May 14, 2008

Forget the Feed Reader, Just Send Me an E-mail
Miami Beach, United States

For a backpacker, sessions at an Internet café are often a race against the clock—how much can you get done for as little time as possible. If you're not paying for your Internet access, someone's probably queuing up behind you to use the shared hostel computer. And unless you're hiding out from some extreme temperatures outside (or perhaps the previous night's conquest until they catch their bus), keeping the Internet bill to a minimum is a must.

There are a few Web sites and travelogues that I enjoy keeping tabs on, and when the opportunity presents itself, read. I often have little time or desire to check those individual Web sites myself, hence the beauty of RSS. But I also don't have the time or desire to mess around with an RSS feed reader.

I, like many busy office workers, want information pushed to me, to assimilate or dismiss as I please. And for over a year now, I've been using a no-fee, advert-free service to do just that. takes the Web site feeds of my choice and drops them into my e-mail inbox. Google's Gmail automatically clusters multiple updates from the same site together (thanks to an RSSfwd preference setting), and a filter sweeps them out of the inbox and tosses them in their own label group. The result, after several days of not checking my e-mail, is a "folder" containing any applicable updates to the sites I monitor.

Some stories I forward on to friends, some I archive, but most I delete. The joy for me is that it's all in one place, without fussing with Google's (or anyone else's) feed reader. And should I decide to stop using a Web-based e-mail and download my messages with POP or IMAP, the feed updates will still keep coming.

Note: Travelvice in Your Inbox is a spam-free subscription that does the same thing (for this travelogue).


The United States

ryan stowasser

May 15th, 2008

POP would be a good solution if you had a computer with you.

You could get all your mail, and then read it offline. Saving yourself the cost of internet access while reading your mail. I just started following your posts again about a month ago. Great stuff and congratz on the little one. Mine just turned 3.

The United States

Craig |

May 15th, 2008

A problem with POP is that a lot of access points abroad (be they Wi-Fi or Internet café) block the ports necessary to download/send your mail.


Craig |

March 1st, 2009

It should be noted that after a few years of running, the rather unique service RSSFWD provided is officially DEAD. The lights are off and no one is home. Crap.

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