21/2/20203

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Looking to check the blockquotes in the Daily Feed and mail (see yesterday) I realised that I'd messed up the logic for transposing the post content or, rather, applied the same condition to all status posts regardless of how they started.

That's fixed now but the feed and mail don't look quite as good thanks to not having the same options for styling as I do on the site. I'm not that worried, however, as it's a secondary delivery mechanism and, in that regard, is good enough.

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I was thinking more last night about how I would implement a self-hosted newsletter to tie in with the daily email list subscription list.

To this end I've created a custom post type to hold it. It will work by using a combination of my custom posting form and the mail generation code. I create the newsletter as though it was a normal post, hit submit on the form and it then takes the content, transposes it for the mail and automatically sends it to the list.

It's actually a lot simpler than I imagined and I've already done all the hard work. I just need to build the form (which will be on a separate page template) and repurpose the mail generation code.

If this became a thing I would probably need to stop the daily post emails going to the same list, as this would be overkill, or provide opt in choices.

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You know that feeling like the world is trying to tell you something? I'm getting that now.

Following on from my ruminations about newsletters I received an email from an old friend whom I haven't talked to in a couple of years. They were announcing a reboot of their own newsletter, the email list to which I remain subscribed despite an extended silence.

He says the new project will cover a number of topics like food, ADHD, even being a grandparent; to me that just sounds like a newsletter about life.

And that's fine by me, more than fine.

As I have said before, the way I approach the web now (and still want to get better at) is reducing the number of people I interact with but doing so on a far more personal level, getting to know the person behind the words, behind the screen.

It may, therefore, seem crazy to want to write a newsletter of my own, broadcasting rather than being direct, when what I crave is personal connection - an individual message for each person.

The thing is, I don't actually want to start a newsletter - I want to start a personal missive, an expression of self beyond the blog that others may be able to connect to, relate to, build one-to-one relationships around. The email I received earlier really re-emphasised that for me.

Let's face it, a newsletter style mail is actually less "broadcasty" than a blog post which is out there in public, you have to sign up to receive it so there's already a sense of willingness and connection.

I won't be in a position to build the rest of the pieces until at least next week so will have more time to mull this over, digest it and see if it's definitely something I want to do and what form or frequency it should take. I put so much on the blog that it's often hard to see what extra value a separate missive might provide or what I could do differently to justify it.

There are so many newsletters that summarise the author's recent blog posts and give a few interesting links so I don't want to follow the same format; I want to do something different, something more intimate. No doubt, reflection on recent posts (or the thinking behind them) will come into play but there has to be more than that for it to be worth the effort - both to publish and to read.

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