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Task 0108
Headline: E-mail subscriptions: replace or remove.
Category: Facilities
State: In progress
Priority: Should

In the "connections" menu, there were links to subscribe to articles and comment via e-mail. These relied on a web service called "feedburner", which is now dead or dying. Either:

  1. An alternative implementation needs to be found, or
  2. The facility should be permanently removed.

Ideally, the following requirements should be satisfied.

  • Users should be able to subscribe to selected articles. The selections to be based on:
    • All articles, including new ones.
    • Individually chosen articles.
    • Articles having selected taxonomies, e.g. categories and/or tags.
  • Users should be able to subscribe to selected comments. The selections to be based on:
    • All new comments.
    • Their selections of articles (see above).
    • Articles where they have posted comments and have opted to be notified of follow-up comments.
  • Users should be able to manage their own subscriptions.
  • Administrators should be able to manage all subscriptions, including:
    • Their own subscriptions.
    • Other users' subscriptions.
    • Administrative notifications.
  • Administrators should be able to manage the style and content of the notification messages.
Resolution & notes:

[12-Jan-2016] Initial research on the internet did not indicate a clear winning alternative. Providers seem unsuitable for one or more of the following reasons:

  • They charge a fee for their service (zero budget for this website).
  • They are overly complicated.
  • They are implemented using a WordPress plug-in of dubious quality.
  • The service involves annoying and/or aggressive advertising.

[20-Jan-2016] Some further internet search revealed a few potential candidates. Here are the findings:

  • FeedCat: Under review…
  • If This Then That: Review pending…
  • Nourish: Rejected. More suited to larger features, such as e-newsletters and other bulk mailing campaigns.
  • WordPress plug-ins:
    • JetPack (subscribe module): Review pending…
    • Subscribe2: Rejected. Questionable reliability and support in recent months. Only supports article subscriptions, not comments.

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