Sunday, February 03, 2008

Monitoring Dyer with and Bloglines email subscriptions

Dyer is an iconoclastic historian journalist who, purely to spite me, refuses to create an RSS feed so I know when to visit his news page.

I may have him now.

My Bloglines feed reader supports "email subscriptions":

You can create an unlimited number of special Bloglines email addresses that are tied to your Bloglines account. The email addresses show up as subscriptions in your My Blogs page, and email sent to those email addresses appears as new items.

When you create a Bloglines email address, a subscription is added to your account. If you unsubscribe from that subscription, the email address becomes invalid and mail sent to it will bounce.

Email subscriptions are great for announce-only or broadcast mailing lists that don't provide RSS feeds. They are also useful as temporary email addresses.

To rename or move your email subscriptions, use the 'Edit' link under the 'My Feeds' tab.

I created one of these disposable email addresses for a new feed I called "Dyer" and stored it in the usual place I keep journalist feeds. Then I went to "ChangeDetection(tm) - Monitor any web page for changes" and set up a monitor on Dyer's 2008 article page.

Any changes, in theory, now trigger an alert -- almost as though Dyer had a real feed in place. Of course I only get an alert -- not the text. Still, that's all I need.

I'll update this post with news on how it works. In the event that the Dyer email address starts collecting spam it's trivial to remove it.

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