A word about email subscriptions

A couple days ago I switched delivery systems for the daily email version of Via Negativa’s feed from Feedblitz to MailChimp. I imported the list of subscribers and then stopped delivery of the former. My reason was simple: the free version of Feedblitz has too many ads, and they sometimes cross the line from distracting to offensive (an ad for the men’s magazine Maxim featuring a photo of a woman’s butt in a bikini right after one of Luisa’s poems?!). I was already using MailChimp for a couple other lists, including the popular weekly digest of posts at Moving Poems and it seems to work out. They allow 10,000 free emails a month through their system, so I think it’ll be a while before I exceed that.

I believe all active daily Via Negativa subscribers should now be on the new system, but if not, use the link in the black bar under the header here to sign up. You’ll notice a drop-down link to the weekly digest — which now includes full text of all posts — if you prefer that. One thing to note is that MailChimp isn’t as good as Feedblitz in inserting spaces for paragraph and stanza breaks in all email systems, but each post has a link you can click on to see it as it’s supposed to look on the web.

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I keep telling myself I’m going to do a proper post comparing the different free follow-by-email options for bloggers, but who knows if I’ll get around to that. Another ad-free option I’ve used in the past is Feedburner, and it was also pretty good. If you’re using Feedburner for your main feed anyway, I’d advise trying it. If your site is hosted by WordPress.com, though, I strongly advise just using their own email subscription service, available as a widget. It’s gotten better and better with formatting, and as a result we’re about to switch to it at qarrtsiluni. As an added bonus, when people sign up through that form, they get to choose their delivery option: instantaneous, daily, or weekly.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

2 Comments


  1. I email my students’ parents regularly on MailChimp. Easy and free. I found it only two months ago after paying $15 a month for the same service through ConstantContact for several years until it dawned on me that perhaps someone is doing the same thing for free these days . . .

    Reply

    1. I don’t know if I’d agree with the “easy” part — took me the longest time to figure out the difference between lists and campaigns; how to create an automatically recurring RSS campaign; how to pause, edit and resume, etc. And the huge array of design choices is distracting, too. But it is a quality free product, no doubt.

      Reply

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