Jan-Lukas Else

Thoughts of an IT expert

Newsletters didn’t kill Blogs

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Short link: https://b.jlel.se/s/3a9
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In my IndieWeb bubble, this essay by Robin Rendle about newsletters has been circulating for a few days. It says newsletters have killed blogs, blogs are too complex and newsletters are the future, because they are easier (or at least that’s how I understood it).

I am not a fan of newsletters, as I had blogged previously:

Newsletters however popup in your email inbox and create pressure. The newsletter stays in your inbox, always reminding you, you haven’t looked at it yet. It interrupts your productivity. (Or at least this is how I feel.) I tried subscribing to newsletters, but always decided to unsubscribe again, because those mails annoyed me just too much.

Besides that, somehow I can’t understand the view that newsletters killed blogs. Currently I follow 67 blogs and they tend to become more over time.

And as Manuel Moreale says so well, blogs are no more complicated than newsletters:

Most people don’t run newsletters themselves. I certainly don’t. They usually rely on a third party platform that does everything for them. If that is the criteria, then sign up for Ghost and you’re good to go. They’ll provide all the tools and it’s as easy to start a blog there as it is to run a newsletter on MailChimp or Substack.

I would say that if you look at it fairly and compare blogs with self-hosted newsletters, the latter are even more complicated. If you want to do that, then besides a web server you also need a mail server (or a service to send mass mails) and have to deal with privacy stuff (GDPR). Blogs are more anonymous. But if you’re only interested in follower numbers, then you’re probably better off with a newsletter or a profile on Medium.

But whether blog or newsletter is ultimately up to everyone. I think it’s good when people share their thoughts and experiences. Writing sometimes helps to sort thoughts or to share what you have learned yourself. And of course I find it exciting to learn about other perspectives.

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Jan-Lukas Else
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