By Popular Demand: E-mail Notices of Updates

While I was at FSU, my interesting and charming host at FSU, Jim Rossi, asked if I couldn't have some way to send out an e-mail when I update the blog. This turns out to be slightly more complex than I expected, but I think I've got a method that should work. Use this link , or look in the right margin under “Automatic Discourse”. Personally, I am using a news aggregator to read blogs now, but not everyone is up for that.

Movable Type has a feature that sends out e-mail notices. There's even a way to give users the option of signing themselves up. But while there is standard code for users to manage their own sign-ON, there is no self-help for sign-OFF. (I started to write that this is “inexplicable” and then decided it's probably because MT doesn't have a challenge-response or password system to prevent folks signing others up or cancelling others.) While I'm always happy to provide functionality and gimmicks on this blog, and even to spend ridiculous amounts of time coding stuff up, I am absolutely unwilling to spend time dealing with the inevitable multitude of half-dozen people who having signed up decide they want off. It has to be a self-help system. And MT just doesn't do that.

So the solution is to use regular mailing list software. I've tried to set it up so that only I can post to the list, and that any other attempt to post to it will cause a bounce or discard, but as the only way to test this properly requires some actual posts to the blog first, please treat as experimental for at least the first few days.

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