By Citraka dasa
Recently I was approached by a friend who was lamenting his having missed an ekadasi fast due to being out of base and somehow not being informed on time about this important vaishnava occurrence. Fortunately now we may get some extra help for remaining always update by making use of some tools that the web is offering. So do you want to receive Ekadasi ( and most important Vaishnava Festivities ) alerts right to your Instant Messenger program like MSN, Skype or Gtalk? Just apply the following instructions:
(All of the services listed below are free)
First step: Go to http://www.mailbucket.org/ to learn what it does. It gives you the possibility to transform any messages you receive to an email account created at their site to an rss feed.
You don’t have to register or anything, just “invent” an account using any word you want followed by the “mailbucket.org” extension, like for example firstname.lastname@example.org or Radharanidasi@mailbucket.org etc. You only have to make sure this word is not being used already*. Any mails sent to that address will create an RSS feed readable - with your RSS-reader - using as feed url http://www.mailbucket.org/thenameyouchoosehere.xml - Be aware that all messages received there are PUBLIC.
(Please note that Gmail is also offering RSS feeds for email - here is how to do it if you want to use this option but I wouldn’t reccomend it. Also the below suggested http://www.messagedance.com service is offering “streamed messages” or email feed option, you may choose that one too.)
Second step: Go to http://www.vaisnavacalendar.info/ which is an official Iskcon service for sending alerts to your email box about ekadasis and other vaishnava occurrences. Choose carefuly your location, insert the email address you have choosen with the “mailbucket.org” extension and register.
Third step: Go to http://inezha.com/ and register. This is a service that delivers instantly all the items of a feed to your favorite IM application as for example Skype. Once registered, push the “Subscribe” button and insert the “http://www.mailbucket.org/thenameyouchoosehere.xml” feed url. Then confirm and in the next window check the “Deliver to MSN/Skype/Gtalk” option and click “Save”.
Last step: Now you only have to add the “iNezha robot” in your contacts of Skype or Gtalk etc and you are done. It is quite simple, like adding any other contact: In Skype search for “anothr.com” and add it. You will then start receiving there all the mailings that the http://www.vaisnavacalendar.info/ site will be sending to your mailbucket email address.
In order to receive the notifications on your cell phone follow steps one and two and then simply register at:http://jaiku.com/ Once logged in go to the settings panel and first activate your mobile number, then on the “Select Notifications Options” menu choose: “Text message notifications about new Jaikus” on the “Manage your web feeds” menu click on “Add another Atom or RSS feed” option and insert your http://www.mailbucket.org/thenameyouchoosehere.xml feed url and you are done.
An alternative, even easier method to do this is the following:
First you register at the http://twitter.com/ service and configure your account to be sending sms alerts to your mobile phone. Then register at http://www.messagedance.com/ which will give you with a email@example.com email address that will be associated with your Twitter account which you have to submit there. All the messages towards this address will be automatically forwarded towards your Twitter account which then will send you text notifications to your phone. ( Here sms reception costs may be involved for some countries ). Then you supply this firstname.lastname@example.org address at the vaishnava calendar site and you are done.
If you live in the USA or in Canada you can have the alerts delivered and READ to you in your cell phone by using the services of this website (combining it with the above mentioned method of email to feed creation ): http://jott.com Check their FAQ section and search with keyword “feeds” in order to learn how to do it.
There is not any excuse for missing an ekadasi now! :-)
* To check if the name you used is not taken, just point your browser to the
http://www.mailbucket.org/simple/thenameyouchoosehere url and if you see nothing there means is not taken.