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W3C HTML Email Workshop -- Newsletter

From: Paul Ney <Paul_Ney@t-online.de>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 07:37:07 +0200
Message-ID: <000701c79b6a$1a634320$f723fdd9@pispc>
To: <public-html-mail@w3.org>
Cc: "Daniel Glazman" <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, "Karl Dubost" <karl@w3.org>, <Paul_Ney@t-online.de>

forward some considerations with respect to "e-mail Newsletters".
(I am closely watching the discussion in this forum, since February, 
also paying attention to most linked files.)

Newsletters (NWSL) are very important -- this is a common wisdom. Then 
the Internet eased the dissemination of this kind of information. The 
"old" NWSL involves printing & postage expenses, while the e-mail NWSL 
instantly reaches the subscriber, practically at no cost. The NWSL 
editors are getting paid (and I see no way to automatize their work).

Thus an individual has to subscribe to a lot of NWSL, the customer 
will get product or service informations from the concerned companies, 
the associations issue membership NWSL, institutions of any kind issue 
NWSL to their employees or partners, and the individual would also 
eagerly subscribe to further NWSL of concern -- there are so many... 
And thus the question appears, how should a NWSL look like? 

a. Some prestigious institutions still issue large plain text NWSL, 
also containing some web-links. Some "tiny HTML" version would suffice 
at least to link the large table of contents with the related 
paragraphs. A "very rich" HTML file might, however, easily double or 
triple the originial plain text size.

b. The "old choice" of the subscriber was: "do you want a plain text 
or HTML NWSL?" The topical state of the art would require more options 
-- do you want a HTML NWSL with links to images or with embedded 
(contained in) images?! I guess many subscribers would not appreciate 
to be forced to get a full product catalogue -- except if this is 
agreed. Generally, in my eyes, the option for a HTML NWSL should 
mainly mean a well structured NWSL, perhaps with a few justified 
images. Heavily illustrated NWSL should become an extra option.

c. The traffic itself is also relevant, an ISP usually sets bounds for 
the number and the overall size of e-mails per month. Sometimes, some 
editors just mail a NWSL with an extra-large (XL) attachment, e.g. 
with a XL-picture, possibly thinking that all addressees are printing 
shops wishing to print a card in oversize format... This is quite 
embarassing -- why not insert a link, letting the subscriber download 
the item, if desired?

d. The further informations: a NWSL I appreciate always came with a 
link, emabling the download of the full or extended NWSL version, 
usually from the website of the sender. Then it suddenly changed, each 
paragraph has now its own link, leading to a specific more detailed 
page. This leads to more laborious clicks, if I want all of them.

e. The NWSL is a periodical too and subscribers might wish to collect 
them, possibly well organized, e.g. as yearly or monthly collection. 
And I wish to recall a precious concept formulated with respect to the 
W3C browser Amaya: the "make a book" function. Thus how to save NWSL 
to disk, in an automated manner, as saving them one by one is annoying 
(French: c'est la peine)? It follows that the NWSL e-mail header 
should contain the appropriate standardized information, enabling some 
mailreader-update to carry out the job. E.g. a "volume & issue" tag?

I am a concerned science fellow, not affiliated with a W3C-Member, 
hoping that this message would prove to be of use.
Best regards, and best wishes for the Workshop.
Paul Ney, Paul_Ney@t-online.de
Received on Monday, 21 May 2007 12:28:51 UTC

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