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Movable Type Installation Help Added

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Today we added email subscription configuration and installation instructions for Movable Type publishers, complementing the instructions we already released for Blogger Beta, WordPress and TypePad.


New phone numbers for FeedBlitz

Today we're introducing new phone numbers for the Internet's leading RSS and Blog to mail newsletter service.

Our new options come complete with a (US) toll free option and a virtual assistant to route calls more quickly to the resource you're looking for. Once you call, you can hit 1 for support, 2 for sales, 4 for verbal unsubscribe instructions, or you can directly dial the extension you're after. You know the drill, right? The system has built in "follow me / find me" facilities, so if one of us is around it will try to reach us before giving up and going to voice mail. This should be much more effective for everyone than the old single mailbox approach we were using.

So, continental US callers (and, shortly, Canadians and the remaining US states) will be able to dial 877 MY-BLITZ (or 877.692.5489) to reach us, or you can call us from anywhere on our new main number, 978.776.9498. The contact page has been updated to reflect our new information.


OK, that was weird...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Odd day. After having solved our problems this morning and set the update on its merry way, we noticed a strange thing. It wasn't emailing nearly enough people. Had the blogosphere gone mysteriously silent overnight? Was there an issue with our servers? Had we messed up the fix to today's problem?

As it turns out, the answer is (...drum roll...) (d) none of the above. Oddly, it seems that when we finally got the update cranking, various other pieces of the 'Net were, let's just say, enjoying some issues of their own. Blogger beta was having problems around the time we were hitting them up for updates. I also strongly suspect other funkiness from other services today (they just haven't been as up front about it as Blogger), since I know that some blogs with new articles failed to yield new data in their RSS feeds earlier today - and they're not on Blogger, beta or otherwise. So whatever it was that was going on out there, it wasn't confined to (nor am I blaming) Blogger.

So, here's the plan. Job #1 is to get the mails out. So... we'll be rerunning the job again, but excluding the feeds that had new articles and which were, therefore, successfully mailed out earlier today. A bit more work for us, but then nobody wants to get the same stuff twice, right? Right.

Update: 9:31pm est

Success - this iteration comprehensively filled the mysterious gaps in the earlier cycle.


Delayed start today

It's en route now.

Update: 3:50 pm est

The update worked fine, but the story didn't end there.


"AdPro" Advertising-Supported Premium Upgrade Available

Monday, December 04, 2006

I'm delighted to announce a new premium upgrade option for FeedBlitz publishers. Available now, "AdPro" is a (nearly) free version of our successful "Pro" custom graphics solution. Complementing our fixed cost, no-nonsense paid plans, "AdPro" provides an alternative upgrade path for FeedBlitz email publishers for whom the fixed fee "Pro" program wasn't suitable.

What is AdPro?

Everyone who wanted a custom email template but couldn't (or wouldn't) pay the $4.95 a month fee now has an option they can try instead: AdPro. AdPro is identical to Pro, the industry's most flexible and capable RSS to email customization option, except in two important respects:
  • Price: AdPro costs a nominal $1 every 5 years, so is practically free, compared to Pro's $4.95 monthly fee.
  • Ad Insertion: AdPro uses FeedBlitz 2's automatic ad insertion feature, so that capability is not available to AdPro publishers.

AdPro uses PayPal and a valid credit card to prove your identity (hence the nominal $1 charge after every 5 years).

Are there ad-supported versions of other plans?

Right now we're sticking with the advertising supported version of Pro only - there are no "Plus" versions available. The "Turbo" schedule upgrade plan remains purely fee-based.

Are we keeping the paid "Pro" plan?

Absolutely! The premium Pro plan gives publishers control over the content and any ads they place in it, for a low, fixed monthly fee. We see this as the most appropriate version for professionals and business users, for whom content control is vital. If you want to run ads using our automated ad insertion feature, Pro is also the way to go, as all revenues from those ads accrue to you, the publisher, and not to us.

AdPro is for those bloggers and publishers who want the graphics and branding capabilities of "Pro", but whose subscribers will tolerate third party advertising online and in their emails. We serve all the ads, and any revenues earned are FeedBlitz's. AdPro users also have no choices about what ads we serve; they are entirely at our discretion. That's the basic trade for the upgrade: flat monthly fee for total control and all revenues for you (Pro), or no monthly fee and all the revenues are FeedBlitz's (AdPro).

Will the standard service remain?

Of course - while AdPro adds a new upgrade path, we're not taking anything away from our standard service publishers. The standard service keeps its automatic ad insertion capabilities, for example, and it will continue to use the familiar, trusted FeedBlitz standard branding.

How do I choose Pro or AdPro?

It's easy. Start by building your custom graphics template by going to your syndication page and choosing "Customize Custom Graphics (Pro)" from your publication's popup menu. Edit your template until you're happy with it. When you enable the template using the check box, you will be presented with your funding options. Pick Pro or AdPro here, follow the PayPal instructions to validate your upgrade, and your setup is complete!


November Update

Friday, December 01, 2006

Time for the traditional monthly update on FeedBlitz activity and metrics. Getting straight down to brass tacks, we ended November with an active circulation of 1,159,751 for a month on month growth rate of 4.6%

As I mentioned in the October update, the site update introduced by the FeedBlitz 2 upgrade meant that last month was going to be the new base line for site metrics going forward. Despite the slow down in visitors due to the US Thanksgiving holiday, feedblitz.com had 1,063,000 page views in November from just over 421,000 unique visitors.

Feature-wise, we got off to a slow-ish start but have picked up the pace markedly this last week. In November, we:
December promises to be a very exciting month for us, with some exciting new capabilities and initiatives ready to debut.

Meanwhile, those with long memories - or waaay too much time on their hands, you be the judge - will recall that last month I mentioned our month-long experiment with advertising on our static pages. The results are in, and they're interesting enough to warrant the ads staying for now. In fact, for the next few days we're going to be pushing the envelope further as we "dogfood" a new feature. Stay tuned to the blog next week for how this all fits together for you.


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