Do you look forward to 5 o’clock every day, when that magical subject line pops up in your inbox? That email that you know will contain links to a list of truly wonderful articles from a staff dedicated to keeping you in the know on all things Disney, Universal, and beyond?
Alas, we have some sad news for you. Our current email digest service will be stopping in early July, as the feature is discontinued by the platform provider. But, we have some good news for you too, which is that it is still possible to receive an email digest of the blog! You’ll need to “subscribe” through an RSS-to-email service, which sounds complicated but is really only a few more clicks than signing up for the digest we offered in the past. I volunteered to
be the guinea pig try it out, and below I’ll be sharing with you my experience of signing up for two popular services and receiving their email digests over the last few days. Both services, Feedrabbit and Blogtrottr, are free.
Signing Up For the Blog Digest With Feedrabbit
I started out at feedrabbit.com.
I didn’t begin by going to the Login link and creating an account, and as a result I had to repeat a few steps once my account was created. If you’re going to use this service, I recommend that you create an account first instead of rushing to put the blog address in the URL box the way that I did above. Let’s pretend that I went to create an account first.
After going to my email and clicking the confirmation link, I was back at Feedrabbit with a link to create a new subscription.
Clicking on that new subscription button brought me back to the first screen above, and this time when I entered the blog’s website address into the URL field and clicked Subscribe, things went a lot better.
Notice that Feedrabbit found two search results. One of them is the stream for the blog, and the other is the stream for the blog comments. I did not choose to subscribe to the blog’s comment feed. I love our blog, but not enough to want an email containing every comment made every day on every article. I’m guessing that probably most of you feel the same, so make sure you select the correct entry and click at the right on the button that says “Sign Up to Subscribe”.
In the next screen, I was offered some options for how I wanted to receive emails.
I chose Digest, which instantly triggered a screen change so that I could select which days I wanted to receive the digest on.
Clicking on the individual days selected and de-selected them. It wasn’t clear whether or not skipping Sunday would result in simply not receiving a digest of Sunday’s articles, or getting a double-sized digest on Monday that included all the articles from Sunday as well. If you try that out, let us know what happens in the comments.
These screenshots have taken up a lot of real estate, but the process really didn’t take very long at all. As soon as I clicked Save on the screen above, I was done.
Signing Up For The Blog Digest With Blogtrottr
I started out at blogtrottr.com.
Once again I didn’t sign up for an account first, but instead just entered the blog address into the URL box, followed by my email and choice of frequency. I chose Daily digest.
Once again, both the blog itself and the comment feed were found by the search. And once again, I chose not to subscribe to the comment stream. Clicking on “Subscribe to this feed” for the blog brought me to a Captcha screen, and after proving that I was a human, I was shown the following:
Since I hadn’t already gone through an email confirmation process during an account setup (as I had with Feedrabbit), I needed to go to my email to confirm the subscription. When I clicked on the activation link in my email, it took me to a screen very like the one above, except that it said my subscription had been confirmed.
So? How Did It Go?
Truly I am blessed by plenty, for only last week I received but a single copy of the blog digest, and yet now every day I receive three. Can you tell which one is which from the inbox entries below?
Opening the emails, there are a few differences. Some are more immediately noticeable than others. For reference, first up is the email digest that we suggested folks use in the past:
Here’s the email from Feedrabbit:
Like the current blog emails, the Feedrabbit email contains a table of contents at the top. However, the posts are sorted with the oldest on top and the newest on the bottom, where the current blog emails put the newest blog post on top.
Here’s the email from Blogtrottr:
As with our current digests, the newest articles are on top. If you like variety, you’ll be pleased to know it’s been a different ad every day. We have no knowledge of how the ads are chosen, but we do know that different subscribers see different ads.
That bit about the ads brings us to an important point: while both of these services seem to do a good job of delivering a daily email digest with links to the blog articles, this post should not be considered an endorsement of either one. If you rely on the daily emails as a reminder to read the blog, we want you to keep getting emails because we want you to keep reading! We may offer a TouringPlans Blog email digest again at some point in the future, but we were caught a bit flat-footed by the end of our current email service and simply wanted to let everyone know about some of the options.
Do you like receiving the email digest? Do you have experience with any other RSS-to-email services that you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments!