Receive newsletter in full?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Bob M. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I always enjoy reading your newsletter. Every issue seems to have a topic or two of interest. Thanks very much for that. I have a question: I would like to receive the 'online' version of the newsletter, so that I don't always have to click on a link to read the rest of the story online the web site. I cannot find how to change my subscription information so that I receive all of the newsletter in my email inbox. How can I change my subscription to receive the online version? "

My response:

The newsletter used to be delivered via email in its entirety back in early 2003, but I had to stop doing this because our subscriber base was growing at a very rapid rate. At one point, it took over 20 hours to send one newsletter. Since I write newsletters back to back 3 times a week, this became a problem because I would have to wait for the previous newsletter to finish emailing before I could send the next edition.

In short, the newsletter is delivered in simple text format with 'teaser' paragraphs so that:

  • it can be delivered faster
  • there is a less chance of triggering a spam filter with a "bad" word
  • less information in the newsletter makes it easier to scan for topics of interest
  • it won't eat mailbox space (especially for yahoo and hotmail users)
  • it forces users to come online the site
  • With respect to (e): the newsletter will be available in RSS very soon, similar to the text edition of our newsletter, except in a slightly different format. Most importantly, RSS doesn't use email to send or receive the newsletter: it uses a special 'news reader' program to grab and manage information from RSS-enabled web sites. The majority of RSS readers even keep track of which articles you read, so it makes it easy to catch up on topics of interest in case you miss a newsletter or two.

    Side note: RSS stands for "Rich Site Syndicate". Not long ago, Jake Ludington wrote an interesting article on an RSS news reader, called FeedDemon. If you want to learn more about how RSS works, you can read his article here.

    Why are more and more web sites changing to RSS?

    The primary functions of RSS is to keep users informed of readily available information. RSS is a great alternative to emailing a newsletter, especially since spam filters and illegitimate "opt in" email practices are such a huge problem these days.

    Will the newsletter still be available via email?

    Yes. I also plan to implement HTML emails once again (with color and graphics), but the format will remain similar to that of the text format. This is because our web site is undergoing a *major* overhaul. As I've mentioned before, the new newsletter layout will will be interactive, such that users will be able to respond to articles and post their own questions online the site. Since the web site will become interactive with subscribers comments, you will most likely want to visit the web site, anyway.

    RE: Offline Gazette Archives available soon

    Infopackets Reader Bob M. wasn't the first person to ask me how to get the newsletter in full via email. In the past, a number of users have asked me the same question because they prefer to archive (store) Gazette articles in their mail program for offline reading and referencing.

    In addition to a new web site layout, I am please to announce that our previous articles will soon be available via download for offline viewing.

    Unfortunately, this process is slow going and requires that I 'scrape' HTML code so that all newsletters follow the same format. Having a similar format also makes it easy for me to paste old newsletters into the new web layout. I have been working on this for the last 3 weeks and will keep everyone informed as soon as it becomes available (most likely near the end of the summer).

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