why we don’t offer email subscriptions any more

We have taken the decision to stop offering email subscriptions to our websites.

We do, however, offer an alternative that we discuss towards the end of this article.

When we started these sites, we used an external service to allow people to register for email delivery of new content. What seemed like a simple and effective solution turned out to be problematic.

Aside from the general unreliability of these services – and we used two – the concern was that details of subscribers were held in the provider’s systems and were not under our control.

Consequently, we decided to bring subscription facilities in-house.

This worked well enough, but the recent GDPR legislation made us re-examine this decision.

We know that this legislation is not be enforceable within our legislative domain, but you can be sure that sooner or later similar legislation will be enacted across the world.

The rigour of compliance and the attendant duty of care with personally identifying information is a burden we don’t want.

What we have decided to do is to retire these subscriptions and promote use of our site feeds.

These site feeds use a well-established technology called RSS and allow you to be anonymously notified of new content. We will continue to promote some content through social media but accessing our feeds will provide a timelier view of our content.

RSS stands for, amongst other things, Rich Site Summary. It is having a resurgence and is used extensively by publishing sites. What you do is give feed URLs to a news reader app and they will show you new content from the sites. Our feed URL is available from the “colophon” menu.

There are many news reader apps, available on all platforms, as well as online. Further, many email clients will allow you to add RSS feeds.

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