Blog E-mail Subscriptions to be Transitioned on Friday

April 11, 2013

The vast majority of loyal readers get the blog delivered to their e-mail inbox each day. We will be making some changes on Friday that we hope will be seamless to you. What you may notice is that the e-mails will start coming from a different provider. That new provider is FeedBlitz.

Why Is Change Needed?

I am not taking this change lightly as it will require a lot of work on my part. We are also moving from a free service to one with a monthly cost so we wouldn’t be moving if we didn’t feel it was needed.

FeedBurner at one time was a standalone company that developed a great service for bloggers. In the middle of 2007 it was acquired by Google. As the Graphics Unleashed blog is hosted on Google’s Blogger service, it seemed a perfect fit to use FeedBurner. Some of FeedBurner’s services have been shut down, others stop working for days and there is no support when things go wrong.

The fear is that one day Google will simply shut down FeedBurner completely and we are moving to FeedBlitz so that we have a stable platform for e-mail and RSS subscribers. Would Google do that? Given that they announced in mid-March that Google Reader would be shut down on July 1 (2013), it is quite possible FeedBurner could be next.

How Does This Benefit Subscribers?

The biggest benefit is that you will still receive blog posts each day via e-mail. As we are moving to a service that has a number of new features, there are other benefits to readers (and lots of benefits for us). Right now if I want to announce something to subscribers, it has to be posted as a blog post and then you’ll only receive it as part of the daily digest. What if I wanted to send something only to subscribers? I couldn’t do it. Now I can!

As an example, I may want to offer something special to subscribers. If I post it as a blog post, it goes to everyone. Maybe there is something really important that you should know about as soon as possible. A perfect example was the Windows Update in December 2012 that caused some fonts to stop working. While I will have the ability to send subscribers an e-mail, this will be used sparingly. I certainly don’t want to upset you by sending e-mail that isn’t truly important to you.

As I dig deeper into the features offered by FeedBlitz, you’ll see more benefits. We will have more control over the formatting of the e-mails. FeedBlitz also claims they have better deliverability which means more subscribers will actually get the e-mails and fewer will be blocked by the false positives of spam filters.

Will the Transition Be Perfect?

I sure hope so. Unfortunately problems can arise in most anything dealing with technology. That’s part of why I wanted to tell you about the transition in advance. There is a slim possibility you will get a blog post from both services for a day or two. I have detailed transition instructions to follow so this shouldn’t happen. But if it does happen, please be patient and it will get fixed quickly. FeedBurner gives us limited control over the time the daily e-mail is sent. We should have more control over the time when using FeedBlitz so you might see the e-mail at a slightly different time.

What I want to make crystal clear is that we are not selling your e-mail addresses to anyone. We are simply changing the service that sends you the daily e-mails. You’ll still have the ability to subscribe if you want to receive the e-mails and unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive them. There will be a period of time during the transition (probably an hour or two) when the subscription/unsubscription process will not work as the subscribers are being moved between services.

Thanks in advance for your patience during this transition. Once we get the transition completed, we’ll be on a platform that is much better for readers and for us.

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