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Thursday, August 28, 2003

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There are a couple of potential problems that I see with this:

First, one of the benefits of sending out newsletters and announcements by e-mail is that you can tell how many subscribers you have and who they are. Can you track that kind of information for RSS feeds? If so, great, but if not then I think a lot of companies will stick with distributing newsletters by e-mail.

Second, RSS and RSS readers are still unfamilar to the great majority of Internet users. Until/unless RSS aggregators become integrated with common e-mail clients, I think most people would be mystified if a company were to send them an e-mail saying "We're replacing our e-mail newsletter with an RSS feed. Just paste this URL into your RSS reader and you'll be subscribed!" So while RSS makes sense in theory as a delivery tool for newsletters, I think it'll take quite a few years before that function becomes widely used.

If a company is benefitting from an email newsletter, there's no reason to dump it in favor of an RSS feed. But given how simple it is to create an RSS feed, they can surely create one in addition to their mailing list.

I have to add that while email does provide better tracking, it's by no means reliable. For example, when I had a mailing list, hundreds of messages would bounce back with "unknown user." Hundreds more would be blocked by an over-zealous spam filter. And I'm sure hundreds more were deleted outright by people overwhelmed by spam.

Nick,

A small, continual irritation: I check in with you blog virtually daily. Always the same experience: lots of tiny blue fonts I can't read. Why? Doesn't facilitate communication. I find it provocative that when I visit a W3C site everything's BIG AND READABLE. I don't quite do that myself, in my own work, but....it IS nice. What's up with YOUR decision to offer tiny faint blue fonts? Any hope there'll be a change?

t.

I agree with Nick. RSS is the way forward for getting information out. Feeds can allow all the information including coupons and announcements. Email bounces are reducing the effectiveness of email newsletters. Nobody is saying to cancel producing a newsletter if you already do it. But RSS enabling the information flow will lead to better quality readers. Those that want to get the information.

nick- i need to add a feature so my bloggers can be alerted when someone says something new on the comments section- not all people want it but some- the other thing they want is an edit feature- does your software allow for this- i am not good at reading thru to figure it out- best if I see how its done - if it can do this then i will figure it out knowing that

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