Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Blogtrottr and Craigslist

You've probably noticed that your Craigslist subscriptions have been increasingly slow to update recently, and regretfully I must announce that, due to blocks implemented by Craigslist, we're now no longer able to reliably access their RSS feeds.

We're not the first service to have this problem - Feedly, the web based reader service, has also had a prolonged and well publicised issue, but after making every effort to work with Craigslist to find a solution they still find their access denied; and now it would seem that we're next on the list.

While this is unfortunate, we've decided to respect Craigslist's wishes and accept it with good grace.  While we've reached out to them about this (however have yet to receive a response), reaching a resolution with Craigslist at this point seems most unlikely - although of course we remain open to revisiting this in the future should the situation change.

I understand that, for some of you, Craigslist is a central part of your Blogtrottr usage - if you find that your account is now unneeded, please do log a support ticket and we'll of course hook you up with a refund for the remainder of your plan.

We'll process existing subscriptions on a 'best effort' basis, but it's likely that they'll stop working entirely in the near future.  Please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused, but hopefully you'll appreciate that there's not a great deal we can do about this without Craigslist's cooperation.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Microsoft stop security notification emails

Since July 1st, Microsoft have suspended certain email security notifications, meaning that Windows system administrators and security professionals may need to adapt their monthly "Patch Tuesday" routine in order to keep up with the latest security updates.

While the Redmond based software company offers a customisable web based security dashboard, myBulletins, it's hard to beat the convenience of having bulletin emails delivered straight to your inbox.

Microsoft maintain various technical security notification feeds, amongst which are the monthly Microsoft Security Bulletins (pictured above), and the Microsoft Security Response Center blog feed (below) which provides an excellent monthly summary including active attack status, exploitability rating and potential impact for each patch, allowing you to prioritise your deployment accordingly.

Saturday, 12 April 2014


A serious vulnerability has recently been uncovered in several recent versions of OpenSSL, a software library that is used for handling secure communications on many websites.  Netcraft estimate that around 17% of SSL webservers are affected by the bug.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to reassure our users that, while Blogtrottr also uses OpenSSL libraries, we've never run any of the versions with the vulnerability, and so aren't affected by this issue.

Further reading:

Saturday, 27 July 2013

The Free plan becomes Unlimited once again!

When we first announced our intention to bring in paid plans way back in 2011, I optimistically wrote "The unrestricted basic service will always be available for free", based on the idea that we'd be able to make the free service ad-supported.  Many companies were contacted over the next couple of years, much was discussed, and many good leads were had - but ultimately we were unable to find someone who could deliver aesthetic, contextually relevant, family safe advertising in emails, whilst maintaining the privacy of user email addresses.  And so, reluctantly, the decision was taken to cap the Free plan.

Since the introduction of the paid plans, many people have reached out to us to let us know that they really miss having an unlimited free service, something which I completely understand - Blogtrottr was built around 'free', and taking that away always felt like we were removing something fundamental.

So, we've gone back, rolled up our collective sleeves, and tried again.  And this time, we've come up trumps - we've teamed up with an exciting new company, LaunchBit, whose innovative approach allows us to bring you good quality, relevant advertising that should genuinely be of interest.

So, effective immediately, there is no more Free plan cap.  And what's more, that allows us to raise the Lite plan subscription limit to 250!

We'll be slowly introducing these adverts into Free plan emails over the coming weeks.  Needless to say, paid plans will remain advert free!

Users who wish to change plans can do so at any time by logging in and visiting the plans page.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Big changes afoot at Blogtrottr!

Edit - The Free plan is now ad-supported, and Unlimited again!

Blogtrottr began as a personal hobby a couple of years ago now, as I was unable to find an RSS to email service that did what I wanted - so I wrote one.  It has grown spectacularly over the last 18 months, and while we'd love it to remain an entirely free service, the reality is that there are bills to pay and servers to feed.  So the time has now come to transition it to a sustainable business model to allow us to continuously improve our unique offering - and importantly, whilst retaining the free service that has brought us to where we are.  We've got many exciting features lined up, and this change will allow us to bring them to you in the future.

But we've got some new toys ready now...

  • Improvements to email layout on a wider range of readers and devices
  • SSL across the website
  • Super quick updates for non-PuSH capable feeds.
  • Customizable email templates.
  • Customizable feed titles.
  • Customizable sender names.
  • Send updates as attachments - either PDF, text, or HTML with embedded images.

And now I'm pleased to introduce our new subscription plan line up!  All plans even come with a 1 month free trial, so you can take them out for a test drive before you commit.

The Free Plan

The free plan offers the same features and functionality as you're used to, with the exception that it will now be limited to 25 subscriptions.  This means that for 98.5% of our users, absolutely nothing will change.  For those remaining 1.5% of 'heavier' users, we believe the paid plans still offer excellent value.

The Lite Plan

Only €4.00 a month, up to 250 subscriptions.

Additional features:

  • Super quick updates for non-PuSH capable feeds.
  • Customizable email templates - have things laid out as you choose.
  • Customizable feed titles.
  • Customizable sender names - get emails sent from your choice of name.
  • Control over the item sort order in digests.
  • Send updates as attachments - either PDF, text, or HTML with embedded images - keep up with your favourite feeds offline, or in your e-reader.

The Full Plan

As above, but all you can eat for €7.00 a month - no subscription limits.

What will happen if I have more than 25 subscriptions?

Nothing will happen yet!  But on the 1st of August, if you're still on the Free plan, we'll simply pause any excess until you have just 25 active subscriptions.  If you choose to upgrade after that, you can simply re-enable any paused subscriptions.

Take a plan out for a spin, free for a whole month, and see what you think!  Not only do you get to use this first round of features, but you'll be helping speed development of some really cool future functionality.

What's in the pipeline?

Customizable send times - bringing in the ability to choose a particular time of day your digests are sent.

Flexible schedules - we want to introduce arbitrary and longer reaching scheduling, so you could have digests sent every hour, every week, every month, or anything in-between.

Feed grouping and aggregating - we understand that some things are best managed in groups, so we want to add the capability to add, manage, and receive multiple feeds as one.

Subscription management API - some of you have expressed interest in an management API, and a few people have already been playing with a beta version.  We'll finalise that, and make it available to any Full plan subscribers.

Upgrade today!

Sam Bryan

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Importing subscriptions from Google Reader

The venerable and long serving Google Reader will be closing it's doors later this year, however as Google allows you to export your existing subscriptions into an OPML file, you can easily import them into Blogtrottr.

Export your subscriptions from Google Reader

Click the 'Settings' gear icon in Google Reader, and choose 'Reader Settings'

Select the Import/Export tab, and click the Download your data through takeout link

Click the Create Archive button

And download the archive.

Open up the downloaded zip file, navigate into the Reader folder, and extract the subscriptions.xml file.  This is in a standard OPML format that can be imported into Blogtrottr.

Import your subscriptions into Blogtrottr

Log into your Blogtrottr account (if you've not got one yet, you can sign up here)

From the My Subscriptions page, click OPML import

Choose the subscriptions.xml file from earlier, and click Import, and you're done!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The end of Twitter RSS support

Unfortunately Twitter have deprecated RSS support, and it looks like it'll be gone for good on March 5th - meaning any Blogtrottr subscriptions to Twitter RSS feeds are likely to stop working completely at that time.

Being an RSS to email service, this somewhat removes Blogtrottr's ability to work with Twitter, so I'm afraid we have to suggest that you make alternative arrangements to get your Twitter updates via email in the future.

One of the most popular alternative services at the moment appears to be tweetymail - so you may want to head over there and check out their offerings.

My sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused, but as I'm sure you're appreciate, this one is rather out of our hands.