The hassle of email (as compared to RSS)
In my recent 'give me RSS feeds' entry I wrote in passing '[...] these days email is just too much of a hassle'. Which it is. Let me illustrate how.
To subscribe to new mailing lists these days I need to:
- figure out how to subscribe
- make up a new email address to give the list
- go through a multi-stage subscription dance
- make sure our antispam filters won't eat the list messages
- adjust my filters to put the messages somewhere distinct
- remember to check and read wherever I dumped it
In short, a hassle. Add bonus hassle if I ever want to unsubscribe to the list; often it's simpler to just kill the address. (Sometimes it's the only way out.)
A lot of this is due to spam. Some of it is due to vendor abuses of trust (leading to spam). Some of it is just because I no longer have any interest in sorting my inbox by hand; the volume is too high and my time is too short.
Compare this to RSS:
- feed readers are good at showing me just updated feeds.
- feeds come pre-sorted from each other.
- subscribing to an RSS feed is easy.
- unsubscribing from an RSS feed is equally easy.
- I don't have to give you any information to subscribe.
It's sad to offhandedly write things like 'email is just too much of a hassle', and then realize that I mean it. It shouldn't be like this; it didn't used to be like this. But it is like this now. Sic transit gloria mundi.