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Has the e-newsletter seen its day

20 October 2014

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What’s your addiction? For me it’s certainly not e-newsletters. But I did read the other day about an American who found himself addicted to Google Glass (above) – the wearable technology which displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format. He was wearing the technology for 18-hour stretches (taking them off to shower) and becoming irritable if he was not able to use them.

I believe he had what they call Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD).

Our obsession with technology if you think about it began with radio in the 1930s followed by television in the 1960s and I do remember all those newspaper articles about the sort of odd children we were going to have watching television and then videos and playing video games I suppose the current digital age and our addiction to email, newsletters, social media, being online and connected is just more of the same.

Of course, just because some of us are compulsive doesn’t mean we are addicted. Things only really become troubling when an obsessive activity interferes with normal life. Hey, but what’s a normal life?

Certainly, if you saw my inbox, especially all the newsletters I get (some of which I really do not remember signing up to) you’d think I had an IAD.

I have on my mailbox at home “No Junk Mail, Please”, and I think I’m going to have to get on for my computer inbox. I get 100s of newsletters - sometimes a day - and I spend a lot of time deleting them. I know I can unsubscribe and I do, but how did I get on the list in the first place is my question? I know I haven’t signed up to receive anything like Goop (Gwynneth Paltrow’s newsletter), but every now and then - and this is also strange - newsletters will pop into my inbox from the oddest places.

It makes me wonder has the e-newsletter hit its use-by date and if so, ‘what is the best way to get my attention’. Photos work. Facebook is another vehicle – but Facebook alerts run the risk of going the way of the newsletter – too many all the time. LinkedIn is perhaps another way to get the message across, especially when it comes down to work.

Not that long ago we polled Ruby members around which social media channels they use: Facebook came out streets ahead and LinkedIn came second. Instagram rated well, but I wonder if all that hasn’t changed.

I know I much prefer the visual. One picture can tell a thousand stories but a tight caption with an image can really communicate a strong message to members who are time poor and information hungry.



  • Petra Williams

    Petra Williams 5 years ago

    I've been pondering this myself. E-newsletters are definitely a thing of the past. Blogs maybe? Facebook maybe - then again how to prevent your info getting lost in the billions of newsfeeds? I suppose it's what your target audience hangs out and enjoys.