New Features From FeedMyInbox – More Than Just Converting RSS (News Feeds) Into Emails

Do any of the following apply to you?

  1. Have you heard about RSS but can’t really be bothered with it?
  2. Do you have a few favourite blogs or news sites, but it’s up to you to remember to check them for new content?
  3. Do you have a News Feed (RSS) Reader like Google Reader but it’s a pain keeping up with it?
  4. Are there newsletters you’d like to sign up for but you don’t like giving away your email address?

If you answered “YES!” to either of those, then I have good news.

First, a quick definition of RSS:  It stands for “Real Simple Syndication”, and it just converts blog articles and news articles into a file format (XML) that can be understood and distributed using any RSS reader.

4 Reasons Why I Use The FeedMyInbox Method For Converting RSS Into Email

  1. I can keep up to date with the latest content of 50+ blogs effortlessly
  2. If I’m one of the first to comment on these blogs, hundreds of people will read my comment and that is good branding for me (and they have a link back to my website in my comment)
  3. I can avoid getting distracted by filtering these messages automatically into a folder that I can look in when I’ve finished with the task at hand
  4. If I get sick of a blog, I can unsubscribe with one click. Simple. Clean. Efficient. (And I never have to email the author “please take me off your list”!)

A few months ago I wrote about How to receive News Feeds (RSS) via email

Well, they have just added more features.

How FeedMyInbox Worked Last Year

Last year you could simply:

  1. Paste in the feed url of the website you want to subscribe to
  2. Type in your email address

And you would start recieving those feeds as emails.


New Features Added To FeedMyInbox This Year

With an account, now you can:

  1. Customise the subject line of incoming emails (really handy, because most bloggers don’t name their blogs very well)
  2. Opt to receive those feeds in real-time, or choose another time of day you’d like to receive them (I like to have them in real time so the freshest are always on top)
  3. Opt to receive the entire article in the feed as an email, or just the title and a hyperlink
  4. Download a “Bookmarklet” to your web browser, so subscribing to a new feed is only 1 click away

They are offering a free trial of up to 5 feeds (I’d like to see them extend this to 10 so people get a chance to get addicted).

Give it a try yourself, see the “Get Notified By Email About New Articles” widget on the right of this page? Just add your email address there and you’ll get notification about new articles on this blog.

Can you tell me what you want?

Just watched a Malcolm Gladwell presentation about the work of experimental psychologist Howard Moskowitz. He talked about how people don’t know what they really want. They have trouble articulating it.  “The mind knows not what the tongue wants”.

One example he used is; ask people how they like their coffee, they will reply “a dark rich hearty roast”. And 25-27% of people do like their coffee that way. But the majority of people like their coffee “milky and weak”, but they would never tell you that.

Another example from the video is how they toured the U.S. with 45 kinds of spaghetti sauce, and asked thousands of people to rate them on a scale of 1 to 10.  There was never going to be one perfect spaghetti sauce, instead, the data was clustered into 3 categories “plain”, “spicy” and “chunky”. “Chunky” was a brand new category that noone had ever mentioned in focus groups, ever.  They made US$600 million with a range of chunky spaghetti sauces.

Have you heard that “focus groups don’t work“?. Everybody lies, and give you the answer that they think you want to hear, so they are very unreliable.

So you can’t ask people what kind of coffee they want. You have to ask them to buy.  You have to watch their behaviour to see what they want. Present all the possible options for them and let them choose.

Unfortunately, you will find that there is not one perfect coffee that you can sell to the masses.

Have you heard the phrase “market of one“? That’s when mass marketing doesn’t work anymore, so companies realise that people want something unique to them, personalised to their preferences (as long as it doesn’t cost more!).

I think that’s why Starbucks, and Subway do so well. They realised there is no such thing as the “perfect coffee” or the “perfect sandwich” that they can sell to the majority.  But each and every person can choose their own perfect coffee or perfect sandwich if the options are there in front of them.

So is there a way you can offer customisation of your products and services but without increasing your costs or the price the customer pays?

How to receive News Feeds (RSS) via email

In one of my all time favourite books – Tim Ferris, The 4 Hour Workweek (in fact I quit my day job because of this book), he talks about productivity (you certainly have to be very productive to only work for 4 hours a week).

One way to increase productivity is to limit distractions.

But at the same time I don’t want to miss out on stuff that is going on.

So I have subscribed to a few News Feeds (RSS) for my favourite blogs.  But news feed readers suck!  I don’t want to install software, and I don’t want to get interrupted all the time when I am focused on a project.  So I set up these news feeds on my igoogle dashboard.  But the problem is, they are buried at the bottom of the dashboard so I don’t even notice them.

I have to consciously make an effort to look in that area to scan the headlines. It feels like too much work.

And often, they are interesting so was a bit gutted that reading the headlines wasn’t easier.

Anyway, I use my email inbox (Gmail) for my workflow. I automatically filter much of what comes in (like newsletters and automated alerts), and deal with messages from real people before doing anything else.

The bottom line is, what I really want is to be able to receive these News Feed headlines into my email inbox for 3 reasons:

  1. So receiving these messages doesn’t interrupt my workflow
  2. So I get a chance to take a closer look in a timely manner if they are interesting
  3. So I can still apply my automatic filter so they bypass my inbox so I can look at them when I have spare time

feed-my-inboxI have found the solution:

You don’t need an account, you just type in the url and your email address and you are done. Easy.

Cool service. But it makes you think – how the heck do they make money?

Why do so many online companies give away awesome services for free?

Do they just hope that huge companies will find them and pay the founders millions to buy their ideas? Perhaps.