Housekeeping note: change of email subscription service

Putting on my web admin hat for a second to bring you this important announcement (clears throat): Henceforth, Via Negativa subscriptions will be served by rather than Mailchimp, which doesn’t work too consistently anymore. That’s because we have too many subscribers for Mailchimp to handle on their free plan—a quality problem, I suppose—and I didn’t feel like hitting y’all up to cover the cost of a paid plan ($27/month! Yikes). I’ve swapped in the new form in the sidebar, and a checkbox will appear below the comment form at the bottom of every post. Here’s the form as well for your convenience:

If you’d like a daily or weekly digest instead of receiving each post as soon as Luisa or I publish it, that power is now in your hands! Here’s what they’re telling us:

After your visitors sign up to subscribe, they will be sent a confirmation email. In that email, they will click Confirm now. After they do this, they’ll receive all new posts and/or comments.

Subscribers can manage all their subscriptions and have the flexibility to choose between instant, daily, or weekly digest delivery options from their accounts. To do so, they can:

  1. Go to and log in to their account if they haven’t already.
  2. Click on Reader in the toolbar.
  3. From the right sidebar titled “Subscriptions”, click Manage.
  4. On the subscriptions management page, click the meatballs menu icon for a given site and select their preferences.

I think you’ll find that (via the Jetpack plugin for self-hosted sites like this one) does a pretty good job. A bunch of folks already read the site this way, having snuck in through the WordPress Reader, which I highly recommend as a hub for all the blogs, magazines and newspapers you follow. (Feedly is another solid option.)

One drawback with the emails is that embedded media such as videos aren’t shown, and that is the main thing that kept me from switching our subscription service for years, but I don’t post as many videos as I used to, so oh well. Links will appear in their place.

The other drawback, which a lot of web admins treat as a benefit, is that posts go out instantaneously, straight from the servers, and so we content creators lose the grace period we get with RSS to correct that one embarrassing typo that only appears after we hit the Publish button.1 (Yes, I know, an old man complaining about the fast pace of things nowadays is nothing new, LOL.)

I do think subscriptions will continue to be free and work well for the foreseeable future, just because Substack is offering such a great competitive service.

  1. One? There were two in this very post! ↩︎

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