]

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