It’s a shame that more and more bloggers are moving to email newsletters in leau of RSS. Even for bloggers that don’t charge for their content, I’m seeing more blogs that are encouraging readers to sign up to an email newsletter, instead of providing a link to an RSS feed.
I can see why they do this. Email addresses are valuable, and sites like Stratechery and services like Substack show that it’s possible to have a viable business writing a daily newsletter to people willing to pay for it. But one thing Ben Thompson offers that Substack doesn’t is a private RSS feed for subscribers, so they can read the daily updates within a feed reader. This is how I use to consume Stratechery, before the release of the daily update podcast.
So email subscriptions makes sense for those writing for a living, but I’m not sure it makes sense for those maintaining a free blog. If your content is available without charge, then it makes sense to me to offer an RSS feed to those that prefer to read your content within a feed reader. The reading experience in NetNewsWire is preferable to the one offered by my email client, and I don’t need to see all the emails that I’m trying to avoid. By all means offer email subscriptions as well, but don’t require one just so that I can see your latest updates.