Subscribe2: RSS through Email (Update)
I’m creating an information blog for my new school. One of my assistant principals asked me about RSS, and as we talked through what he needed, we realized the root of his request was a very manageable email subscription program. He was maintaining a list of over 1000 email addresses to send out biweekly newsletter. I thought we might be able to manage this through a blog.
I searched the WordPress plugin directory and came up with Subscribe2. The plugin lets users have entire or partial posts sent as plain text or HTML to their email. Scubscribe2 uses a conformation system to verify the address, so my assistant principal will have less housecleaning to do. It puts the burden of entering the emails on the community. It’s an efficient way to disperse information to parents and the community via blogging–even to those who are “RSS challenged”. I’m testing it on my instruction and technology blog. I’ll have the information blog up by the end of the week. Look for an update after we’ve tested it for a couple months .
Update: After playing with Subscribe2 for a week, I realized it was not fulfilling the needs we had. I uninstalled it and, thanks to the advice of Chris Craft, switched to Feedblitz. We have been very happy with Feedblitz for a number of reasons. The service sends out a confirmation email to all subscribers–screening out improperly entered or fake emails from the start. You are able to manage your list in your Feedblitz account, so I don’t have to download a data file each time you want to make changes to the list. We do need to moderate when we post new material. Since the free service sends the material once a day and we don’t want our parents and community bombarded with emails, we make it a point to hold our posts until they can be grouped together. The only wish we have is for a name field so we can associate the email address with an actual person in the community. Overall, we are more than pleased with Feedblitz, and several other high schools in our county have adopted it for their communication blogs.