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IndieWeb by mail was a session at IndieWebCamp Nuremberg 2017.

Notes archived from: https://etherpad.indieweb.org/email

IndieWebCamp Nuremberg 2017

Session: IndieWeb by mail

When: 2017-05-20 16:30


  • sgreger
  • sebastian
  • jkphl
  • cweiske
  • julieanneonying
  • walter ebert
  •  ??


Initial motivations for participating in session:

  • target group of personal blog includes people not using "traditional" web tools (rss, indie reader, twitter)
  • email is used by everybody
  • easy way to reach people
  • increasing popularity of e-mail newsletters, particularly in web scene
  • indieweb site as a tool for newsletter/zine-style publishing
    • creating content on the web feed
    • semi-automated generation of a "zine"
  • people's ability to permanently scan other websites is limited
  • possibility to subscribe sparse "publication" from a source that has valuable information and is trustworthy

  1. traitionally newspapers relevant because of the redactional filter
  2. liberation "it is great to publish/read everything"
  3. renaissance of curated publications?

important difference: active/passive

  • thing on the web i need to pick up
  • email comes to me (i once decided to subscribe, now i don't need to worry about it)
  • twitter is a stream that runs past ("llike a firefighter's hose that you can take into your mouth or not")
  • related topic: notifications
    • now also possible in the browser
    • possibilities on/off
    • twitter "moments": user can aggregate reader-centric collections of tweets
  • attitude as the pubisher is different:
    • here's my newsletter - i have curated this for you
    • vs. web: here's my stuff, i push it to my site and you can go read it if you want
  • sending frequency is crucial design aspect

other differentiating aspect of e-mail:

  • email has two content compontent: subject and message content
  • this is similar in most feed readers
    • very efficient way to go through large amounts of information at once
    • reason for popularity of feed readers with power users
  • twitter does not provide this
  • allows pre-screening for the reader
  • in social media silos often images serve to attract interest rather than a "subject line" in emails

big benefit:

  • decentralized

posting by e-mail

  • not used much
  • wordpress enables posting-by-mail
  • github enables reply-by-mail and adds mail as comment to issue

feedback loop on e-mail?

  • link to a url that registers a "like"

privacy aspect

  • tracking should be kept to a minimum
  • carefully evaluate collection of personally identifiable data (opens/clicks) in the emails

html vs plain e-mails

  • how to make plain text from html? (problems e.g. with hyperlinks indicated by footnotes)

provicative quesstion: what does e-mail have to do with indieweb? > email as distribution channel?

  • email as a posse syndication channel:
  • sending to various target groups
  • targeing possibilities?
  • every post separate or aggregate e-mails
  • unclear how "this week on the indieweb"-email is created (manual component in the workflow?)

other ideas:

  • bookmarking via e-mail: sending urls to indie bookmarking system

sgreger plans to use https://sendy.co/ to send mails