alanwilliamson

YourLi.st the free registrationless email alert service

Sometimes the most useful things are those that are the most simple. Take the need to be alerted of an upcoming event for example. You just want alerted a wee bit before that something is about to occur. Be it a birthday, eBay auction ending, meeting, or a concert.

I have been kicking around this idea for nearly a year now and only recently did I find some time to actually sit down and do it. What i wanted was the ability to be reminded that an eBay auction was about to end. I was tracking an item and I wanted to be given an email that it was about to expire. The inbuilt tools of eBay for "Watch Item" are pretty poor, and generally the email comes when its too late to do anything about it.

A quick search around, I soon discovered many services offering email alert services. But everyone of them, required you creating an account. I didn't need another set of username and passwords to remember. I just wanted to use it.

This is when I got thinking, that the majority of the services on the Internet today are all about capturing the users data. They want/need your information. Facebook is a classic "data-rape" application - the more information they know about you the more they can sell your data to the highest bidder. This is their whole eco-system.

For that reason, I refuse to play in the "social network" pond. Don't be fooled into thinking you're getting a top class service, they are building one of the largest advertising bill boards the world has ever seen which people can't wait to give over their private data to them - willingly! The more carrots they can dangle infront of you to stay there, the more money they can hock your data for.

So it is this premise that I have been thinking along for the last year.

I want to introduce a range of services that people can trust in, and also, get a sense of satisfication from without feeling they have been data-raped for information that once given can never be taken back.

Yourli.st is the start of that journey with a service that has proven to be extremely popular. People have been flocking to the service, and I have been overwhelmed at the success. We even got a mention in some of the big web blogs, DownloadSquad for example.

Once we send out the reminders, we have no need or desire to keep your data. So we DELETE everything regarding that event and transaction. We don't even keep the access logs from the webservers. Why should we? Once we've done the business of providing you the reminder, we literally wipe all your data from our systems.

We don't hold usernames, passwords, historical information, profiles or anything like that. We just hold the information about the event and once passed it's all gone.

I believe you can be advertised to without needing to know about your personal details. Infer their interests from the activity they are doing. Google does this very well with their search pages (that said, the amount of data Google is gathering on individuals from all their services should worry any sane person). But AdSense on the whole works pretty well, it satisfies both parties. The Advertiser gets targetting adverts, and the viewer doesn't give up any data in the process.

These are some of the motives behind the service, but really, when all said and done, it does what it says on the tin, and gives you a small email alert that something is about to happen. I have been using it a lot, and only last night won a bid for a CISCO VOIP handset because the alert came through way before the automatic eBay one did.

Try it out for yourself. Check out the bookmarklet that makes adding reminders while on the "web move" an absolute breeze, and if you are hosting an event yourself, then checkout the "remind me" button you can put on your site to make it easy for people to be alerted in advance of your event.

Just use it -- and keep your data YOURS!


 

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