[thelist] Newsletter as HTML Email

Hassan Schroeder hassan.schroeder at gmail.com
Thu Feb 1 10:41:14 CST 2007

On 2/1/07, Barney Carroll <barney at textmatters.com> wrote:

> I'm not so sure about the orange icon (you do know what I'm talking
> about, right? -
> http://www.somerandomdude.net/images/articles/rss_vs_rss.gif) being that
> complicated,

Hence my question about a site with "an orange icon" -- the one you
cite doesn't appear on Huffington's blog signup, though you have to
pick one of two mysterious choices. Closer to home, look at the first
of the list of Steven's blogs -- no less than 9 icons under "Feeds",
only one of which says "subscribe" and none of which say "RSS".
This is "better" than a simple text box to sign up for a newsletter?
[Steven, I realize your audience is not Arianna Huffington's  :-) ]

Yes, I'm aware of the whole silly 0.91/1.0/2.0/Atom mess -- that's not
the end user's problem. Do you think email adoption would be what
it is now, if *non-technical end users* had to choose one of several
competing email technologies? And first choose an email client that
used that technology?

>    .......           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.

The example process I used of trying to sign up for a mainstream
blog should illustrate the scope of the problem.

> I don't think you give non-techie humans enough
> credit. They learnt how to turn on their PC and open IE, didn't they?

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*.

> Besides, the alternative of not doing anything and basking in the status
> quo is getting worse all the time. Can you give us an example of on of
> your HTML newsletters? List users could send you back screenshots of
> what the product looks like on their various interfaces. Why not?

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. :-)

Hassan Schroeder ------------------------ hassan.schroeder at gmail.com

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