Oh my. David Peralty of XFEP is annoyed with e-mail newsletters that are just rehashes of the RSS feed. I publish one of those myself, and without the “special notes” David mentions, using Feedburner. David says:
You should be happy that I subscribe to your RSS feed rather than punish me by making me get the same information two different ways so that you look like you have twice as many subscribers.
Agreed, and some blogs most certainly push newsletters for no reason other than to pimp the subscriber count, like David reasons. However, there’s another thing to take into consideration. If you don’t push your e-mail newsletter, how will the RSS un-savvy of your readership subscribe to your blog?
The blogosphere tend to forget about those, the ones who doesn’t subscribe to 100+ RSS feeds, using Google Reader or Bloglines to keep it under control. There are a lot of people I have worked with over the years that just don’t want anything to do with RSS, which I’d say is because they haven’t seen the greatness of it all just yet, after all, they are journalists and researchers and it would definitely save them time subscribing to their sources via RSS. They should be the target audience of RSS feeds, but still some are opting out, unwilling to learn or just not interested in it, it doesn’t matter.
And then there’s the totally RSS ignorant crowd. They look at that button popping up everywhere, and they feel left out, and that in turn strengthens whatever negative feelings they might have for blogs in the first place. Most blogs doesn’t even tell the readership what that RSS icon is, how it works, how the reader could use it, they just slap it up there.
That same person probably subscribes to a few e-mail newsletters. That blog updates via e-mail signup form is a known functionality.
I’m pretty sure David Peralty knows that, his post is a rant after all, and they should be short and sharp. However, just so you don’t get it wrong: E-mail subscription offers are a great way to connect with the not so technical crowd.
You should take that opportunity, even if it just means that you’ll publish a RSS rehash with Feedburner.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.