Re: Blogs replace newsletters?
Geoff Hart wrote:
You gain many things from going to a blog format:
Maybe. I confess I am enough of a Luddite that I have not yet explored the blogosphere. So perhaps my single objection, below, is moot.
A newsletter is something that either has proven its value to me, in which case I take a few minutes to skim it as soon as it arrives, perhaps taking a few minutes more to actually read some of the articles, or has not proven its value but is sometimes interesting, in which case it goes on the maybe-I'll-read-it-later pile, or has proven itself of no value, in which case I dump it.
This applies both to snail mail printed newsletters and email newsletters.
A blog, on the other hand, is a Web page, which means that I'm not likely to bother looking at it unless I get an email reminder once a week or once a month to do so. Following the link is an extra step that I might or might not take, depending on how busy I am at the time. And when I do click on it some time later, chances are that so much of the blog will have scrolled off into back pages that I'll never see, let alone read, ninety percent of the material that's there.
If there are many others like me in the desired audience, it's possible that the effectiveness of the newsletter in reliably communicating important information to the membership would actually decline.
Just something to consider when weighing the pluses and minuses.
Although I think Geoffrey had some fine points about generating revenue, and even though I have been a very regular blog reader, I have to agree with Dick. We discussed the aging content problem Dick mentions above at another list. Active bloggers, themselves, see it as an impediment to blogs that are intended to be more of a newsletter-type meditation on a topic. As running, real-time commentary, they're great. As a potential ad revenue generator, they're great. As a discussion forum -- my personal opinion is that I *hate* them with a passion if I want to read _discussion_.
As a place to actually learn... well, I have to be _really_ motivated to get up the gumption to load up the (is it me?) seemingly cumbersome reader or use google reader (still in beta) and check out what's happening. Most of the time, by the time I get around to the "probably should go read this" pile, it's old news at a blog.
I'll read A List Apart on a daily basis, because it is relevant to what I do every day. But an STC newsletter blog? I'd have to be _really_ motivated to add that to my list of things to read while sitting in front of a screen. A newsletter shipped in the mail, OTOH? I'd definitely read it. I _am_ interested in typography and design, so that's a reason. But also, I still treasure reading things in print after working all day in front of a screen.
The nice thing about newsletters is that you can read them _elsewhere_ and unplugged. Hurray for things that you can read while unplugged!
JMO (a phrase I have never used before! 'magine that!?)
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