Monday, February 02, 2009

Email this blog or Overcoming technological inertia

The time comes when, despite technological inertia, it is time to change services. I have been using RSSfwd for email delivery of new blog posts. (Why would you want this when RSS exists? See below!*) RSSfwd redid their service a few months ago, and everyone had to resubscribe. I never did post that entry, because the service was kind of screwy for a while. I'm still not happy with it--my last "update" was a list of the 25 most recent posts, which I received 3 times in one day. also reports that RSSfwd may be stopping service altogether, though I still see nothing on the RSSfwd site about this.

I've now set up Feedburner (owned by Google) email delivery, with the link available in the right hand column. Please feel free to resubscribe via that link.

Changes and failures of services are something that we need to take into account when we use other people's services in any context. It seems to happen a little more often online, but that might just be that we hear about them all, immediately! (I end up hearing about nearly every Twitter outage, and I don't use Twitter.) For services that I use personally, Jott and Library Elf have both recently changed service models. I didn't use Jott enough to make it worth paying for, and I probably won't end up paying for Library Elf, either (but I haven't decided yet.)

Change is inevitable, and I feel it is better to try things out and have them change or fail, than to ignore the possibility of a useful service by refusing to try something that might change later. Such as ThinkFree Office for the Mac, which may change my mind about paying for personal office software.

*Now, why would you want to subscribe to a blog by email? Why not use a RSS reader? Well, if you don't already use an RSS reader, why would you want to start? Some people don't want to use yet another service, but they view their email regularly. I personally use either email deliver or RSS in my email client for things that I want to see regularly, or that I want to be sure I see the updates for. My RSS reader gets ignored when I'm busy. I even have a few feeds set up as "live Bookmarks" in my various Firefox browsers, for things that are really local computer dependent. (The ACRL blog is something that I only look at at work, at my desk, and if I miss a few posts, I can just scroll back on the site when I have the time. I only look at lolcats at home, so a local computer dependent feed works very well and stops me from wasting time at work!)

Basically, for me, different updating options work for different sites and feeds. I'm making the technology work for me, rather than changing my needs and habits to fit the technology.

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