Lately I’ve been hearing bloggers mention the great volume of their readers receiving blog posts via email. This is understandable, since blogging is still relatively new to the world and the large majority of it’s users really do not understand most of the blogging mumbo-jumbo, such as “RSS” and “blogosphere”. The idea of receiving a daily or weekly email on a given subject fits much better into a slightly older view of how the Internet works.
One example of this is from Paul Piotrowski who wrote of blog post in August that showed the huge spike in traffic reported from Feedburner when he incorporated the statistics from Aweber by linking the accounts. Aweber specializes in sending opted-in email and does it very well. I’m hoping to write a post on Aweber in the future.
The next part of this thought process came when I was listening to an episode of the TWIT (This Week In Tech) podcast in which Jason Calicanis spoke of how he is favoring sending emails to a mailing list instead of blogging. He now has a following large enough that he does not need the exposure that blogging brings and he finds that the feedback rate from direct emails is much higher. Many readers, for various reasons, do not want to publish their opinion to the world, but will express it directly to the author if given the chance.
So we have two great communication mediums. Blogging gives you great exposure and direct emailing brings you closer to your audience. Is there a compromise between these two open and closed forms of blogging? I know that, in my company MailChannels, we need exposure. We are building a community of readers as we establish ourselves as experts in the arena of anti-spam. We’d like to draw them in from all the unknown places they arrive at our blog from and then continue to build the communication relationship with them in a forum they understand and in which they feel comfortable to express their views.
I’ve been thinking about this and the best idea I can come up with, that would work for us, is to have a blog for exposure and then finish each blog post with email opt-in for further thoughts from the blog author and opportunity to reply directly to author via email. I know there are many die-hard bloggers who may think this redundant and that RSS is the perfect medium, but I really believe that email is still an extremely powerful medium.
Obviously, if this is something new then it will need a new name. If video blogging = vlogging, then I guess semi-closed blogging = sclogging.
Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts on this. Or would you prefer to reply via email?