Obits for RSS junkies

Telegram.com had for years offered an RSS feed for its obituaries listing.  This was very convenient if you do a lot of reading online or in a mobile device, especially since it just gave a name & age, a town, and a sentence or two from the obit.

For months now, the RSS feed hasn’t worked.  Because the Telegram relies on legacy.com to manage the obituaries, I imagine they must rely on legacy.com to provide a publication-specific RSS feed, and evidently they stopped doing that a while back.

You can get all other T&G articles via RSS, but not obituaries.  A helpful person in the Telegram’s tech team says there is no immediate remedy for this.

One could, of course, navigate to the telegram site, which links out to legacy.com, and then scroll through names there.  A few “lucky” dead people get listed in the “Spotlight” column and get an information blurb under their photo.  But for many, gone are the helpful clues like town & age that could tell you if that name George Jones you’re seeing is a twenty-something from Oxford or an 80-something from Fitchburg.

A friend of the blog discovered a workaround that bypasses the RSS problem entirely.  In the center of the legacy.com page you’ll see a block ad titled “FREE OBITUARY ALERTS”.  Via that link, you can subscribe to a daily alert via e-mail using one or more search terms.  If, like many of us, you simply want to be able to scroll quickly through a complete list of that day’s dearly departed, just enter the keyword “funeral” when you subscribe.  The majority of families opt for funerals of one kind or another, and those who don’t often have services coordinated by a funeral home, or else the obit might simply state that there is to be no funeral for that person.  Whichever it is, the term “funeral” seems to occur in almost every obituary, so you’re going to get about 99% of the obituaries e-mailed to you each day, and many of these also have a thumbnail photo if there was one in the online version.

The e-mail alert method may not be quite as handy as an RSS feed, but it gets the job done more quickly than visiting telegram.com.

(This alert system is also handy if you want only obits that mention a certain town or towns.)

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One thought on “Obits for RSS junkies

  1. […] a recent post, I had mentioned that the Telegram’s RSS feeds of obituary notices had ceased functioning for […]

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