Email notifications of updates to my RSS feeds began again on Thursday (they had stopped on Monday). There was obviously some difficulty as not all emails were as they should have been: some were truncated and others completely lacking a body. Since then things have settled down and the service seems to be back to normal. I have no explanation as to why the service stopped or why it began again because their support still hasn’t replied to my email and I doubt whether they ever will now. Bad marks to them.
In the meantime, I have been looking at other email-delivered RSS readers in the hope of finding one that is both stable and reliable. I have signed up to two of them but I won’t say which they are until I have given them a run for their money. So far neither seems as good as the newly resuscitated RssReaderLive.
What follows is speculation, but I think the problem might be that a service like this depends critically on having use of a good email distribution system. As your service gains in popularity, you will find yourself sending out millions of emails and unless the server you are using has huge capacity, it is likely to collapse under the strain. Is that what happened to RssReaderLive? No one is saying.
How does RSS-by-email compare with other ways of reading your feeds? Personally, I rather like it. If I rely on Google Reader, I have to run it, of course, and keep it running in my browser. There is no need to have a reader open with RssReaderLive: you just receive emails from time to time containing links to updates. Keep an eye on your email program and you can read you updates or leave them until later. You can keep them or file them away, as you wish, without the pesky reader marking them read and making them disappear. You don’t have to worry how good the program is at displaying the feed because you read the feed itself, not a copy.
Do you receive news of updates in a timely fashion? This is a harder question to answer. Since I’ve been looking at RSS readers I have discovered one salient fact: they do not update at the same rate. You will receive a new article in one of them long before you see it in the others. And it isn’t always the same one that gets them first! This makes it very difficult to compare them because checking that each has received all the updates is a very time consuming task and to be honest, I haven’t the patience for it.
Personally, I am glad to receive RSS by email again and will make it my normal mode until further notice.