Years ago Nuketown had a weekly newsletter called “RADIATIONS”. It was lovingly handcrafted by me and included a list of the previous week’s stories. The kids pretty much killed that one — who has time to update a web site AND maintain a newsletter?
It’s something that people have asked me to bring back, and I’ve been experimenting with ways to do so. The simpliest way to do it is to cut the human out of the loop — while I enjoyed writing the quirky RADIATIONS digests, I don’t think it added much value to the newsletter itself. After all, the point of the thing is to get a list of links highlighting what’s been happening on the site not to have a nice chat over tea.
To that end I’ve been experimenting with a custom RSS news feed to fuel a MailChimp-powered newsletter. MailChimp handles all the backend work and generates a nicely formatted HTML for plain text newsletter based on the contents of the feed.
I just started up the campaign, but the test emails look good. What I really need though, is real life test subjects to sign up and let me know how it works. You can email your feedback to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment here.
After the shakeout cruise I plan on incorporating it fully into the ol’thermonuclear burg’s theme.