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This week's best cool internet tools

Send notes, organise meetings and get invites

Get hard-to-come-by web invites

I get more than my fair share of invitations into web-based services; I've tried Joost, Pownce, and GrandCentral, for instance. But then, I'm a huge star in the IT firmament (coughs). Lest you miss out on the fun, I've found a site that might make it easier for non-journalists to get invites to new services.

InviteShare lets visitors request invitations from others who have extras. If you have invites you're not using, you can offer them on the site.

Get your blogs in email

I'll read a blog online only if I'm forced into it. My preference is to have the blog delivered to me via email. That way I can choose to read it now or later or not at all.

Yes, I know, I'm an oddity. (Don't rub it in.) Most people seem to use one of thousands of RSS readers - but I don't need yet another program sitting in my system tray.

For a long time, I used Squeet.com. The site let me configure all my RSS feeds for delivery by email. One day Squeet stopped working. "Squeet will be unavailable while it is undergoing an extended maintenance period", they said. Very extended.

Hamid Shojaee, the CEO of Axosoft, the brains behind Squeet, had a candid reply to my complaints: "After pushing it for nearly eight months, we had VERY LITTLE interest in the product. Only 10,000 users (non-paying, of course) and the servers used for it were starting to choke because of the sheer volume. (Squeet checked over 50,000 feeds per day, most of them multiple times.)

On top of that, Outlook 2007 and nearly every other email client also has RSS capabilities built-in. So we had a hard decision to make - keep investing in a system that seems to be a dead-end or refocus our efforts on other stuff."

As I said, very extended.

I moved all my RSS feeds to Yahoo Alerts and it was terrific, for a while. Then it stopped.

I'm on a new service now, RssFwd. It does what Squeet and Yahoo Alerts did; the big difference is that it still works.

It's easy enough to use. Copy and paste a blog's URL (try the PC Advisor blog: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/blogs/index.cfm?blogid=4) into the Submit field. RssFwd finds the XML content feed.

A reader this week suggested two slick sites I definitely plan to try.

"What about Feedburner's email service or FeedBlitz? With these you can also keep track of your subscribers and more," said Blog Bloke.

If you try them before me, be sure to leave a comment!


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