Get Notifications of reddit Messages

    When I write a blog, I usually cross-post it to reddit in hopes that it might help someone. I'm not a reddit user, so I'm never in it. This week, I discovered that someone had commented on one of my posts 3 months ago. I had no idea. I just assumed that reddit would email me if there was a comment. I found out this week that, nope, it doesn't. That really stinks. I don't want to leave people hanging again, so I decided I'd figure out a solution.

    Thanks to some tips from some folks when I did a search, I learned that reddit provides RSS feeds of pretty much everything. When someone responds to a post, it goes into your reddit inbox. It just so happens that reddit has an RSS feed for your inbox. To get the address, sign in to reddit, click the "Preferences" link in the upper right, and go to the "RSS feeds" tab (or just enter https://www.reddit.com/prefs/feeds in your browser). You'll see a bunch of potential RSS feeds there, including a couple of different views of the inbox. For example, there's "Everything" and "Unread Messages" feeds.

    If you click the "RSS" button for one of the feeds, you'll be redirected to the RSS feed itself. Copy the URL. For example, the URL for my inbox "Everything" feed is https://www.reddit.com/message/inbox/.rss?feed=[bunchofcharacters]&user=bhlaws.

    If you have an RSS reader that can handle this URL, then great – just register this feed. However, I use Outlook as my RSS reader, and I found that Outlook can't handle the URL. No idea why. Dang. To solve this, I turned to IFTTT ("IF This Then That"). If you don't know it, IFTTT (https://www.ifttt.com) is a super cool, free site which allows you to automate all kinds of activities. On IFTTT, you build recipes which take some kind of action based on some kind of trigger. I figured out a simple recipe which will email me every time something enters my reddit inbox.

    Here's the recipe:

    • Click THIS (the trigger):
      • In the "Choose Trigger Channel" page, do a search for "rss" and select the "Feed" icon
      • In the "Choose a Trigger" page, select the "New feed item" trigger
      • In the "Complete Trigger Fields" page, paste in the RSS feed URL. I used the "everything" feed.
      • Click "Create Trigger"
    • Click THAT (the action channel):
      • In the "Choose Action Channel" page, do a search for "email" and select the "Email" icon (or you can choose something else)
      • In the "Choose an Action" page, choose the only available action: "Send me an email"
      • In the "Complete Action Fields" page, make any changes that you like to the Subject and Body. I didn't find it necessary.
      • Click "Create Action"

    Once this is done, give the recipe a title and click "Create Recipe."

    That's all there is to it! Now, whenever something enters your reddit inbox, you'll either get an entry in your RSS reader or an email in your inbox.

    Hope this helps!


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