I must admit that with a tiny amount of research and set up, I’ve now got something that even John Locke could be jealous of.
For my future self or others interested, I’m using Multi-column Tag Map which has a variety of short codes for implementing various forms of output. Sadly it wasn’t tagged with the word index, so it took some time to find it.
I’ve always had my own administrative interface for this data as well as search and even programmatic tag completion which makes writing and posting easier. However since a lot of what I do is in the public, perhaps it will be useful for readers to have access to the same full list instead of the abbreviated ones that appear as tag clouds or in various sidebars on the site?
Currently I’ve got over 9,000 different tags on the site. Perhaps displaying them publicly will help motivate me to curate and manage them a bit better. I already see a handful of repeated versions based on spelling, spacing, or typos that could be cleaned up. Let’s go crazy!
Hopefully the changes are a well-balanced solution for both my readers and me. One that allows readers to get what they’d like what they’d like and when, and for me to be able to own the relevant data and relationships rather than selling it off or heavily farming it out to one of the newsletter silos like Substack. Hopefully it also cuts down on the manual portions of the problem that I’ve had in the past.
Part of my concern is that, depending on the day, I can be posting just a few items to my website while other days will see 50 or more posts. (It’s amazing how many posts you have when you try to own everything that you post publicly to the web.) Naturally not everyone may be interested in all of my content, and people will have different preferences on how often they receive updates.
To kick off some new options, I’ve updated the email sign up process to allow people to choose some broad categories of content and types they may be interested in receiving. Most of these categories only have a smaller handful of updates within a month, so those indicating some of the specific categories as a preference will only receive them on a monthly basis.
If you’re subscribing to everything, the status updates, the link blog, or portions of the social stream those will be delivered in a weekly newsletter, so readers will get as much as possible without missing out on anything.
I’m starting to collect the preference data for the future, but I’ve also got a beta section of the sign up form to specify the frequency with which you’d like to receive updates. (Note: this isn’t fully functional yet as there are some plumbing issues to handle.)
Folks who are subscribed should start seeing the changes propagate to their subscriptions within the next month.
Caveats and Potential Issues
I’ve been receiving less interaction from those who had previously subscribed to my old WordPress.com website over a decade ago, so I’m leaving those subscribers behind (you should receive an email about this separately). If you find you’re in that old group, just sign up and select the content categories or types you’d like to receive from the new system.
I’m sure there will be some initial bumps and bruises in the transition, so bear with me and don’t hesitate to send your feedback in a way that makes you most comfortable. I’m sure some of my custom posts may not work as well with the newsletter, and hopefully I’ll get those sorted out shortly too.
If you’d like to change your preferences at any time, know that there’s a link at the bottom of the newsletter for changing them. If you would prefer some other custom newsletter with specific categories, content types, or frequency, feel free to email me, and I can set you up with something that most closely meets your specific needs.
Eventually I hope there will be a more streamlined system that will allow people to choose categories, post kinds, and frequency options (daily, weekly, monthly) to suit their specific needs.
Other Subscription Methods
I’m still providing a number of different ways (RSS, email, etc.) of helping people to subscribe to what they’d like to receive, so take a look at all of those if you have other needs. If you have questions or need some custom help for receiving exactly what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to reach out.
As always, thanks for reading!
To sign up/subscribe, visit our subscription page.
I’ve updated my footer so the copyright dates include 2021. I’ve also updated the Webmention button so that it now points at my standalone endpoint for those who may not see or want to use the input box on individual posts. Finally I modified the text that appears on both the standalone endpoint as well as the individual post boxes on each post so that the same text works to properly describe both cases.
I also spent some time trying to fix my fragmention/fragmentioner, but I’m not quite there yet.