Blog vs. Ezine Publishing

MagazinesJust thinking out loud.

My electronic publishing roots are so very old school. The “plain text newsletter files passed along through single line dialup Bulletin Board Systems (BBSs) before anyone had an inkling what the Internet was” kind of old school. Yeah, those were ezines, eventually a “new” publication format everyone was getting excited over when the Web boomed in the 90s. Blog? Whazzat?

It’s been a while since I last purposely worked on putting together an ezine “issue.” Fun to do, absolutely, but I’ve since moved on to blogging. Still have a number of friends who do them though — weeklies, monthlies, some for years, even a decade plus. While I, on the other hand, have long since abandoned the format and simply use a free service like Google Feedburner to automatically take posts from this blog’s RSS feed and periodically email links and summaries to email subscribers who prefer to get their Wordpreneur fix that way instead of dropping by the blog directly. That’s what you’ll be subscribing to if you click on the orange RSS Feed icon you see on the right — OK, here it is too:

(Although, now that I’m thinking about it, I really should be doing more than just that orange icon — like an actual subscription email data entry “form” — to build a subscriber list.)

Depending on how often I add content to Wordpreneur, some of those emails Feedburner automatically sends out look pretty darn ezine-ish, actually, and compelling. I’ll paste one below, from just yesterday, links and all, as an example. I think I could opt to have whole posts sent instead of these short bursts, but for a whole bunch of reasons I’ve decided against doing that. Traditional ezine publishers, on the other hand, normally do send whole articles in each issue, and with some, particularly the monthlies, two or more of them in each issue. And intros and ads and news and links and chatter and etc. etc. etc. besides. They are, after all, newsletters.

Neither here nor there and to each his own. Is my way (RSS updates packaged in auto-emails) better than the more traditional-like ezine? No idea. No data on that, although I would imagine there is some somewhere we can find if we just Google around. But something in the “blogs are better” camp did jump out at me as I quickly scanned through yesterday’s Feedburner-generated update I got in my inbox:

Sharing links. It’s easier for folks to share the direct links to just the blog content they want to share. Whether they want to pass it around by email to personal contacts or write about in articles and blog posts (how I normally end up sharing links), it’s just plain easier.

Not to mention eliminates non-sharing because they can’t share just the content they want! That’s for persnickety folks like me, actually. Assuming we’re lucky enough the ezine publisher actually posts issues online for us to be able to link to (not always), I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to link to an article in an issue but scrapped that idea since I didn’t want my readers to: (a) be needlessly exposed to all the other jibber-jabber (other articles, ads, notices, news, admin stuff, blah blah blah) that’s in a typical ezine, and (b) be forced to wade through that aforementioned jibber-jabber just to get to the desired content, what with ezine content being pretty linear. Unless there’s no alternative content. But guess what: Usually there is, somewhere else, or even self-generated quickly.

Blogs have all that other stuff too? Peripherally, yeah. Peripherally. Big diff.

Food for thought.

Here’s that copy of the Feedburner-generated “issue” from fresh Wordpreneur content:

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