This adds more weight to my article about ezines not being dead recently published in my Newsletter Nuggets ezine (Oct. 5, 2006), which I’ll include here:
I read a colleague’s newsletter this week that was titled “The Death of the Newsletter.” In it, he expressed concern that his ezine wasn’t getting delivered and that excess spam was spoiling email as an effective way to get his message out.
Instead he was now writing daily on his blog, and he invited his readers to sign up for his RSS feed so they could get regular updates from his blog postings.
Two reactions: Good for him, I love blogs. And, too bad he will lose readers who get confused or phobic about learning- yet again – something new on the Web (RSS feeds? Wot’s dat?).
First of all, I don’t think email is dead. And he should keep publishing the ezine to drive people over to read his blog. The two go hand in hand and can work together. Why limit the ways people can access your messages?
Secondly, not enough people understand and use RSS feeds. While it is true that RSS makes delivery easy and avoids email inboxes, not enough people are using it as yet (12-15% of readers).
To give you an idea of what it is, and how to use it, if you customize your “My Yahoo” page to be your default Internet page, you can add blog “feeds” to it. You can get snippets of new blog posts delivered onto that page. (You can do the same with other pages like “My MSN,” and Google versions.
It’s a great way to stay up to date with your favorite blogs without having to go Web surfing.
I do agree with my colleague, RSS is nifty and will be more common in the future. So if you are an early adopter, you are probably already using one of the feed readers to get news and blog posts delivered to you that way. If you like to wait until something becomes common practice, that’s fine too. Just know that it exists to make your information gathering tasks easier… and never mind trying to understand it, or what RSS stands for…