Nicole here, tagging an apple poll to this awesome thread by Cassie.
We're looking into adding HTML code to our bulkmailings, but wondering how you feel about that. Because, really, the dailyishes are for YOU. They written by permies for permies. So, what do you like? Do you want fancy emails with links embedded into images and shiny pictures? Or keep things the way they are, pure and simple? Or, some thing in-between or totally different!
(I made a limit on the amount of apple votes we get. Basically, if you have 10+ apples, you can cast only 10 votes. You can put all 10 votes on one choice, or spread them out. For those less than 10 apples, you get as many votes as you have apples. Voting with apples does not eat up any of your apples! Please vote with both apples and thumbs if you can! We want the dailyish to be awesome for you!)
I clicked a vote for plain text because I've seen too many fancy efforts go horribly wrong where the enhancements end up as annoying or distracting instead of improving.
On the other hand, I'm not going to quit reading the email unless it is really really bad, which I don't think will happen.
Email is fundamentally a plain text medium. You start adding html and css and such, you'll start generating support complaints as people on weird devices and browsers find that it's broken for them. I strongly would advice against a fancier email format.
a lot of times i will first see the email on my phone - read the descriptions and check out a link that peaks my interest. seems like text and a link is pretty much universal, html doesnt always come through the same as sent. Geoff Lawton's emails are a good example - my software usually flags it as spam/risky to click on links. not sure if it is his location, the coding in the email or something strictly on my side - point being i have never had that happen to the current "plain" daily-ish email.
could you add a "view email in html" link somewhere that linked to a html version of the page? i assume there is software that would create something but i dont know for sure. would seem similar to the mobile vs desktop versions of websites.
I like the plain text as well for sure - and I generally read the entire email since they are usually short and sweet. I am a sucker for nice pictures though, so I could see that as being a way to easily liven things up (if so desired) without having to get all fancy like.
I really dislike it when one of my "regular" websites decides to hire some urbanized web designer and thus create a snazzy, eye popping website. The problem becomes that I can no longer view it. I'm on sloooooooooow dial-up and all that fancy stuff times out.
The type of person attracted to permaculture is also the type of person who often wants to, or already is, living rural. High speed Internet isn't always found in rural areas. So permie/farming/ag websites that go fancy and thus require real high speed Internet risk blocking out a major chunk of their audience, IMO.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
I like the emails as is. I more frequently read on a mobile device and it words great for me to check out the headslines and keep the email if I want to go back later and click links when I'm back at my desktop.
I read once that two google searches uses as much electricity as boiling a kettle full of water (or was it one search, equaled two full kettles?). This gets me wondering, if there is a dramatic difference between the energy used for plain text emails and flashy html emails.
Function. Over. Form. The Dailyish is a microcosm of permaculture on the internet.
The thing I love the most is it's simplicity. I read emails, I don't admire their design. I want information given to me quickly and concisely. Of all things I subscribe to, the Dailyish from Permies is far and away my favorite. Everything I need, nothing I don't. The same thought process is why I (and millions of others) utilize Craigslist so much. If you muck this thing up because people want it to look prettier, you've lost the point entirely.
The email has a job to do and it does it well. Continue to have it do that. Not to mention the fact that you get bogged down with creative opinions and having to pay someone to take the time to design it. Which would be an absolute joke and a laughable waste of resources. If you want something pretty, go to your localart gallery. If you want information about how to save the planet and yourself, sign up for the Dailyish.
I also like the daily email as it is. I'm not very active on this forum, and I probably click a link in a daily email once a week. Your descriptions though are good, so I can see quickly from the subject of the daily email if anything possibly interests me. Then inside the short descriptions by every link let me quickly decide if that link is one I'll be interested in or not. It works well.
I also subscribe to Dr. Mercola's daily emails. While I often read and appreciate his articles, the emails are designed to entice clicks, which often wastes my time if the subject of an article is something that I already know about, but can't tell from the description in the email, e.g. todays: "You're Told It's Safe, But Removing It Requires a Hazmat Suit". The article is about mercury in dental fillings. I already know about this topic. Had he put "Risks of Mercury Dental Fillings" or "You're Told It's Safe, But Removing Mercury Requires a Hazmat Suit", I probably wouldn't have clicked the link to read the headline there.
So I really like the format of your daily email. It gets to the point and saves me time.
Agreed with all that has been said above, but would like to add that beside liking the plain text, Cassie, I love your enthusiasm—don't go changin' that! And it comes through without visual embellishment, that's its beauty. Thanks for that.
I think the simple format is great, and the people who take action are the ones that will click through and go for the goods. Don't divert energy away from the projects that the emails are about just to make it flashy. I am striving to be one of the take action people which is also why I'm posting this comment.
I really like the emails. My comment isn't about plan text or html (I don't care either way), but about the fact that I'd like to more easily line up the title/subject text with the particular post highlighted. Maybe in the body of the email repeat the relevant title/subject text before the description of the subsequent link?
I lost track of checking in on the dailyish for a while due to family/ living situation stress, and I have to say coming back to a more frequent check in, the format is great, especially off grid on slow internet. Cassie I would KISS you if it didn't freak people out being KISSed by strangers from northern California.
Companion Planting Guide by World Permaculture Association