Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about email and RSS. These are two different ways to communicate and notify, with each having its own pros and cons. Here is a nice summary of pros and cons.
I am getting more than half of my daily information either via email or via RSS feeds. And during the last few years I saw several shifts changing towards one, then back to the other, and then back all over again. Being so different, both email and RSS are extremely useful. And as much as I’d love to have all of my stuff in one place, I don’t think I’ll be losing either one of these any time soon.
One of the things that I’ve noticed happening is a return of trust to email subscriptions. Before, I wouldn’t have bothered with giving my email address to a web site that I see for the first time. They’d probably send me SPAM, and I’d probably have no way to unsubscribe.
These days though, many web sites use standard software, like WordPress, with standard plugins, like send follow-up comments to email. Surprisingly, this makes the difference. While I still don’t trust the site, I trust the software that it uses. I know that there will probably a working link to unsubscribe from further emails in each message they’ll send. I see that I’m using this feature on other sites more and more.
With this, I have a better combination of notifications. Before I was subscribing to comment feeds on sites where I left comments and that created a mess in my feed reader. I had some feeds that I couldn’t even remember how got in. But now, I subscribe to feeds of the most interesting sites, email alerts for search results that I care about, and comments follow-ups via email.
It seems to work nicely…