[thelist] Newsletter as HTML Email

Barney Carroll barney at textmatters.com
Thu Feb 1 11:23:45 CST 2007

Hassan Schroeder wrote:
>>    .......           if you think they're really afraid of change, and give a
>> nice little paragraph preceded by the word 'Simply' on how to get the
>> feed into their reader.
> No offense, but there you go again, assuming everyone is like you --
> these people *don't have a "reader"*. They don't know what one is,
> and they don't use RSS now.

Oi! I don't need little paragraphs preceded by the word 'Simply', thank 
you very much! Hehehe. Seriously, I'd only doing this because people are 
/not/ like me, and don't understand the things I do.

I admit, in everything I've written on these threads so far, I'm placing 
the duty of getting them to use RSS squarely on you. I appreciate that's 
probably neither here nor there in the context of what you're currently 
contracted to deliver for the client.

I think I may be appearing too idealistic - this is because I'm an 
information designer and it is literally my job to enable users to 
access new functions. So on the one hand, what I'm advising may be no 
good to you; but on the other, you're saying that my job is inherently 
impossible. Saying somebody isn't doing something now, therefore 
can't... Is the most defeatist thing I can conceive of. Again, it goes 
against the principles of my trade to even entertain the thought.

> Yes, because there was an obvious benefit to them. And what they
> learned works for them now. You're asking them to add a whole new
> behavior *with no discernable benefit*.

?! I'm not going to give my opinion on this again, we'd be stuck here 
for ever. If you really want it, go back to the first five or so posts.

> I agree that the introduction of Vista/Outlook using Word's renderer is
> a brand-spanking-new PITA in terms of testing.
> But the newsletter I'm talking about is already extensively tested -- in
> Outlook, Thunderbird, Google and Yahoo web mail, and Mac OS X Mail.
> And it works perfectly, and there's always the plain-text version with
> it to fall back on. So thanks, but I don't see the need. :-)

You're right - there is no massive disaster here (at least not yet). 
It's not as if HTML email is climate change and RSS is tidal farms! For 
the record, I don't doubt that your mailing list works and satisfies all 
the criteria demanded by the client. And I'm not implying your error of 
judgment on this.

We're ultimately on the same side, but we've got different roles to 
fulfill, which I suspect is why this is turning into one-upmanship. And 
it's the duty of people like myself to make the internet accessible and 
idiot-proof. I'll get back to you when we've cracked it!

A friend of mine will never vote for a political party that has no 
experience of running the country. I can't explain the reasoning behind 
my fundamental aversion to this kind of thinking, and I've had years to 
do it, so I'm not going to try here... But in brief, it comes down to 
Darwinism. I'm not saying you have a failure of understanding, but the 
world does work in depressing ways sometimes!


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