Skip to content

Blog posts via email

September 26, 2009

Blog posts via email? What’s the world coming to?

Whatever next? Twitter tribes (Twibes) seceding from Twitter?

Here I am, posting this to my blog via email. Powerfully simple.

Think of the limitless possibilities. One enticing prospect is the two-way traffic between a mailing list and a blog. You email a mailing list and that post appears simultaneously on a mirror blog. By the same token, you write something on your blog and it gets automatically sent to its twin mailing list.

What’s the point of such duplication? I can hear you ask. Aren’t we already drowning in an ocean of digital clutter?

Here’s the point: if the mailing list is any good, you’re adding valuable content to the blogosphere – and the same applies inversely. Some of this valuable content then gets commented upon by blog post readers who cannot be expected to be on every single mailing list. So what started as a reply to a previous mailing list comment acquires new life as its own blog post, and may go on to beget its own thread.

Redundancy is good, so long as you’re bouncing about quality content across platforms.

Advertisements
6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 26, 2009 11:37 pm

    Redundancy is good from an archival standpoint but if someone else gets the same idea as you using the same mailing lists, both of you can quickly kill your google love due to duplicate content. Google and other search engines are doing their best to remove digital clutter.

    If you are going to post duped content at least tag the link to it rel=”nofollow”.

  2. September 27, 2009 11:10 pm

    thanks Joshua. I had in mind a specific mailing list I used to run that doesn’t have a public archive. What if list subscribers had the option of posting a copy of some or all of their posts directly to a blog tied to that list?

    by the way, what do you make of posterous, a type of blog written via email? I reckon it suits people like me who’ve been writing emails for donkeys years but not so to those youngsters who seldom or never send emails. To us, sending email is indeed (as claimed by the posterous publicity) a most ‘natural’ thing to do.

  3. September 28, 2009 2:52 pm

    “I had in mind a specific mailing list I used to run that doesn’t have a public archive. ”
    The EASA media list, right? Yea, it is a shame it isn’t public. I lurk that list.

    “What if list subscribers had the option of posting a copy of some or all of their posts directly to a blog tied to that list?”
    That would be interesting, although I don’t think a blog would be the best choice. Rather, just making the listserv archive public would be better. The reason being that you don’t want multiple sources of dialog. The conversation would get all mucked up that way.

    Having the option not to post a post to a public area… well some people are insecure but if you have the guts to say something to your colleagues in the field, the public is probably not going to be much worse. Plus there is no worries of missing sections of conversation if all posts are archived.

    “by the way, what do you make of posterous, a type of blog written via email?”
    It is dead simple. For people that need dead simple, the only thing that gives me pause is that it is a start-up company.

    “I reckon it suits people like me who’ve been writing emails for donkeys years but not so to those youngsters who seldom or never send emails. To us, sending email is indeed (as claimed by the posterous publicity) a most ‘natural’ thing to do.”
    Kids these days rarely use e-mail effectively. In my generation, just about everyone is a computer expert because they had to be in order to socialize effectively on the internet. These days cellphones and ready-made websites are easier and more effective points of socialization. So to the point I agree youngsters have weak e-mail fu.

    The one thing my generation and older knows is e-mail, if nothing else. So posterous is good.

    But if you are willing to learn a tiny bit more I would use Ping.fm (w:ping.fm) instead. It does the same thing as posterous except it posts to anything and everything at once separately or all at the same time including wordpress.com blogs. You can update from a variety of sources; e-mail, chat, txt, iphone, the website, or using various widgets. This means you can post to your status on facebook, myspace, twitter and even your blog from a cell txt or email. Or you can do a full post via e-mail. Not dead simple as posterous but a lot more powerful.

    • September 29, 2009 9:19 am

      Yes, I was referring to the EASA media anthropology list. There were different views on whether to go public and we somehow never got round to having a vote, which the pro-public archive lot would have undoubtedly won. I think it’s time to have that vote!

      Ping.fm sounds very powerful, it seems to encapsulate Barry Wellman’s idea of the networked individualist! Will have a look, thanks!

  4. September 28, 2009 9:21 pm

    I have found that blogging via email is still a challenging science or practice, especially for categories, keywords, layout, images, links, and the like. I do agree with you that there are a number of wonderful possibilities with it, especially for team work and ongoing reflectivity.

    Have you found a useful tool for doing this? I use WordPress, and could never get the internal email blogging program to work well . . .

    • September 29, 2009 9:15 am

      Hi Jeffrey

      I’ve only tried a couple of times with WordPress and once with my new posterous.com site (postillerous) with text only, and there were problems with posterous’ layout. I’ll keep you posteroused.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: