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Linked – How I Learned to Love Newsletters

Y’all know that I’m a big fan of RSS. I’ve always maintained that using social media is fine, but if you want to follow a news source, blog, etc., you must get their RSS feed in a feed reader. You can’t trust any social networks to show you the things posted by every news source you follow.

The logic behind it was never going to work, and I honestly think it’s only gotten worse over the last few years. For example, I share links to every post from my blogs on social platforms right after the post goes live. The number of people who click that link to read the post is almost zero despite thousands of “followers.” I know the number of followers who even see the link is a fraction of the total.

On the other hand, I’ve also had to acknowledge that most people aren’t going to take the time to learn how to set up and use an RSS reader. I’m uncommon in that regard.

This left us with sending email newsletters, but for a long time, that meant figuring out some way to get your email to an inbox that was likely awash in junk mail. Email anti-spam tools and filters have improved, and as the author below points out, it’s become a little easier to get noticed in an inbox.

I don’t think email newsletters are massively successful in getting people to read my blog, but they’re far better than anything I do with RSS and social media sharing—it’s not even close. Maybe it’s just that the other options have gotten so poor that email looks so much better now. Since setting up my newsletters, I’ve subscribed to many more than I used to. I need the ability to get essential news in places where I’ll see it and not hope I happen to see it come across a social media feed. That’s not good enough.

As the author says, algorithms aren’t working to keep us well informed. RSS can work, but it takes some effort on our part and the availability of an RSS feed from the site we want to follow. An email newsletter shows up.

I might not love email, but I can’t argue with that.

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