RE: Newsletter vs blog

Subject: RE: Newsletter vs blog
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Victoria Wroblewski" <victoria -dot- wroblewski -at- eagletest -dot- com>, "Erika Yanovich" <ERIKA_y -at- rad -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 2009 13:33:53 -0400

Victoria Wroblewski
Replied to
Erika Yanovich
Who asked
> Hello all,
> We are putting up a quarterly newsletter for our technical
> audience and
> I know companies have blogs on their sites, usually for marketing
> purposes. I'd like to hear your opinions about replacing the
> newsletter
> with a technical blog (considered a more updated form of
> communication).
> Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
> Erika
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> One caution under the "always know your users" clause... before you
> decide to go "blog", you might want to confirm that the
> majority of your
> users can actually access blogs. Some workplaces (like my
> own, up until
> very recently) had very tight IT policies that restricted
> anything with
> the word "blog" in the URL. Didn't matter if it was as much of a time
> waster as Stuff On My Car or something really useful like a Microsoft
> Developer's blog or blogs on the Adobe site. All blocked. And the
> fight with IT to get access for a specific site could take months. It
> wasn't worth it.
> I personally have nothing against blogs. I read them. I have my own
> (not tech writing related). But it can be helpful to know some
> workplaces have a blanket bias against all of them, useful or not.
> Might want to touch base with your users to make sure they
> can actually
> *get* to it, or go with the general design and concept of a blog but
> just stay away from the "b" word.

Do what some technical bloggers and many money sites do: Both.

Blog frequently on small, self-contained (where possible) topics, or
serialize big topics (when possible) then publish the blogs as-or-in a
weekly/monthly/quarterly newsletter. The major hosting sites and the
blogging software have that as an option (automatic or semi-automatic*),
I believe.

(* Automatic version would just gather what you'd blogged in the
interval since the last compilation, slap a canned header and ToC on it,
and send it out as mail to your e-mail opted-in subscribers.
Semi-automatic version does the same thing, but pauses to let you
tweak/edit or add additional value-content before hitting [Send] - like
some helpful comments that your individual blog items might have drawn
from reader feedback, or your "clarification" after too many readers
reported being confused or insufficiently informed by this-or-that
blog... it happens...)

Anybody who wants just the blogs can opt out of the newsletter. Anybody
who wants just the newsletter can just not bother to go read your blogs.
Given that your content is valuable, many people will want both - to see
it as it's written, and also to receive it as a handy "archive"
delivered to their inbox at a later time. Also, it's the perfect
solution for clients living with draconian browsing restrictions.

- Kevin

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Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:

RE: Question for Flare Users: From: laura_johnson
Re: Question for Flare Users: From: Rick Stone
Newsletter vs blog: From: Erika Yanovich
RE: Newsletter vs blog: From: Victoria Wroblewski

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