About a week ago I noticed Real Simple Shopping, a service that takes the spam risk out of subscribing to product offer email lists by subscribing to those lists for you and passing the content along as a customized RSS feed.
A couple of days later I noticed that dodgeit.com — a service that offers free, public “maildrops” — offers the ability to read @dodgeit.com mailboxes via RSS feeds.
Because it was a slow Sunday yesterday, I found myself sitting around and thinking “you know, dodgeit.com would allow me to build a better customized RSS feed right now.” I just made up a @dodgeit.com email address, added the RSS feed for the address to FeedDemon, and started subscribing.
Now I’ve got the offer/event emails from Powell’s Books (the best bookstore in the world, bar none), REI (excellent outdoor equipment), and the Self Starter Foundation (good independent records) coming to me in a nice, neat feed…and if Huy Fong Foods offered a mailing list, you know I’d be signed up for that right quick.
Funny thing, really: I genuinely want to hear from all of those places about offers that they might have for me, but I would never have actually signed up for their lists via email. I just have too much unread email for me to voluntarily add to the pile. I’m not sure that I’d even have signed up for RSS feeds from each individual source — but with the ability to create one completely customized commercial feed of my own? Hell, yes, I’m there!