@@ email / newsletters / "low tech" decentralized web @@


there’s been a few topics about decentralized communication / alternative social networks in LinesWorld and they’ve had me thinking about the good old decentralized communication standard that’s already in wide use, and how we as humans could be using it more meaningfully in the ever present year of 2020.

absolutely it is not a current or ideal tool, but everybody has one and it’s perfectly open which makes it better than most technologies in my mind (and it speaks fluent html :ok_hand:).

(I desperately which I was old enough to have experienced 90’s internet, but hey, most of it’s still around)

obviously we’re already tied to the major platforms but I’m thinking about putting out more communications in email form just to partially cut my dependencies on those & to make it easier for others to back out a little more. a personal newsletter, the complete opposite of most newsletters. maybe with little prompts where I ask you to reply and tell me about your day. I’d encourage others to do the same ! it feels like a perfectly actionable way to reduce dependencies to major social media platforms if you don’t like that sort of thing (it’s fine if you do, I sort of do).

share your newsletter !

also seeking recommendations for email hosting, clients, and newsletter tools
both of the DIY self-hosted variety (which I’d prefer) and simpler easy to use cloud things (I really ought to be off google by now : | )


Email is dead; long live email.


Not my newsletter but one I enjoy is https://www.densediscovery.com/

I’ve been really excited about the development of mimedown



Email is the only successful decentralized medium right? <3 email. Would love to subscribe to all y’alls mailing lists.


I’m already derailing because dang there are funny gifs about computers


I also like the idea of listservs, the precursors to forums (like this one!). While going back in time to get older posts wasn’t as easy, they were a great place to toss out requests for help, share new ideas, or carry on longer form conversations. The option to get daily or even weekly digest emails was golden - like your own personal newspaper. While the forum format is far more useful for actual information retrieval and archival, the in-the-moment feeling of listservs, and the way you could batch reading and then do your replies in one sitting, then carry on with your life until the next set of updates really gave a mental space that the instantaneous, notification-driven info frenzy we live in today just doesn’t offer.


Tech-wise, for my “larger” list, I was using sendgrid but I hit their monthly free limit… so I switched to mailgun. I’m using both via their API tho. I think mailchimp is the one most folks use but it gets expensive fast…

That said I also send out emails to a tiny list under 50 folks, and I just bcc them from my normal account…

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I’ve never experienced this but I want to research

something that could allow everyone to see responses somehow and be archived on a personal site would be cool. all DIY / personal cloud

everyone has their own social network


I use Tinyletter for my weekly/monthly music related link compiling, Caesura Letter.

Tinyletter is ok…I try to embrace it’s simplicity and web 1.5 feel.

I strongly agree that personal site archives would be amazing especially for a link dump style format. You can roll your own with, for example, WordPress and a newsletter plug-in, but the emailing portion can get messy.


Don’t email 100+ people from your personal account on the regular probably… depending on your provider you’re on the edge of getting flagged. If you try to do the same from your own server you might get on a blacklist… from what I’ve heard, in 2020 you use a provider (can be low level and transactional like mailgun) or you get blacklisted by spam groups…


I develop with wordpress every day - I could implement something very quickly, but as a platform it’s a purified version of hell in my opinion :laughing:

markdown forever preferably


I remember this one from real life!!!

Also in wp every day. Also would love to see a markdown driven newsletter / nodb flatfile cms archive type thing.

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coool, I’ll do research and put together a guide maybe

I imagine a personal server can interface with a commercial email tool

I’m glad we’re together in this @healthylives . php makes me want to:


There’s a non-trivial amount of work that goes into sending email in a public sense from a personal server, and even then it’s easy to get blacklisted…

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I do the This Week in Sound email newsletter (tinyletter.com/disquiet). I usually do it for a few weeks in a row, then get overwhelmed by other things, then take a break, and then start it up again. I did it last Monday, and another issue should go out this evening. As of today it’s got a little over 1,700 subscribers. I love doing it.


Shout out to Purity wiki on the alt web publishing front, btw.


I mostly meant using a personal server for archiving purposes, if I have to author it somewhere else that’s nbd. we’ll see though ! I don’t mind getting dirty in server world & semi-comfortable there

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Marc you’ve got about 10x my subscribers and 1000x my word count each issue. Keep it up! :grin: