A comment that comes up fairly often on the ThemeForest Forums is the question of being notified of new comments on your item page. The answer to this question is almost always, “subscribe to your comment feed via rss and you can check it anytime”. This is true, you can actually subscribe to your own comment feed by going to
http://themeforest.net/feeds/user_item_comments/USERNAME.atom and replacing the username with your username.
While this is nice and convenient, most users would rather not have to check their item feed a few times a day to see if anyone has commented. While I know this is an issue/feature the devs may work on for the future, we can fix the issue utilizing third party scripts and services. Today, we will have a quick look at 7 RSS to email/sms services you can use to automatically get informed of comments on your item!
1. Feed My Inbox
I’ve started with one of the best services I stumbled upon while doing research to write this article. Feed My Inbox is dead simple and completely free to use. You simply enter the website or the feed URL that you wish to receive updates on and you nearly done.
Head over to FeedMyInbox and enter your item feed (mentioned above) and your email address. Once you have subscribed, check your email and click on the confirmation link to activate service for that RSS feed. You’re done, you’ll be receiving updates once every 24 hours.
- Super simple to use, takes seconds.
- Works on website and feed URLs.
- Even if the feed is updated twenty times in 24 hours, you will receive only one email (this completely depends on your preferences, also listed as con below).
- You only get sent updates once every 24 hours to reduce spam and email clutter. Now, if you are a huge power user like Epicera, you might think this is great and just check your daily email and be on your way. However, if you are like me and don’t have that many items to your name, you might want to find out more often than once every 24 hours.
2. RSS 2 Email
RSS 2 email is a completely free of charge software product that allows you to integrate RSS feeds to be sent to your current email client of choice. RSS2Email is open source and works directly with your email client to allow you to get notifications and bridge the gap between your email client and RSS feeds.
RSS2Email runs on both Windows based and UNIX based systems, and can read any RSS or ATOM feed along with provide update notices directly in your mail client.
- Runs on Windows and UNIX
- Compatible with POP and IMAP servers
- Free and open source
- Handles any RSS or ATOM format, including non English characters
- Not a web based service, you must download and install the software on your computer and configure it with your current email client of choice.
3. Blog Alert
Blog Alert is another very simple and free web based RSS to email application. Blog Alert doesn’t even require any kind of download or account setup, just enter the feed and your email and off you go.
One thing to note with Blog Alert is that you need to make sure that you enter the RSS feed URL, not the feed of the website. While some tools are able to auto detect the feed, Blog Alert does not offer this.
- Simple, takes seconds to get working.
- Lack of information, on the home page it says it will let you know every time the feed is updated, but will this cap out at a certain amount of times?
NewsGator is a Microsoft Outlook specific product that aims to integrate RSS and email. If you use Outlook often or at work, NewsGator might be the best choice for you in the long run.
You can get RSS alerts, updates, and feeds all from withing Outlook using NewsGator, and I must say out of all the services listed so far, NewsGator looks to be the most polished piece of software. If your an Outlook person, give it a go and let us know your thoughts!
- Integrates into Outlook, a very popular email client.
- Very well polished from what I can tell.
- Receive updates, add new feeds, and read feeds all from Outlook.
- Microsoft/Outlook specific. Does not work with other email clients.
- Not free, cost $29.
Reblinks- RSS to Email gateway is another free web service that focuses on simplicity and functionality. Go to the homepage and enter in the feed URL and the email you want the updates sent to, and click submit. Go have some bacon and tea, come back and check your email. That’s about it!
Reblinks is still in Beta so there may be some slight issues or bugs, but nothing too bad from what I can tell.
- Simple and easy.
- Reliability? Considering it is in Beta this is something that needs to be thought about before you depend solely on this service.
- Again, lack of information on the website page. Are there restrictions? How often are updates sent?
RSS to SMS
So far we have looked at some great software products and web apps that allow you to send any RSS updates to your email address. But in this day and age we don’t always have our laptops on hand when we need it. For the last part of this article we will focus on services that allow you to send RSS updates straight to your cell phone via SMS. Imagine being notified instantly on your phone when your out with friends when someone has made a comment (hopefully a positive one).
PeekFeed is a very nice looking RSS to SMS service. PeekFeed is completely free and sends any RSS updates you have set straight to you on your mobile phone.
To get started, just head to the PeekFeed homepage and create a new account. Once you create an account, you can set all of your user settings and add the feeds you wish to get notified about. PeekFeed even allows you to choose how often you get updates. You can choose by the minute, hour, day and so on.
- Easy to use and receive.
- Customized update settings (minute, hour, day etc).
- None that I can see!
Last but certainly not least, is the very popular RSS to SMS service, Pingie. Pingie allows you to enter your phone number, email, and the website address to start instantly receiving updates.
Pingie has been known as a reliable RSS to SMS application for a while now, and even allows you to check the status of all of their servers on their status page. Out of the two RSS to SMS applications, Pinige seems to be the one most people use.
- Simple and intuitive UI.
- Reliable and open, plenty of information on the site for you to browse.
- Again, I’m not sure. Perhaps that you may have to pay for the text messages received, but that is no different than any other SMS sending service.
That’s all the programs we have for now. Hopefully, that clears up any issues or struggles you may be having to easily get updates on your items feed and comments. Are there any applications out there you use that I neglected to mention? I’d love to hear your input!