Web, E-mail, And Usenet Integration (Or Lack Thereof)

I should be able to post to my weblog via e-mail or by posting a note to a local Usenet newsgroup.

Rick Klau notes that Bloglet, a third-party RSS-to-e-mail service, appears to be dead (http://www.rklau.com/tins/001909.html).

This illustrates one of the current limitations of weblogs and other web software. Content is content, and if it is published on the Internet, it would be nice to have it available on the Web, via e-mail, on Usenet (remember Usenet?), or otherwise (such as wireless). And all of the methods should be two-way streets. And none should require third-party servers. For example, I should be able to post to my weblog via e-mail or (assuming I had a local NNTP server, which I don’t – yet) by posting a note to a local Usenet newsgroup (such as heels.news.weblog). The following chart illustrates the less-than-fully-connected state of Internet publishing.




Feature / Product Radio Userland Movable Type Mailman rss2email
Web-to-E-mail Yes (if you use Radio’s aggregator), but it’s designed for the weblog publisher, not for subscribers. Yes, via MT’s notifications feature, which is not installed by default. A related feature, “mail this entry,” allows users to mail single pages from your site. No. Yes, for all of your RSS subscriptions. Requires Python.
E-mail-to-Web Yes (link works only if you have Radio installed). No. Yes, but it’s not a weblog. No.
Web-to-Usenet No. No. Yes (requires local NNTP server). No.
Usenet-to-Web No. No. Yes (requires local NNTP server). No.
E-mail-to-Usenet No. No. Yes (using local NNTP server, which acts as a Web<->News gateway) No.
Usenet-to-E-mail No. No. Yes (using local NNTP server, which acts as a Web<->News gateway) No.

I’m planning on on installing rss2email after I upgrade my server (since, among other things, I’m running out of disk space on my current 600 MB plan). But what I’d really like to see is Mailman becoming weblog software and Movable Type integrating fully with e-mail and Usenet to make tools like rss2email unnecessary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *