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FeedBlitz™, Internet's Largest RSS to Email Service, Receives Angel Funding

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Entrepreneur, author and technology executive Tom Evslin joins FeedBlitz Board; Funding will expand operations and accelerate service development.

Sudbury, MA - May 30, 2006 – Phil Hollows, founder and CEO of FeedBlitz, LLC, the leader in RSS to email newsletter services, today announced that it has received a significant angel investment from Tom Evslin. Evslin will join FeedBlitz's Board of Directors.

FeedBlitz operates a service which converts blogs and other web 2.0 content into opt-in email. Publishers use this service to reach a huge audience who are familiar with email and want to receive new material automatically, but who may not be familiar with technologies like RSS. FeedBlitz includes powerful tools which publishers use to customize their message, control delivery schedule, and measure reach.

Almost half a million individual subscribers receive the updates they want from their favorite blogs and websites in email they have requested. FeedBlitz FeedAdvisor™ helps them find new sources of relevant content.

"RSS is a powerful technology and very important to the distribution of blogs and other web content," said Evslin, "but readers don't care about the technology and find it difficult to use. FeedBlitz gives both publishers and readers the advantage of RSS-based distribution without technical complexity - everyone understands email. As an early customer, I have been continually impressed with FeedBlitz's execution. Phil rescued me and a number of other bloggers when service from our former provider became unreliable. FeedBlitz has grown rapidly since and earned its leadership position. I am delighted to have an opportunity to contribute to FeedBlitz's future growth and success."

Evslin is well-known to web cognoscenti who enjoy his war stories about the Internet bubble -- and the years before and after -- at http://blog.tomevslin.com/, and who read his novel hackoff.com: an historic murder mystery set in the Internet bubble and rubble. FeedBlitz is used to deliver a free customized serialization of hackoff.com as well as the posts from his blog.

Phil Hollows added: "Tom brings his unique expertise and insight as a successful entrepreneur, CEO and author to FeedBlitz. With his experience and this investment, FeedBlitz will be able to bring dedicated resources and focus to further extending our services, growth and leadership."

About Phil Hollows

Hollows, founder and CEO of FeedBlitz, brings nearly 20 years of IT and software leadership to the company. He was vice president of product marketing at OpenService, Inc, an enterprise security software vendor. Prior to OpenService, Hollows was vice president of product marketing at Response Networks, Inc.; vice president of technology at RadView Software, Ltd.; and Technology Director at Kronos, Inc. He was also a Managing Consultant at the British specialty consultancy, Metapraxis, Ltd. Hollows gained his degree from Britain's Oxford University, and has been a US resident since 1993.

About Tom Evslin

Evslin was cofounder, Chairman and CEO of ITXC Corp. The NASDAQ-listed company grew from startup in 1997 to the world's leading provider of wholesale VoIP and one of largest carriers of international voice minutes of any kind by 2004 when it was acquired. At AT&T Evslin founded and ran WorldNet Service which popularized flat rate, all-you-can-eat Internet pricing. At Microsoft he was responsible for email products including what became Exchange and Outlook.

About FeedBlitz

FeedBlitz, LLC was founded in August, 2005 to provide a service to enable marketers, publishers and bloggers to make more effective use of RSS and other blog-based technologies, helping subscribers get the information they want in the format they want. FeedBlitz converts RSS and blog updates into email newsletters delivered daily to subscribers' inboxes. FeedBlitz manages subscriptions, circulation tracking, real-time analytics, and email autoresponders, and is compatible with all major blogging platforms and services. FeedBlitz also enables email subscription services for individuals, simplifying information overload using the Internet's most pervasive application – email. FeedBlitz's partners include TypePad and FeedBurner.
More information is available at http://www.feedblitz.com.


On Bloglet

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Firstly, a huge welcome to publishers migrating over from Bloglet over the next few days. We're glad you're here, and know that you will enjoy the opportunities to further build your email readership that we at FeedBlitz provide. If you wish to find out more about us, please read the FAQs and subscribe to our hints and tips subscriptions (for subscribers or publishers). If you have any questions, please email us at support@feedblitz.com

Thank you.

Obviously, I am thrilled that Monsur, Bloglet's founder, has recommended us to his users. Thank you, Monsur. But lest anyone think we're about to suffer a dose of hubris or schadenfreude, hold that thought.

You see, Monsur was not just a pioneer, he was the pioneer in the blog and RSS to email world. Were it not for his efforts and his initial success, those of use who came later would have been unable to take advantage of the groundwork he laid. Perhaps Bloglet became a victim of its own initial success, a fuzzy business model or other factors in the end (and in Bloglet's passing there are lessons for us all in the Web 2.0 world). But regardless, the value and virtue that Bloglet showed in the post-bubble days that it wasn't the technology that mattered, but instead its application. It was true then. I believe that it remains true now.

Yes it's true. FeedBlitz was built - and to a degree enjoyed it's early success - because of dissatisfaction with Bloglet. But that does not deny Bloglet's early innovations, and so it's therefore with somewhat mixed emotions that I see this early pioneer fade into the sunset, despite the benefits FeedBlitz is seeing as a result.

Time and Effort.

Ultimately, it's worth remembering that the project that was Bloglet took untold time over many years from Monsur, and to the best of my knowledge he never took a penny in return. It takes great strength to support, and then so publicly end, a personal investment of this scale. Whatever you may feel or have felt about Bloglet and its recent issues, I personally feel that kudos is due to Monsur for being able to cut the cord and call it a day while still leaving his users a migration path (to FeedBlitz). I happen to know that this isn't the only big change he's made in his life recently, and I wish him luck as he moves forward.


So farewell, then, to Bloglet, and welcome to Bloglet users. But credit where it's due. May you fare well, Monsur.




Bloglet is back - transfer your readers now while it's still up

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Many publishers have asked this week about moving from Bloglet as it's had a multi-day outage. FeedBlitz is the only service that can import bloglet subscribers automatically. Bloglet's servers being down prevented our migration tools from working, however.

Bloglet is now back up (May 13, 17:13pm EDT). If you need to move to a reliable service without inconveniencing your readers, migrate them to FeedBlitz now while you can. FeedBlitz is both open and very reliable; Bloglet users can always migrate away from us later if they wish.

Visit www.feedblitz.com/bloglet.htm to find out more. All you need to do to migrate is register yourself with FeedBlitz and then start the bloglet import wizard at http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Bloglet


FeedBlitz Announces RSS- and Blog-Powered AutoResponder Service

Monday, May 01, 2006

Today we're announcing a novel twist on RSS-powered email solutions, building on our leadership in RSS to mail communications services.

First it was blog-powered newsletters. Now FeedBlitz takes the initiative again with our unique, first to market, RSS-powered blog-built autoresponders.

Autoresponders are a series of predefined email messages that are sent on a schedule to readers after they subscribe, usually over some period of time. They can be as simple as a one-shot "Thank you" email, or they can be as complex as a series of articles automatically delivered over a few days, weeks or even months. Autoresponders are great ways to deliver sequential / serialized / episodic content (training courses, guides, lesson plans, blooks, podcasts), to keep in touch with readers automatically, or to deliver special offers to your email subscriber base to thank them for subscribing in the first place.

Setting up an autoresponder in FeedBlitz is easy, and because your content is created and managed using your blogging platform, you get all the benefits that "Web 2.0" technologies bring to bear (RSS mashups as autoresponders? Bring them on!). You can set them up quickly because FeedBlitz autoresponders require no special knowledge, no custom rules programming, no new editors to master. Just your standard blogging product or service and a new setting in FeedBlitz.

And, like the rest of FeedBlitz, there are no limits on the number autoresponders, the number of articles in an autoresponder, no limits on autoresponder subscribers, and (like the basic newsletter update service) your basic cost for all of this is nothing. Zip. $0. Naturally, "Pro" upgrades are available to tailor your autoresponder's look and feel, of course, if that's important to you. (16 cents a day. That's all I'm saying). Autoresponder customization is also included as part of our "Pro Plus" premium accounts.

How does it work? All you do is create a blog especially for your autoresponder, and space out the post(s) as you want them to show up in your readers' inboxes. So the second one should be dated, say, a day after the first, and so on. Easy.

Then you syndicate the blog in FeedBlitz, enable the autoresponder capability in the feed's settings (see the graphic on the left), and you're done. So all you really have to do is blog your series of emails; we take care of when to deliver them on a subscriber-by-subscriber basis.

Every FeedBlitz autoresponder can be customized with a "Pro" upgrade, can track opens and click throughs, export subscribers, and more, just like any other FeedBlitz powered email syndication. You can have users subscribe to an autoresponder directly using the standard FeedBlitz generated HTML signup code - great for an email training course - or you can make a subscription to one feed start an autoresponder based on another - such as a simple "thank you" email.

In fact, we've been using FeedBlitz autoresponders on this blog, FeedBlitz News, for about a week now. Over 1,000 new readers have been thanked this way already. It shows both how powerful and easy it is to set up and configure an autoresponder using a blog and FeedBlitz together. Here's how it works:

FeedBlitz News is configured to use the autoresponder "FeedBlitz Email Services" - a single entry blog that automatically sends a "thank you" message to the subscriber once they confirm. The sole post thanks the reader and then invites them to subscribe to three other autoresponder-based feeds (gotta have that call to action):
By clicking on the "Subscribe By Mail" link the reader is subscribing directly to the autoresponder feed (rather than the automatically launched "thank you" feed). So this series of blogs and the FeedBlitz autoresponder configuration enables a whole series of new and valuable interactions between us and you, our subscriber / prospect / customer. All automatically, no effort required. To see the source blogs themselves, click the "View Online" option.

And, yes, it's very flexible. You can have multiple email syndications start the same responder, for example. You can even delay the delivery of the first email. If you look at the FeedBlitz news setup outlined here, the hardest part in setting it all up was writing the content. Configuring FeedBlitz to use it was a snap - less than five minutes.

What other changes do autoresponders bring? Just one - a new item that may appear on your dashboards is a blue dot - this appears for subscribers and subscriptions where the autoresponder has run its course.

So, whether you're a new subscriber or an old-hand FeedBlitz publisher, why not sign up for one of our new "tips" courses above and take our autoresponders for a quick test drive? It's easy and the tips are actually useful. Really! So why wait? Subscribe now and enjoy.


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