Rebecca Greenfield, writing for Fast Company, traces the return of the internet newsletter to the death of Google Reader. A representative from TinyLetter told her that there was an uptick in users just as Google pulled the plug last year. Some of us switched to other RSS readers, nevertheless a number of bloggers saw their community and traffic take a hit, and posted less as a result.
We subscribe to newsletters because we like someone and take interest in their unique points-of-view. Unless I am mistaken, hate-subscribing isn’t actually a thing.
As pointed to in the last part of the quote, part of the allure of email newsletters is more perfectly “capturing” (I don’t know what more concise word to use) your audience and directly knowing who they are. There’s much value in that for people who are trying to establish their independence by building up a “captured” audience – that’s what, for example, Scoble’s value is: he’s a “channel” of “eyeballs” that follow him around. That may all sound creepy – feel free to use the word “conversation” if you want to be all Cluetrain – it’s all synonyms to me.
Also, this is another case of the cobbler’s kids wearing no shoes for me.