I have been pretty hostile to email the last couple of years, and will never be moved to apologize to it, should email ever anthropomorphize. However, I do believe that email is a great communications tool when used correctly. One of those conditions is that the emails such as those I ranted about in the post linked above disappear completely. Ther other is that some things only come via email, for whatever reason.
Take the Jason Calacanis newsletter. Forget the fact that Jason’s retirement from blogging may be a stunt (may be?). I subscribed to his new email newsletter because that is, he says, the only place he will be publishing his content– for now, and there is some good stuff in there, love him or hate him. Chris Brogan has a similar marketing ploy where he dives more deeply into his thoughtful posts. I actually find Chris’ email more digestible than his ridiculously active blog (and I say that with love).
The thing is, I only subscribe to those two emails (plus the Onion). Everything else that might be on email I get via RSS feed and access on demand rather than having it pushed into my email box among urgent client and co-worker emails.
The other thing is, I’m not everybody. I realize that a lot of people prefer to get emails, and respond to them. Most folks still don’t understand RSS (it just seems so hard to explain to people for some reason- why?), even if they unwittingly use it a lot.
OK. So I asked my ever-growing, knowledgeable network of friends on Twitter how they consume news. You can see their answers in the graphic below, in reverse chronological order. The replies are varied, even for such an RSS-savvy crowd. Many of these people subscribe to a bunch of emails still, and more importantly they know they need to prepare their content for multiple modes of delivery (email, RSS, blog, etc) if they want the widest possible audience.
UPDATE: I added an Utterzcast witht the question: what does the tool you use say about you (or your audience?)