In the next week or two, I’m planning to shift the provider of my e-mail notifications from the increasingly creaky Feedburner to the service at follow.it. Feedburner has been a little flaky recently, and a couple of weeks ago I had to resynch it with my RSS feeds to get it to send out any e-mails at all—some of you will have suddenly received a long list of previous posts, rather than the usual single notification of a new post.
The follow.it service is a feed aggregator, which pulls in RSS feeds from multiple sites (including mine) and serves them up on a single website. But it also does the job, like Feedburner, of sending out e-mail notifications to its users when new content is posted on a subscribed site. E-mail subscribers don’t need to interact with the follow.it site at all (unless they want to), except when they sign up for an e-mail notification, and when they unsubscribe—you can do the latter at any time by following an “unsubscribe” link at the head of the notification e-mail. You can also use the “Manage Your Feeds” button at the bottom of the e-mail to make some changes to how you receive notifications, and also to further filter your notifications using the subject tags I add to each post, or by defining your own keywords.
If you subscribed to my blog via the WordPress “Follow” button, this change won’t affect you. If you currently get your e-mail notifications from Feedburner, then at some time in the next couple of weeks you should notice a change in the origin and format of the e-mail (I think it looks prettier). The process might kick off with a single e-mail containing links to the last ten posts in the blog or category you’ve subscribed to, but it will settle down after that. Honest.
Your initial follow.it e-mails will (so they tell me) contain a link allowing you to formally confirm that you’re happy to receive notification e-mails from them, but the e-mails will keeping coming to you even if you don’t confirm (so they tell me)—unless, of course, you elect to unfollow.