Software, Development, and WordPress

What Are Your Thoughts on a Weekly Digest?

For the most part, I’m convinced that the last thing that anyone wants or needs is more email; however, I’ve also noticed that there appear to be now, more than ever, various newsletters and emails being sent out monthly, biweekly, or weekly covering a variety of topics:

And the difference that these newsletters and/or emails have is that they are 100% opt-in. That is, they ask permission (that is, the opportunity for you to opt-in) to send you email, whereas other services as for forgiveness (with the opportunity to unsubscribe) for sending you email.

So one thing I’m considering is introducing a weekly digest of sorts for the articles covered on this blog, but I genuinely want some feedback on this idea before pursuing it.

A Weekly Digest of What?

Right now, we allow ourselves to be inundated with more information than we can handle.

Yes, it’s by choice, but between all of the various social networks, long-form news articles, blogs, and so on, there’s more information sent out in a day (let alone a couple of hours) than we can actually manage or process.

And sure, we all use RSS until it backs up to a certain point after which we end up calling for bankruptcy. There are also terrific web and mobile apps like Pocket that make it much easier to save our longer form articles for later reading.

But what about those blog posts that we’d like to read, that we end up keeping it in RSS to read, that get lost in the ‘Mark All As Read’ shuffle, and that we end up losing?

To that end, I’m personally a fan of the weekly newsletters provided by some of the mentioned above, and I’m curious as to if that’s something that those of you regular reader’s would be interested in having for this blog?

Reader's Digest

Perhaps it will even include amazing cover images from the 90’s!

The gist of the idea is simple:

  • Every Saturday morning, I’d send out an email that would contain the title (and links) to the posts that I published during the week
  • Each title would be supported by the support meta description so you can opt to click-thru and read the post or not

Easy enough. Of course, I’m only interested in doing this if you guys are interested in having one less RSS subscription in exchange for one more email each week.

So, seriously, let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below: do you want it, or not, and why?


  1. Matthew Snider

    You know me, if you ask for my opinion you will get it. Well for that matter you will get it either way, but since you asked…..ehhh

    A weekly digest for me, a follower of this blog, would be a waste as it is the same content I would read throughout the week.

    I also feel weekly digests are hard to read as time is money and we have little time on the weekends to actually sit down and digest things.

    I like the idea, BUT it would have to be something different, more, unique to that digest for me to sign up, rather than just a dump of your posts from the week.

    My two cents

    • Tom McFarlin

      Matt – thanks for the opinion. Exactly what I wanted :).

      But you’re right: If RSS is your habit, then it’d be clutter or noise. To that end, it’s be totally opt-in, but knowing that you’re not particular interested (as a reader) helps nonetheless.

  2. Phil Derksen

    I love weekly digests like what and provide, and for your blog Tom I’m currently subscribed to get an email for each post, but it is a little much.

    I also abandoned keeping up with RSS feeds long before Google Reader shut down. So a big Yes vote for me!

    • Tom McFarlin

      I love weekly digests like what and provide, and for your blog Tom I’m currently subscribed to get an email for each post, but it is a little much.

      I love the format of these, too as it helps me to organize things in my inbox that I really do want to read whereas RSS, I’m one of those that hits “Mark As Read” after I’ve skimmed the headlines that caught my attention.

      I’m also one of those who uses inbox much like a TODO list – I don’t subscribe to anything unless I really want to read it, so if it comes in my inbox, it’s kind of a “must read” or “must respond” for me.

      Thanks for the note, Phil – appreciate it :).

  3. Bob Dunn

    I don’t think it would hurt as some people would prefer the weekly digest… for example, so far you are at 50/50 :)

    It’s all about options and what works for your readers. Some say RSS is dead or cumbersome, but I still use it and that’s my preference. So for your blog that’s what I will stick with. But others might prefer the weekly digest. I send out a weekly newsletter with tips and tutorials, and also include the past weeks blog posts.

    I would go with the digest but still keep the RSS option for us hardcores. And yes, I do get a lot from social media, for example, your tweet is how I ended up here now. But those go by quickly and to depend on them I would miss some, especially when I’m not online.

    • Tom McFarlin

      t… for example, so far you are at 50/50

      Making my job easier here, Bob ;P.

      But seriously, like I told Phil, I know how I use email, newsletters, and RSS, but I’m curious as to how others do, as well so this is one of those things that I’m thinking of doing if even for a few weeks to see if enough people like it.

  4. Brian Heitz

    One vote for a weekly digest. They are becoming my things to read with my Saturday and Sunday morning coffee. BTW, thank you for all of your contributions to the WP community.

    • Tom McFarlin

      Word up, Brian – thanks for the vote!. Helpin’ me make my decisions :).

  5. Ulrich

    I don’t have for a weekly digest. I used to use Pocket but I ended up with over 1500 articles to read. Now I open intresting articles that I see on Twitter and leave them open in chrome mobile till I read them, normally when I am travelling.

    • Tom McFarlin

      Ah, now that’s an interesting use case of syncing Chrome. I don’t hear of that many people doing that, but I kinda dig that.

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