Equilibrium newsletter

tl;dr I’m launching a newsletter; here’s a sample.

Hello all,

I want to share with you a small project that I’ve been thinking about for years, and I’m about to launch. As you can tell from the topic’s title, it’s not an app of any kind, but since it will include some content about startups and I’m a fan of the podcast (plus, lately I’ve been spending some time in the forum as well), I thought it will be a good fit to share it here.

Equilibrium is a monthly (so it won’t become overwhelming) newsletter which includes hand-picked links to articles and resources mostly about (web) development and design, startups, and other computer science related topics, as well as a few drops of unrelated (and sometimes geeky) topics, such as games and science fiction novels, that I find interesting.

I should also mention that it’s not a “real” newsletter, since the creation date of the content is irrelevant. For example, it might include articles written three years ago (provided that they’re still relevant).

You can read issue #0 which I prepared as a sample by clicking here. Issue #1 will be sent in less than a week (on 1st of May).

If you find it interesting, you can subscribe on its homepage.

Any feedback is welcome. :slight_smile:

I really like this. Keep it up!

Do you plan to charge for subscriptions? Or have sponsors?

Also, I’d recommend dropping the confirmation emails. It’s a personal pet peeve but taking 2 or 3 emails to sign up to a mailing list drives me nuts.


Unless you want to go to spammer hell, I suggest you keep the optin confirmation. :smile:

People are used to confirming their emails by now. It’s considered standard practice with almost every web app/list I’ve used, and there is no good reason to drop it.

To each his own. I don’t think I’ve ever personally received a confirmation for a list I didn’t request to be signed up for.

@benedmunds: Thanks! :slight_smile:

Regarding your questions, I don’t have a monetisation plan about it, and honestly I don’t even know if I want to monetise it somehow.

It’s a project of passion; I just love newsletters and I wanted to publish one for a long time.

That being said, I might consider having a sponsor at some point, but I don’t think it’s something I’ll actively look for in the near future.

Regarding the confirmation email, I have to agree with @shantnu. I believe it’s both important (e.g. for legal reasons) and ethical to have confirmation from the actual owner of the email that you have his/her permission to use it. I can elaborate on that in another reply if you want me to.

Also, I’ve never seen a process of 2 or 3 emails just to sign up to a mailing list. What do they ask for, apart from clicking to a link to verify your email?

Thanks again for the feedback!

When I say 2 or 3 emails I mean the following process -

Signup -> Email Confirm -> Confirm -> Email Success -> Email Initial Intro = 3 emails

Your process didn’t have the last step but I see that a lot. Feel free to disagree, I understand the point. I just don’t think it’s a real world issue, just theoretical. If someone did sign me up inappropriately I could just unsub. Again though, to each his own. It’s just a personal pet peeve.

I understand the frustration. It annoys me too but I think it’s less about “accidental subscriptions” and more about third party CYA measures. Basically, double opt-ins are an attempt to keep mail servers off the global shit list. It also prevents list bloat from people entering a@a.com in your form in order to get instant access to your free XYZ report.

I can see that being overwhelming in certain situations, I’m not even sure if I like the “thank you” email MailChimp sends for my list, but that’s irrelevant of the confirmation process. I mean that you can still get 2-3 “thank you for subscribing” and “here’s some info about us” emails even if you are not asked to confirm your email.

I agree that in the bottom line it’s a personal choice, but I believe it is a real world issue (this time I’ll elaborate).

In a lot of countries, you can sue or file a complaint against spammers, which can lead to them paying a substantial amount of money in fines. Even if it doesn’t come to that, spammers can face other issues: domain names can be automatically marked as spam in popular services such as gmail; static IPs can be marked as spam in several lists; services like MailChimp can suspend accounts if a threshold of emails are reported as spam.

In theory, if you are not a spammer you don’t have much to worry about, because the most common way for a wrong email to end up in your mailing list is if someone forgets his email and enters another person’s email thinking it’s his own, or if he just misspells it.

But unfortunately, in the real world, there are bad and unpredictable people who will intentionally try to harm you and/or your business in any way, most likely because they are a competitor. For example, I’ve seen the following happen more than once while working on another people’s projects as a freelance web developer: massive sign-ups (almost all of them ultimately unconfirmed) from a few IPs within hours or even days.

Of course, you can establish techniques to prevent that up to an extend, but you are still in risk that even a few “wrong” emails will get through. If that happens, you then rely to the recipient; he may say “oh, I received that by mistake, let’s unsubscribe and delete it” (or just delete it if it’s a confirmation email), he may say “mark as spam” like I do, he might even say “I’m fed up about spammers, let’s file a complaint”.

I don’t want to leave that choice to the user, and as I mentioned in a previous message I don’t believe it’s ethical to add people to mailing lists without having their consent (you don’t know it’s their email unless they confirm it).

Anyway, I get your point of view as well, and I’m not trying to argue with you or something (I think it’s clear but you never know :stuck_out_tongue: ). It was merely an opportunity to document my thoughts on the subject.

The “You have successfully subscribed” is a useless email, I agree, and I always turn it off for my lists. The only time it is useful is if you are giving a free goodie, like a ebook.

So yeah, follow the bare minimum to not be tagged a spammer, but always turn off these “helpful” features Mailchimp fosters on to you.