Blogs replace newsletters?

Subject: Blogs replace newsletters?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 10:02:22 -0400

Milan Davidovic wondered: <<This, along with some other stuff going on around me, got me wondering about this: let's say you belong to a group that puts out a newsletter (for example, your local STC chapter), and let's say that the newsletter is already Web-based. Broadly speaking, what do you think would be lost by turning the newsletter into a chapter blog?>>

I'm not sure anything significant would be lost. Arguably you lose some of the benefits of hand-crafted typography by going to an HTML type of format, but so few of us know anything about typography that this probably isn't much of a loss anyway. (Sorry to be snarky.) And I suppose you lose income potential if you need income to subsidize your newsletter's existence; you can still sell subscriptions, but that seems somehow to be unbloggish. <g>

You gain many things from going to a blog format:

- quality: you can correct errors instantly, and at no cost other than to your reputation; you finally have the option of using color whenever you want, at no extra cost; you can use multiple media (sound, animation) when that's appropriate (downside: you can also use it when it's inappropriate, as so many people do).

- dialogue: if your blog allows commenting, you obtain that dialogue with your readers that is nearly impossible to get in print (the downside is that the noise to signal ratio can increase enormously if you don't invest the time to moderate the discussion)

--currency and immediacy: you can update the blog as often as you want (the downside is that you very nearly have to do so; once you get on the treadmill...)

- the availability to a far broader audience than you could ever hope to reach in print, since your marginal cost for "printing" each extra page view is effectively zero, so long as you don't use up your bandwidth allowance; in addition, with a little planning, your formerly visual-only newsletter is now available to a range of people with visual handicaps and disabilities

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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Blogs replace newsletters? (was Re: "New Media"): From: Milan Davidovic

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