About My E-Mail Updates

Since I’ve relaunched CONTENTIOUS, e-mail list management and e-mail updates have been major issues. I’ve had to update a large mailing list that was about a year old, integrate two mailing lists into one, and decide which system I was going to use for my list.

This has involved a lot of tweaking and testing. So far, I’ve been doing this as I’ve been sending out several recent e-mail announcements about individual postings. But doing an e-mail announcement for each weblog posting is a lot of work. Plus, I really don’t want to clutter anyone’s in-box with daily postings.

So what I’ve decided to do from here on out is to distribute an e-mail announcement only once every few days to tell CONTENTIOUS readers about recent postings – unless I post something so important and time-sensitive that it warrants an immediate e-mail announcement to my full list. I think that strategy will be more manageable for my subscribers, and for me.

If you want to find out about CONTENTIOUS postings as soon as they hit the Web, your best bet is to subscribe to my RSS feed. (Again, if you don’t know what RSS feeds are or how to use them, see my RSS backgrounder.)

Welcome to the Relaunched CONTENTIOUS!

My online publication CONTENTIOUS began life as a Web-based online newsletter in 1998. In the years that followed I branched out into offering an e-mail version as well. It was great, and hectic – and a whole lot to manage! Coding every page by hand, plus producing each e-mail newsletter by hand, let alone the writing and editing, and mailing-list management, was a huge task.

After letting CONTENTIOUS lie fallow for awhile so I could work on other projects, I’ve relaunched it in a new, easier-to-manage, and far more flexible and interactive form – a weblog. Here’s what your can expect from the new version of CONTENTIOUS…
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Credibility and the Blogger-Journalist Spectrum

Frankly, for years now I’ve been fairly annoyed at the attitude I get from many of my colleagues from mainstream media. These are the journalists, editors, and publishers who blithely dismiss online or independent journalism as inherently lacking in credibility. Not only is that belief inaccurate and counterproductive, it’s shortsighted.

I’d like to call to your attention a fabulous posting in one of my very favorite Weblogs, Phil Wolff’s A Klog Apart. Check out the Oct. 17, 2003 entry, How Much of a Journalist Are You, Blogger?, in which he discusses the kinds of standards which lend credibility to news reporting, regardless of who’s doing the reporting.

I’m pretty opinionated on the matter of credibility among online publishers. I’ve long held that the credibility of news and commentary stems not from the nature of the publisher but rather from intent, knowledge, and skill. I believe that independent publishers (online and elsewhere) and other types of organizations (such as companies or advocacy groups) can provide news and comment that is as valuable – sometimes even more valuable – than what comes out of many established news organizations. Wolff sets a fine example in this regard.
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