21 May 2014

Blogtrottr -- a means to get those valuable genealogy blog posts to your inbox!

Like many of you, in addition to monitoring genealogy and family history research news via FB, Google+, etc, I also receive a lot of genealogy newsletters via email.

In fact, my preferred method for receiving family history research news is via e-mail.  The reason for this is that I have “rules” set in my e-mail software that automatically “file” genealogy newsletters in a folder called “Genealogy Newsletters.”  I do this for the following reasons: 1. I don’t have to read or deal with them in real-time, 2. They are off my “to do” list until I want them to be on it, 3. Though I may glance at some newsletters in real-time, most I put aside and read bi-weekly, 4. News is often repeated in several of the newsletters that I receive and from the headlines I figure out quickly what is redundant news and skip those posts, and 5. I then “archive” all of these newsletters, by title, so that if I do an across-computer search on a topic I will see these newsletters.

That said, not all blogs have an option for you to receive their newsletters as an e-mail feed. I know myself well enough to know that I will NOT use an online reader to access blog content.  It’s just not going to happen!  I figure that I spend enough time on Facebook gathering news, of course to share with all of you (wink, wink), that spending more time browsing the internet for news is not what I need/should be doing!

This issue of receiving blogs as e-mail has challenged me for years.  That is because, every time I get used to such a service, it disappears.  The most recent one to disappear was Yahoo Alerts!  So, I’ve actually gone back to a service that I had used previously.  I have my fingers crossed that it will be more enduring than all the ones I’ve used so far.

It is called Blogtrottr and it is incredibly easy to use.  Look at the graphic above – essentially you enter the URL of the feed, provide your email address and indicate the frequency with which you want to receive e-mails (realtime, 2/4/6/8/12 hour digests, or as a daily digest - my preferred mode).  You will then receive an e-mail and are asked to click a link to verify the feed.  That’s it.  You will receive emails, if a blog post has been published, with the frequency you selected.

Do make sure when you enter the URL that you are entering it for the “feed” from that blog. For example, I just recently wanted to get a feed for the ArchiveGrid Blog, http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/blog/ -- the URL you want though is actually that for the RSS Feed, which for this blog is http://feedpress.me/ArchiveGrid.

At the bottom of every e-mail you receive, you will see this box which allows you to unsubscribe from any feed at any time.

I always use the FREE version of this service as it does what I need.  There are subscription plans with added features which appear to be geared to those who have their own blog and wish to allow readers to subscribe to email feeds from that blog.

I currently don’t use this for many blogs since more and more blogs seem to offer an e-mail delivery option.  And, if you come across one that doesn’t, this gives you a method to get the news e-mailed right to your inbox!

In our world of so much news, I really enjoy having some “control” over how, when and what I read when combined with the ability to “not” have to see news feeds until I want to.  This may appeal to you also.

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