A weekly-ish email to my internet friends

Where it all begins

Newsletters are old-school.

Written by dominik on

1.0 Hello

If there is one thing more old-school than a newsletter, it might be a fax machine. And while it is tempting to combine these two, it would probably break my budget to fax what I write to the three people who actually want to read it.
Given that I have not one, not two, but at least three blogs (And countless of half-forgotten zombie blogs that I started some day and forgot.) in which I don’t write anything, one might wonder why I would want to write a newsletter.
If you only know email newsletters the way corporate entities write them, you probably hate them. Usually written by the PR or marketing department, they include a wealth of useless information – unless you are looking for information about that entities’ good and services. But in the last couple of months I started to see some actually interesting newsletters come out, written by people who actually have something to say and/or the knack of finding interesting things to talk about and link to.
And then there is me, who is neither.

1.1 Interesting newsletters

At the moment I am subscribed to only a few of them:

  • NextDraft
    Probably the most well-known and most consistent of the bunch. If you need to know what is happening in the world and don’t have the time or nerves for getting the kind of watercooler news through social media, this is the newsletter to subscribe to. If you do have the time and nerves to do so, still read it – there are often a whole bunch of gems in there that didn’t get into my filter bubble in other ways.
  • Things That Have Caught My Attention
    A pretty recent subscription which I have found by chance. Very smart, very well written. I blatantly stole the numbering system from him.
  • The Quartz Morning Edition
    Unlike the other two entries, this is not written by a single person but seems to be semi-automated by their CMS. It’s probably the most grown-up of the three and is a nice concise way of catching up with world news first thing in the morning.

How about you? Any interesting newsletters you like to receive? I am always open to new sources for my strange addiction to good internet content.
See what I did there? That’s Social Media skills. Driving reader engagement through open questions.

2.0 The curious case of a strange “security” feature

Playing around with newsletters I discovered a strange feature of the mail system at my current workplace. For some reason that is not clear to me, a sub-system of the mail server – and I do suspect the spam filter – follows every url in an email. This of course wreaks havoc with double-opt-in mails and even more havoc with one click unsubscribe links. Like the one below, in case I already bore you.
I can not think of any scenario where auto-following the links in an email would be a good idea.

3.0 App of the Week

This section is very much named this way because there is a section like this on The Frequency. I don’t think I will send out a newsletter weekly and I even less think I will talk about an app every time. Still.
The app of the week is Jawbone’s UP Coffee.
I have been toying with a coffee counter app since way before there were even apps. Or decent smart phones. I have a web app prototype for one (completely with a domain and everything) since at least 2002 – and the chances that I will ever finish and release it are slim to none. But despair not – the people behind the weird Jawbone UP fitness bracelet just release a free and very pretty app that does exactly that: you enter your coffee consumption and there will be a nice graph of your caffeine intake. They even try to guess if you’ll be able to sleep at night. The only thing missing is a data export.
Interestingly enough just while I was writing this newsletter, Dan Hon sent out a new Things That Have Caught My Attention where he talks about the same app in a way smarter way than I could do. So read it there, too.

4.0 Thanks

Thank you for reading. This will be back.