Back in the good old days, Side-Line online had a weekly newsletter that was sent to over 40.000 people. And when we say back in the good old days, we mean 1999. That’s 22 years ago. Time flies… When in 2004 our provider back then stopped, we were unable to continue the service as we found no new provider able to send that newsletter on a weekly basis at a reasonable price.
22 years later Audioglobe’s Sebastian Koch suddenly mentioned that good old newsletter during a quick chat back and forth. He missed that newsletter where he could find some relevant info on the scene. His comment triggered us to look for a good partner in order to relaunch that very service and at the same time also look for a better solution for our daily newsletter which currently services a rather large readership of thousands of people worldwide. We say a ‘better solution’ because let’s be honest, what Feedburner offers currently is extremely poor when it comes to usability, options, etc.. And that for a Google owned company, you would think they’d do a better job, but no.
On a side-note, we ditched Google’s Adsense a few years ago as well, because they started intervening in the content of our site. Although they claim never to intervene in what publishers publish, we were regularly asked to take down articles of Apoptygma Berserk, Front 242, VNV Nation, Rammstein, Acylum, … because they didn’t like the content or images. Censorship at its best, and when we were asked to censor an article on Kant Kino, we called it quits and removed Adsense from our pages, enough was enough.
Now, back to the newsletters solution.
New design and the relaunch of the weekly newsletter as well
With our new partner we are now able to offer you a very slick design, a Facebook follower even called it ‘chic’. We offer you a preview of the new newsletter below (here split up in 3 segments so you see how the whole newsletter looks like).
As you can see the new look is very much in line with our website: simple, clear, clean… and no ads.
The biggest change will however be the relaunch of our weekly newsletter. You can subscribe to either the daily or the weekly newsletter OR you can sign up for both if you want to.
You can sign up below.
You will also have noticed if you visited our website in the past few days that there is a ‘slide in’ sign up form which appears after you have passed 50% of a page, also this one. It features the German EBM band Rector Scanner who was so kind to allow us to use this specific promo picture.
Over time other bands will be invited to offer a picture as well. So look out for some nice cameos.
Good to know, for those who don’t want to subscribe, it won’t be popping up all the time, only every 2 weeks if you didn’t sign up. We might adjust this depending on the feedback we get.
What happens with my old subscription?
Good question. First of all, the older weekly newsletter subscribers will get an email to resubscribe. All 40.000+ emails from our very first weekly newsletter have been checked for their validity and so far a bit more than 24.000 are still valid. If you were part of that newsletter, and your email is still valid, you will receive an email to sign up again in the next week.
As for the daily newsletter, we are currently also testing if the Feedburner emails are still active, something Feedburner never managed properly. Actually, Google never bothered to check it and kept all emails active, even the ones that bounced. This is actually a pure disgrace, but since we are leaving the Google platform for good, let’s look to the bright future ahead instead.
If the test this Monday evening, that’s today, goes well, the daily newsletter subscribers from Feedburner will be transferred automatically to the new service. But if we encounter too many bounces in the testmail that goes out, we will send out an email to the current subscribers here as well to sign up for the new daily newsletter so that we don’t run the risk to get flagged for spam due to too many bounces.
Note that all new signups will again be double opt-in, this to avoid spam and to avoid bounces.
The future is bright, the future is away from Facebook
As said before, we have no reason to believe that Facebook will be getting friendlier for indie (music) publishers. So we continue to work on own channels to get the news out just like we have been doing over the past 22 years.
A few weeks ago we already officially launched the web push notification service which has been rapidly adopted by our readers, and now we launch our newest newsletters in a rebooted version and will continue to develop other platforms such as our Telegram channel to make sure that readers get the news they want.
Our priority will be given to work on the platforms where we really are sure that people get correctly informed without having a sh*t load of ads to wade through so to speak.
Since you’re here … … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Side-Line Magazine than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Side-Line’s independent journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we want to push the artists we like and who are equally fighting to survive. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as 2 US$, you can support Side-Line Magazine – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The donations are safely powered by Paypal.