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Multiple FeedBlitz Enhancements

Monday, August 29, 2005

HTML EMail Improvements

A small but vital change has been made to better handle feeds using escaped HTML.

In plain English, what that means is that if you were using a tool like Blogware to create your feed, up until now any images in the mail didn't render, and any internal links were probably broken. Now images work and links link, so your mails look like you expect them to. If you feel that the presentation quality of your feed has fallen, let me know, but in extensive testing I couldn't find any feeds currently in FeedBlitz that were obviously adversely affected.

Bottom line: if you had no problems before, you're fine. If you did have problems with images rendering, you ought now to be fine too.

Email Delivery Improvements

A couple of Mac users reported problems with emails apparently being garbled. An issue this revealed, which was that some emails did not conform strictly to the SMTP specifications, has been fixed.

There are two benefits of this change. Firstly, anyone using Apple Mail on Mac OSX will be able to read their registration emails - this is obviously a good thing. Better, however, is that this issue may have been causing certain mail gateways and anti-virus systems to bounce FeedBlitz emails altogether, creating (in effect) "phantom" bounces for addresses that are, actually, good. Tying this fix together with a minor wording change to the footer should result in much greater deliverability. So...

Non Delivery States Reset Today

The non-delivery states (those pesky yellow triangles) have all been cleared out. Non-delivery processing continues, so bounces will be reported as usual, but it will start with a clean slate tonight on the assumption that bounce rates will lower thanks to the better conforming mail message.

Subscriber Management Improvement

For those subscribers who do end up with a bounce, a feature has been added - accessed by the green check mark in the subscriber lists - that enables you to "reset" the subscriber's state by hand. The check mark only shows up if you have a subscriber with a bounce, so don't expect to see it otherwise.

Subscriber Search Added

On the dashboard, under the subscriber summary table, is a new form that searches your subscribers based on the search text you enter. If you want to know all users from aol.com, simply type "aol.com" in the box and hit the search button. If you want to know how many of your subscribers are named "phil", just type "phil" into the box. You get the idea. This is a feature that's particularly useful to owners of large lists, as it dramatically reduces the time to find and manage any given individual.

New User Password Changes

Some new users were consistently mis-typing their automatically generated random passwords, often confusing lower case "L" with the number "1" (this because the mail is sent as plain text, and most email clients display plain text in a monospace font like Courier, which can make these characters difficult to distinguish). To reduce the risk that your readers will complain that they cannot log in, randomly generated passwords will be forced into upper case for all new users from now on to try to reduce this class of user error.

Bloglet Import Reports Anonymous User Count

Bloglet import now tells you how many anonymous users were skipped (if any) at the end of the import process. This should help users transferring feeds from Bloglet to FeedBlitz reconcile any differences in subscriber counts.

Real-Time Email Notifications Temporarily Halted

These were just getting too annoying for some. An option will be created in the near future to give publishers the choice as to whether to stop them, but they've simply been stopped for now to reduce clutter. Instead, log in to the dashboard to view the very latest metrics.

And that's pretty much it for today...



Anonymous Hans on Experience said...

Great improvements! Glad that I skipped bloglet in favour of feedblitz. Keep up the good work.

3:01 PM, August 30, 2005  
Blogger Amit Agarwal said...

Dear FeedBlitz Team,

You amazing service has compelled me to make a switch from Bloglet.

But I have a question regarding your workflow.

Say if user xxx@abc.com subscribes to my feed, does he need to register for a Feedblitz account before he starts receiving my Blog updates ?

Could you please clarify this.

10:02 AM, September 09, 2005  

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