Daily Archives: Thursday, 13th Mar 2008

Email updates

Well, Feedburner has been playing nicely for quite some time now, and my own experiment in using their email update service has been working nicely, so I think it’s time I unleashed this on the masses of Losing it[1] readers.

For quite some time now, I’ve been running a subscription plugin – this allows anyone who’s so inclined to sign up for email updates from this site. If you subscribe, you get an email every time I make a post. It’s just a plain message telling you something’s been posted and providing a link to the new post. That’s not bad as far as it goes, but it has a few drawbacks:

  1. When I have one of those days when I make lots of posts, subscribers get loads of email. Possibly more messages than they want.
  2. Being a responsible plugin, it depends on sending a confirmation message, with a link the potential subscriber has to click to confirm that they really want the updates. I suspect some of those confirmations end up being eaten by spam filters. Either that or a number of people sign up then realise they’ve made a terrible mistake and decide not to confirm.
  3. It’s one more plugin running on the site. I’ve got so many these days that they’re slowing it down.

So, I will be moving to a new shiny form of email updates. Instead of one message per post, you can have one per day. And not only will you get a message, you’ll get the content of the posts too! Yes, words!! Pictures!!. The only thing you won’t see is odd things like my actual weight figures, as the email thingy, being based on the RSS feed, doesn’t understand things like custom fields. So if you don’t care what I weigh on any given day, you don’t even have to click the links. If you do care, you’ll have to pop over to the site occasionally to see what’s what.

The new email update service is provided by Feedburner, and you’ll have to provide them with your email address to subscribe. They have the usual kind of privacy policies, which you can see on their site if you wish. Feedburner is owned by Google, so if you’re Googlephobic you may not want to sign up.

For the people currently subscribed to email updates – you’ll get a one-off message from me covering much the same ground as this post, with a link to sign up to the new update service. I’ll be turning off the current email updates soon. Well, soon-ish, anyway. Current subscribers don’t need to unsubscribe, I’ll do that for you and delete your addresses from the database.

Anyway, here’s the form to sign up for shiny new daily email updates:

Update: This has been replaced by the WordPress service – see the subscribe option towards the bottom of the page.

The State Counsellor – Boris Akunin

Yes, it’s another Fandorin novel! This one was first published in Russian in 1999, and is the sixth to be translated into English.

The story starts with the assassination of the not all that popular General Khrapov just outside Moscow, with the added bonus of the assassin posing as Fandorin. Once that misunderstanding is out of the way, Fandorin finds himself in the middle of a power struggle with deceit and betrayal all around. Who is giving information to the revolutionaries, and why? Is there anyone Fandorin can trust?

The viewpoint alternates between Fandorin and a revolutionary known as “Green”, which adds a lot – seeing everything form two wildly conflicting angles makes the whole story more interesting.

It’s all good fun, with enough misdirection to keep most readers guessing for a long time. If you haven’t read any of the earlier books, there’s no harm in starting here. Then you can go back and read the other books.

Weight Report – 13 March 2008

Hmmmm. I seem to be on one of those plateau thingies. No change again today.

In shock news, I actually walked home today, after being persuaded to do so by Aaron[1]. Got home before the weather started getting nasty again…

[1] Hi Aaron! :wave: