November 04, 2007
Using e-mail alerts for the last few weeks has made it clear what these tools work for and what they don't. Here are some of the things I've learned.
1.) RSS > E-mail alerts for news
Maybe this is a bit obvious, but I've learned that e-mail updates aren't (for me) the best way to receive my news. Having the news delivered to you is always good, but I realized after the first week of receiving dozens of news updates via e-mail that this would not be the best system for me. For example, I set up a Google Alert query for both GM and Red Wings news. By the next day, I had twenty plus e-mails,most of which I just forwarded to a folder in my inbox. Long story short, using an RSS feed aggregator like Bloglines is a better way to receive news because it keeps updates seperate from email and is a better way to organize things you've viewed and haven't viewed. Though I may seem to be bashing e-mail alerts, learning this lesson helped me realize how e-mail alerts could be used effectively.
2.) E-mail updates are great for pages that aren't updated daily
Having a page monitor send you an e-mail when a page has been changed or added too is a great way to keep up to date and to save time in getting information. I set up a page monitor like this for GM and Red Wings press releases. These don't seem to change as much, and an e-mail alert helps me to receive the information without having to check the site everyday. I have since found these very useful for monitoring sites that have job listings as well as some specific sites with products that I am interested in (when is the price of a PS3 going to go down??)
From the beginning, it became pretty clear to me how e-mail alerts would be best utilized. With the way I organize my e-mail, it's just not practical for me to receive everyday news through e-mail. For that, I'll stick to RSS. But for those specific items that you want to monitor, but don't want to sit at the computer all day clicking re-load, e-mail alerts (and page monitors) work well for me.
Posted by stevenwr at November 4, 2007 05:48 PM