Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Email subscription changes

Up until now this site has offered an email subscription service, though I'm not sure how many people would have seen it.  Tucked in the bottom right hand of the page, for anyone who ever scrolled down that far, has been a space marked "Follow by email" where an email address can be entered.  At least in theory, anyone who enters their address then gets emailed the text of articles that are posted on this site, sometime within a day or so after the articles being posted.  (As one of the subscribers myself, I've found this to be more than a little hit and miss.)

The email service started rather slowly - this site started in October 2012 and by the end of 2012 only my mother and I were subscribed to it.  However it's continued to pick up subscribers over time.  Weirdly the smallest number of new subscribers was picked up in 2019 (a federal election year and a busy year for the site) while 2018 saw one of the largest numbers of new subscribers.  

For some time there's been an announcement inside my Blogger console that the Feedburner email service is "going away", which is a curiously quaint way of saying it aint gonna work any more.  I believe this takes effect from this week.

After (one by one, because there wasn't any other way!) culling over a thousand spam signups from the list, I've downloaded a file of the 110 genuine email subscriptions so that I may be able to, in future, transfer these over to a new email system providing the same service.  However, while I am pretty familiar with using mailing list sites such as MailChimp, what I don't know is how to replicate what the existing Feedburner service does.  That is, I don't know how to set up a service that will monitor my site, notice when I've got a completely new post up, and at that point (or preferably several hours later when I've culled out most of the gremlins and typos) send out an email to subscribers.  Also, of course, I would want to be able to put something in the sidebar where people could subscribe to this site.  

If anyone does know how to do this (and maybe someone will tell me immediately!), please let me know.  Otherwise, the email subscription service may be on hold for a short time, a long time or permanently pending me working out how to (and whether to) best replace it.  

If/once a new system is up to date, details will be posted.  

Update (11 July)

The article I posted yesterday has still gone out via the existing email system, so perhaps the change has not taken effect yet.  I'm continuing to explore and test alternatives (see comments) while I wait to see what happens.  


  1. Search for atom to email, for example feedrabbit.com or blogtrotr.com for example.
    And as you mentioned there’s other ways to do this too.

    1. https://alternativeto.net/software/mailchimp/

    2. Thanks! Seems like a simple option could be to set up a link to one or more of those feeds and just email the current subscribers to suggest that they transfer.

    3. Have tested blogtrottr (worked quickly after I posted something, though email came with ads). Have signed up to feedrabbit to test next time I post something, which probably won't take long.