Tips for Wading Through Online Subscriptions and Why Bother?!
by Shirley E. Kaiser, M.A., SKDesigns
Copyright © 1999-2013, Shirley E. Kaiser, M.A., SKDesigns. All rights reserved. Published at websitetips.com with permission.
Editor note February, 2008: Don't let the 1999 copyright date fool you. This article still applies today and isn't at all outdated.
I subscribe to dozens of online discussion lists, newsletters and belong to several professional organizations related to Web site design and development. How can I possibly have time for all that email when I'm also busy running a full time business (as well as still having time for a personal life)?
You don't think you have time for subscribing to discussion lists or newsletters? Even if you did, why take the time?
Here are a few important reasons:
- They are valuable resources for quality information.
- They are tools for networking.
- They are a means of advertising who you are and what you do every time you write a note (with your signature tag at the end of each email, of course!).
- Most of them offer free subscriptions, so they're accessible regardless of budget.
- Make some wonderful friends with common interests.
I developed a system to participate in and also learn valuable information from them. This is what I do:
- I subscribe to digest versions for nearly all of the discussion lists.
- I use message filters to organize and maintain my incoming mail. (See my article, How To Handle All That Email for details.)
- I subscribe to lists with contents indexes to scan for content, and then choose to scan the digest or newsletter for pertinent information as needed.
- I allow myself 45 minutes per day to peruse all my subscriptions, carefully reading only the information that is time-critical or immediately relevant.
- I allow myself one hour per week to respond to subscribers' questions for which I may be able to share helpful information.
- I regularly make use of my email browser's Search and Find capabilities to find specific information. It's impossible to remember where that little tip was for mouseovers, for example.
A system enables me to take advantage of the valuable information and other benefits of online subscriptions without taking up too much time. I hope these tips are helpful to you as well.
Interested in finding a list for business or personal interests? For Web site topics, check out the listing of annotated resources to discussion lists, newsletters and more at http://websitetips.com/lists/.
copyright © 1999 Shirley E. Kaiser, M.A. All Rights Reserved.
Reprint with permission only. Please contact the author for details.