Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Kill the Newsletter – Convert email newsletters into Atom feeds (kill-the-newsletter.com)
344 points by polm23 on Feb 17, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 123 comments

I think every email newsletter should offer an RSS feed as a matter of course. With all of ours, you just stick /rss on the end of the URL and off you go :-) e.g. https://javascriptweekly.com/rss

With that said, I think there are some interesting opportunities for turning certain types of email into RSS feeds generally. I think it'd be really cool to have all of the random and very low priority emails landing at the 101 spare domain names I have to turn up in a single feed somehow rather than be forwarded.

Another HN today is talking about tracking pixels in newsletter mails so the sender can evaluate effectiveness.

I bet a general mail-rss bridge with many subscribers would make them sad.

In case anyone's missed it, that's this thread:


- from the BBC article 'Spy pixels in emails have become endemic'


Don't really needs a thread, using images for email tracking is a old and well known technique, but whatever maybe there are more people that don't know that in the end

I usually put a curl for the tracking pixel in cron when the plain text version is not available

I seem to recall years ago google was looking to make that sort of thing useless because they would always download all images in an email and serve them from their cache... wonder what changed?

Google still does cache them do they not? I am pretty sure all the emailer would know is that the email got received, but I don't think they actually know if you open it. However if you click a link they would know.

FWD:Everyone also creates an Atom feed for subscribing to the uploaded emails from any user or organization.

E.g.: https://www.fwdeveryone.com/u/alex3917



It’s doable already. I do this with some low priority emails and marketing newsletters—-a gmail filter sends to a custom email address of my rss reader. It’s useful for getting low priority stuff out of my inbox.

I can’t wait for someone to create an rss feed which sends an email which updates the rss feed which sends another email. Repeat ad infinitum. I wonder what would break first.

22 or so years ago I moved up from second to third line. I had just got a new home email address and for some reason forwarded home to work and work to home. At the time that was done as two separate and blissfully ignorant decisions.

The work 512Kb Kilostream line passed away peacefully sometime overnight. My home modem nearly melted but I'd exceeded my 10Mb? quota anyway (probably less.)

Apparently I was the first to do that there. GroupWise sprouted loop detection fairly soon after that event anyway and single instance storage helped keep the POAs up when reply all storms became popular.

Back in the dark ages, mail loops happened more frequently. I learned the importance of spending the money for an extra spindle for the spool partition that way.

I agree, but Bloomberg killed its RSS feeds some years ago.

I'd probably subscribe to more via RSS, but as it is it's just Matt Levine.

I think it came down to personal preferences. I tried to use RSS but it's yet another app that I cannot form a habit to check it. Plus I like the personal look and feel of each email newsletter I got.

I instead of relying on email as a real time news feed. But getting too many emails I have to category and make miss some exciting development news.

I though of this, why not combine all of the newsletter and display them on a single page, easy to remember URL that I can check anytime.

And make this:


The idea is I can have many channel, each channel subscribe to a bunch of newsletter and I just read them from here. Example my morning news:


RSS being pull and not push is a great feature IMO. You check up on your feeds when you want to, if you never do it might not really be worth your time or you might not enjoy it. If you really want some kind of reminder then some readers like tt-rss can send daily digest.

I use FreshRSS which is similar to tt-rss. I really think I should turn on email digests in it because I often find myself forgetting to check my reader some days and then it feels cumbersome to try and "catch-up" with the feeds.

I actually really like the idea of being able to convert newsletters into RSS feeds. I have a decent amount of newsletter I currently get and for a lot of them the only reason I have them in newsletter form is because they offered no RSS option. So if I wanted to stay up to date one of my only options was newsletters.

I kinda abandoned email as a tool of communication long ago and just use it to centralize slow notifications. Slow meaning, things I kind of like or want to know about eventually but not important enough to show a distracting notification on screen. Having them filtered gives me a way to more or less easily check in every now and then what is happing on a given topic

But for me, the more import aspect is being in charge when to use a tool than what the tool is and having habits around it.

Ironically I convert atom feeds into email newsletters using rss2email. One less app to keep open.

Ha! I had almost forgot. About a decade ago (time frame made up / guessed) I used Thunderbird as my RSS reader. Just checked and it can still do that. Since it's my primary email reader, voila!

(But I use Feedly.com web site on computer and Feedly app on phone now which is easier for managing RSS than Thunderbird by a mile. Though looking below there is Export/Import of feeds, I'm not sure there's a way to just sync them up everywhere. And I don't use Thunderbird on my phone!)


I used to use thunderbird to read RSS. The problem though is that if you don’t poll often enough (and for some feeds, that’s every few hours) you’ll miss articles and updates — and my laptop is sometimes off for a couple of days.

I’ve switched to NewsBlur a few years ago. Happy paying customer. (But bot affiliated). The bonus is synchronized phone/laptop/desktop reading status.

I've been using NewsBlur since G killed Reader. Great service!

One of my favorite hacks: I made a google appscript that scans a list of RSS feeds to email weekly digests. Surprisingly simple, and much more useful then running a separate RSS reader in my opinion.

I have to confess: little automations like this with low barrier of entry is where I find most value in tech. Simple and practical.

I use a self-hosted RSS reader, I'm curious if you could use something like that and have some email digests generated from that. I know tt-rss supports sending email digests. You could set it up to check sites on a less frequent schedule and then the setup sounds just like what you're talking about.

You may be fine with your solution so this comment is more geared towards others who are interested in a similar solution.

I am sure managed RSS platforms also offer some kind of email digest if you don't want to self-host.

Absolutely. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

The "email digest" approach is basically DIY newsletter. While this approach works for me, it may not work well for others. YMMV.

Can you combine those two to get rid of privacy breaking stuff like tracking pixels? First sign up with Kill the newsletter to convert to rss, and then use rss2email to get a scrubbed version of the email?

Or just block images by default in your email client, which you should probably be doing anyway if privacy is your concern.

I smell an entertaining loop!

Definitely a great tool. I used to use it but now mostly use the Newsblur native version of this feature. I blogged about my specific stack for reading newsletters because it takes a surprising amount of configuration to read newsletters in a streamlined way. Once you get a Gmail filter set up for the big services like Substack it becomes pretty painless though.


FYI, the author has a patreon: https://www.patreon.com/leafac

(I hunted this down by clicking through to his bio first. Not sure why he doesn't put a link to it on the kill-the-newsletter front page)

(Not associated with the author in any way. Just a happy user)

I love this service. I use it to subscribe to a few newsletters in Feedly that don't offer RSS feeds.

The paid versions of Feedly and Feedbin also offer this functionality directly if you prefer to pay for the privilege of consuming newsletters in your RSS reader.

Came here to say this, love how this works in Feedbin: https://feedbin.com/blog/2016/02/03/subscribe-to-email-newsl...

Yeah, I'd be all over this service, but I'm a Feedbin user.

I'm reminded of 15-20 years ago, when there were services to create RSS feeds of webcomics that didn't have them.

It’s a nice surprise to check HN and have my project featured on the front page.

Thanks polm23 for posting and everyone else for the nice words!

Thank you for creating this!

I'm an avid user of RSS and Atom, and I absolutely loathe email subscriptions (although I understand why many groups use them), so a tool to remove that friction for admittedly rare people like me is wonderful. Thank you for running this service, I intend to use it quite a lot!

Seems it'd take significant costs to run it, how do you still manage to do that?

The most significant cost has been my time, but that’s my pet project in which I get to experiment with new technologies, so it pays off nicely.

Also, you can support me: Recurring (Patreon): https://patreon.com/leafac / One-time (PayPal): https://paypal.me/LeandroFacchinetti

In terms of server costs, it all runs smoothly on a $6/month DigialOcean droplet. Even when I end up on the front-page of HN (it’s the second time this happens). And there’s also the ~$10/year for the domain.

There’s actually a fun story behind this: The biggest constraint is bandwidth (~500GB/month). I was using S3 and at some point that’d amount to $50/month. But DigitalOcean droplets give you 1TB/month, so to save money I rearchitected the whole thing to just use the filesystem. It turned out to be simpler and nicer to maintain, too. Fewer moving parts.

Fun stuff…

I love this service. Been using it for a long time and have switched all my newsletters to it. Now I get so many fewer emails. As the creators of Hey figured out, it's wonderful to have a separate feed of newsletters since they're fundamentally different than other types of email — they're generally not urgent and don't need to be acted upon. I keep mine in my RSS reader BazQux.

Worth noting that Substack already publishes feeds at YOURNAMEHERE.substack.com/feed

There are other newsletter publishers, of course, but that seems to be the one I get the most from.

I love that the author is doing code reviews on youtube and shows his own opensource code for the service.


It's almost 2 hours AND thorough. Impressive.

I throw my newsletters in a shared folder and use various TTS programs to listen to them as podcasts. Working to cobble together a manual but not particularly intensive process where news letters are aggregated into a podcast with newsletter as transcript with timestamps. Some podcast apps have bookmark/note support which is a bonus, though non are cross platform. Ideal setup is physical button press will highlight current sentence and spit out a summary. I can see a service with some sort of collaboration system especially with improving TTS quality.

By the way, I found thematic newsletters like Import AI or the Johns Hopkins University Covid newsletter very useful lately and have been looking out for more of them.

I want to stay up to date with what is happening in ML (and in the world) but don’t want to burn time manually opening up RSS readers, RedditML or news websites every day, given all their abusive time-stealing distractions and soul-crushingly dumb comments. I strongly prefer a weekly or daily carefully curated summary automatically delivered to my inbox. Hopefully these curated e-mail newsletters will become a thing again.

It's been a long time since I've used an RSS reader. I've moved to a read-it-later app like Pocket. Do any RSS readers provide all of the following functionality:

-Let me highlight / add notes. -Randomly add things not in my usual RSS feeds, i.e. from some website I'm browsing. -Listen to articles via text to speech. -Work well across web, iOS and Android.

I've been less and less happy with Pocket as it's clear that it's become less of a priority for Mozilla.

I think we should go the opposite way. I think we should push more onto email. email is pretty ubiquitous. Nearly everyone online has email. It's as close to universal as anything else for accessing people. Instead of having a dozen different chat apps, push chats to email. Instead of a half dozen Slack wannabe apps, push all that to email. We should expand the email protocol to support that.

Two reasons why I don't think this is a good idea:

1. Mixing different applications in one inbox would be a mess for a lot of people (e.g. your IM would drown out important work email)

2. Privacy - avoiding unique online identifiers when they're not needed is a good idea

While we are at it, let's put everything you could possibly need into the browser...

Sure, a little snarky but I'm getting my point across. We have different tools because different situations require different tools. IM exists because it is used differently than email, and email is not well suited to real time back and forth short messages. Atom and RSS feeds exist because honestly someone doesn't need to know your email address for you to take an interest in what they publish.

I love this. I have missed a lot of great newsletters because of a false positive spam detection.

As a content creator, I also would love to see the comeback of RSS VS email, as services like mailchimp can get expensive really fast for projects that not seek profit like a personal blog.

A simple wordpress, ghost or even blogspot scales more cheaply than all the requirements for massive email.

Aside: a question for proponents of syndication (e.g. Atom, RSS) – as a publisher, are there other formats that should be investigated?

I'm inclined to say no.

RSS and Atom are great. And I wish I could get every newsletter as feed instead. Emails get lost in the daily avalanche, but RSS/Atom feeds know to wait until I have time to read. But they're already beset by problems with lack of adoption. Any alternative syndication tool is going to make it even harder to reach your audience.

I'd also be careful about platforms like Medium. I wanted to like Medium, I really did, but the algorithmic feed's constant stream of clickbait quickly grew tiring. I ended up muting it, newsletters and all. It seems to me that any platform that has an algorithm is setting up a hostile environment for people who don't enjoy producing or consuming clickbait.

There is also a new format for JSON feeds: https://jsonfeed.org/

No. You need only one, either Atom or RSS.

I believe you can also however add on to Atom/RSS. Many feed readers now also support the WebSub [1] standard which allows them to receive instant push notifications of new articles. It kinda speeds up getting things as you don't have to rely on exclusively the pulling model. Sites like WordPress, Blogger, FeedBurner, Mastodon, and Friendica I believe are all examples of sites that support it.

It basically extends Atom/RSS to have another feature. Clients that don't support it can still pull like normal. Wikipedia summarizes the technology a bit nicer than the first link [2]

[1]: https://www.w3.org/TR/websub/ [2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebSub

That's correct. Some might still now it under the old name from when it was a google initiative, pubsubhubbub :)

Why not both?

Some people have good control over their email inbox. Some don't.

Honestly email tooling is sort of junky that it makes it hard to consistently apply rules. I use mac OS mail, so maybe that's why. Rules seem to be selectively applied, and if you try to get fancy with multiple conditions don't be surprised if the results vary. Also, none of this has feature parity with iOS, so rules are only applied if my macbook is open and actively applying them; my iPhone doesn't have the ability to process rules itself. Maybe this could be fixed with some third party software, but I'd rather not grow dependent on the continued mercy of third party software developers as I've been burned doing that too many times before.

All of this headache, however, is eliminated if you just move this sort of content to a decent feed reader to begin with, where every single option out there has filtering options baked in.

Nice idea.

Related - Is there anything that can add the select number of Twitter accounts I want to follow to this Atom or RSS feed?

Without exposing myself to toxic replies, toxic suggested tweets and toxic trending topics? I've thought for years there should be something like that. Presumably it's a grey area with APIs or scraping.

I’m sure there's a way to do it but Twitter dropped RSS/Atom support from their API in 2012 [1], so it would require scraping or using some sort of other endpoint-managed control of the feed. There have historically been usage limits on how many tweets you could retrieve without paying, but I’m not sure how much that has changed since Twitter overhauled its API last year.

It’s a shame that many of the tools and features we had a decade ago no longer exist, not because of technology, but because of decisions social networks made for business reasons to eschew open standards and create their own walled gardens.

[1]: https://mashable.com/2012/09/05/twitter-api-rss/

It all comes down to ads. Twitter can't show ads so easily via API's. I think I even remember Twitter considering sticking ads in batches of tweets pulled from the API. Can't recall if they did it or not or if I'm misremembering.

I follow a couple friends via the RSS feed created by nitter.net: https://nitter.net

Newsblur does let you follow Twitter accounts; they have an API integration. Tweets from accounts you follow show up as stories in your reader.

A lot of various apps do that by connecting to the Twitter API. I read Twitter through Feedbin.

I believe you can use Rss-bridge to follow Twitter users.

What's wrong with email newsletters? I actually like them quite a bit.

For me, they get lost amidst the mountains of other email I get. I also don't like reading longer form content in my mail app. Having them sent to an RSS reader where I'm already reading news is a nice way to avoid those clashes of context.

For non-personalized newsletters it's pretty useless for you to give out an email address. No one's ever gonna address you individually so all it creates are potential privacy issues if you give out your real email address.

The only benefit I can see even for non-personalized newsletters is that you have it in your mailbox and can use your normal email filtering tools to deal with newsletter messages.

it creates are potential privacy issues if you give out your real email address

Is this the same class of privacy issue as, say, subscribing to a print journal that is delivered directly to your place of residence (as opposed to a post office box)? I think you could even argue that using anonymized email addresses for your newsletter subscriptions could be the digital equivalent of a PO box, right?

I think we mean the same thing, yes. (See my response to a sibling about newsletter hosts building interest profiles[1].)

The PO box analogy kinda falls apart unless you use a separate PO box per subscription but you're right, email aliases protect you from any kind of advertiser profiling. Feeds are just nice because they're simple HTTP requests so they don't have that problem in the first place (unless you're worried about IP-based tracking and don't use any kind of proxy).

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26169411

I'd say, imagine that for material you want, you have to ask for it rather than someone just deciding to send you whatever they want to send you. RSS and Atom are basically ways to organize and automate requesting desired data on a schedule. This means that using these formats, nobody can send you junk that you don't want.

I guess I've just never really considered my email address as some kind of secret thing that warrants a privacy concern.

Neither do I, really, but I would be concerned about newsletter hosts being able to build a profile of my interests based on what I'm subscribed to.

If I can just use Atom/RSS over HTTP instead I can avoid that easily.

This is why I like this site. Some sites I want to keep up to date on don't have an RSS feed, but they have a newsletter. I'm happy this site was shared and I am definitely going to make use of it!

And the format is in a some kind of revival. Some of the best content I get is from newsletters these days.

You have to view and manage and then delete them.

99% of my inboxes are emails from non-humans. I'm ready to stream them like RSS or Twitter.. and catch the ones I care about.

You don’t have to do those things. The earth will not stop if there are unread emails in your inbox.

That's true. And I unsubscribe from a lot. And I filter the rest. But I scan and review and like just enough content to stay engaged. But I'm moving closer and closer to unsubscribing from all of them.

Some people, such as myself, try to reduce the noise around us as much as possible. Every person and their grandmother flooding your inbox is a lot of noise.

To me, email is a two way communication tool, and while getting one way communication is perfectly fine in email, just getting updates from an org or on some topic or from a journalist makes way more sense using syndication than subscription. Particularly, the client/recipient handles getting the messages as opposed to the publisher.

Not OP but for me I prefer subscribing via RSS as it helps organize what I follow rather than add to more clutter in my inbox.

It's all personal preference. Some prefer to keep their email inbox strictly for personal communication, and the regularly scheduled third party content in one place in their feed reader.

For me, I check email every day and read or delete every new email before I consider it done. I open my RSS reader when I feel like it (2-3 times a week) and have some free time to read and enjoy.

Why Atom instead of RSS? I understand the differences between the two formats[1] but I am curious what it is about Atom that caused the maker of this project to choose it over RSS.

[1] http://www.differencebetween.net/technology/difference-betwe...

Atom is technically substantially superior to RSS. RSS is riddled with ambiguities which lead to inconsistency of interpretation, and being outright unable to express some useful things.

My favourite is the format of all content: is it HTML or text? RSS doesn’t care, and leaves you to guess. So people added a namespace to fix that up, and you end up with what I think is normally spelled <content:encoded> to replace <description> or whatever it is—but there’s no equivalent for other content fields like titles. And because you can’t trust that tool will use <content:encoded>, now you need both. (And when you get to podcasts, the theme of the day is having the same field expressed in four or five different namespaces for different tools, in some cases for things that Atom has but RSS lacks.)

I have an article on my blog entitled <_>::v::<_>. I expect that a few RSS readers would mangle it if I served an RSS feed, but I serve an Atom feed, so I can express the title correctly:

  <title type="html">&lt;code&gt;&amp;lt;_&amp;gt;::v::&amp;lt;_&amp;gt;&lt;&#x2F;code&gt;</title>
(Bet you didn’t anticipate the <code> wrapping of that title! Now try that in RSS!) Anyway, NewsBlur got it right, and if any other client gets it wrong I can point to it and say that it is unequivocally a bug, whereas with RSS… eh, there’s enough ambiguity to drive a spaceship through, so what does “bug” even mean?

I hate the way that feeds are so commonly generically called “RSS”, because it gives mindshare to the bad and inferior product.

The only reason you should ever use RSS feeds is because you’re dealing with podcasts, because Apple sadly ignored the emerging Atom format when they did podcasts in iTunes in 2005, and annoyingly froze things in time there and then, and everyone else stupidly followed them, so that most of the major podcast things don’t support Atom… even if they sometimes claim to. (Like validation tools that allege that Atom is fine, butcher it completely if you give it to them, and report false results like that this RSS feed is fine or whatnot.)

I am a paying NewsBlur customer and like it very much.

It is, however, too picky about atom/rss - if you have a feed with some wrong entries (e.g. the one from freshcode.club) it will discard the problem items without a warning while still showing the valid items.

The article you link lists numerous advantages to using Atom over RSS (and no advantages to RSS). Why would you consider RSS over Atom?

I wonder why anyone would still use RSS over Atom. Atom was already supported by virtually all feed readers when Google Reader was shut down. And that was nearly 8 years ago.

The only reason I can think of is that people often use RSS synonymously to feeds.

RSS is useful as a creator because it's so under-specified that you can create valid RSS with virtually no effort (ie: printf). It's a huge pain to consume it because every single library needs to have crazy hacks to do things like double-unescaping HTML.

Atom is the better format, but - like any time you work with XML - you should never try to hand-bomb string output. Use an XML library, or preferably an Atom library.

I’d be far happier emitting Atom via printf than RSS via printf. The Atom spec tells me what I should write, whereas RSS goes in for unspecified behaviour and exotic date formats that force me to look up strftime. Beyond that, they’re both XML, which is easy to write.

The first time I realized Atom and RSS were actually different standards was when I went to write a feed. "Oh. Well that's interesting..."

That article also has an XHTML 1.0 Transitional DOCTYPE, and wastes a request trying to load JavasScript for Google Plus.... this is not up-to-date information.

The "advantages" are minor at best, and exclusively relevant to a developer, with very little impact on the end-user

Not exclusively relevant to a developer.

I have one or two things in my feeds that can’t be expressed in RSS, such as HTML markup in my titles (which I use for <strong>, <code> and I think <em>). I also have angle brackets in a title, which I would be afraid to do in RSS because I’m confident that some clients would butcher it, and they wouldn’t even be wrong since RSS don’t care.

This, to me, makes me ask what the purpose of a feed even is. If it's to deliver data then RSS, Atom, JSON, or YAML shouldn't make any different at all. But if it's to deliver data and markup... now we're making decisions a client could override at best or result in unreadable/a11y unfriendly content at worst. Maybe it's just me but I've never considered the feed as a place to be putting markup but even if we want to go that route then RSS's <![CDATA[ ... ]]> addresses this. What am I missing?

CDATA is purely a convenient way of encoding character data, of avoiding needing to escape <, & and > all the time. It doesn’t change the semantics at all, and if any client does vary the semantics based on this, it is wrong to do so.

RSS doesn’t say what format any of its content is in. You have to guess if it’s plain text or HTML. This can easily go wrong. The result is that you can’t trust the handling of characters like <, & and > in titles or in supposedly-plain-text descriptions in RSS feeds.

Seriously, just use Atom.

Markup's part of the data. Particularly in chrismorgan's example, where it's semantic content.

As for CDATA, I think you're right that it'd work in this case (assuming that client apps cope with it there, but if the Atom equivalent works then presumably it should).

I suspect that what we're looking at here is software which is poorly generating its RSS. Probably Wordpress, since I'm at least fairly confident that it doesn't put CDATA in its item titles regardless of their content.

I wasn't expressing any opinion one way or the other, nor did I provide the article as a reference. The original commenter seemed to be questioning the choice of Atom over RSS, and that article is what they posted as their reference; which seemed odd to me since it argues for using Atom over RSS.

Why would you consider RSS over Atom (you seem to exhibit a preference but you have also neglected to list any of the reasons)?

> exclusively relevant to a developer

Which would presumably be why the developer chose it, yes.

Actually I rely more and more on email(newsletters) after all these years. I subscribed to quite a few newsletters and each morning I just check the inbox, no need to visit 10+ different sites, it's all in my inbox and mostly I just need browser them and click on a few subjects I'm truly interested, thus less time spending on ads from different sites. I installed a RSS extension on the browser and still ended up back to the inbox, I disabled the RSS reader a while ago.

I already get emails on my phone and they're a natural medium for a newsletter. Why would I want to install another app for the same thing?

Newsblur, which is a very good feed reader, has this feature built-in which is super handy to keep all this stuff in one place.

I've used this a good bit and struggled with two things:

1. Newsletter formatting sometimes gets broken and comes out ugly

2. For longer newsletters or digests I sometimes skim too fast since I'm used to having single articles in rss feed. I guess this is more a comment on my reading habits with rss.

Even for my own newsletter (https://funnies.page) I set up email filters so I wouldn’t get email notifications in the morning. Eventually added RSS and the option to disable emails entirely.

I actually built something that was the complete inverse, RSS to email. Avoiding email because your inbox is full is like deciding not to drive because you didn't fill up the petrol tank. It's just putting a problem off to the future.

What am I missing? You name the feed and then get a link to subscribe to it. How does the supply side actually provide the newsletter/content that will be distributed to that address?

You also get an email address to subscribe to the email list with.

That's funny, I've always thought about a project that does the opposite since I love newsletters but not ever RSS source supports them

Omg, newsletters and email groups work so much better than most other attempts to replace. Are there data that support this claim, though?

I quite like weekly wrap-up newsletters, like Python Weekly. I prefer RSS for just about everything else though.

Nice! Would be cool if you display a list of newsletters. "Recently added []"...

How about... we do both? Because it's not exactly too much effort to set up an atom and rss feed to go along with your email newsletter.

Can we stop (subtly in this case, not so subtly in others) crusading against tech that we don't personally like, when thousands upon thousands rely on it because that's the format they're comfortable with and want to receive periodicals in?

Set up a system that meets people where they are instead of forcing them into only your preferred delivery flavour.

Isn't that exactly what the submission is about? It seems to be a tool to convert any newsletter into an atom feed by creating a fake inbox. This lets everyone consume the content in their preferred format. Sure it would be nice if newsletters were available as news feeds too, but in the meantime this is a nice hack.

I’d guess that the OP is responding to the phrase “kill the newsletter” rather than the specific tool.


It's a perfectly fine tool, but "kill the newsletter" is an incredibly bad rallying cry and should be questioned.

it's just a catchy name!

this guy gets it! the thing which annoys me the most about hacker news comments is the pedantry: "how about stop trying to kill technology you don't like" shhhhh

welcome to hacker news, if you didn't want to see pedantry, you might be hanging out with the wrong crowd ;)

I'm not sure I'd call this pedantry, just maybe a different angle or focus than the one you have in mind. Is that fair?

It would be nice if GMail pioneered this by adding an RSS reader to Gmail and automatically unsubscribing you from newsletters that have a RSS feed and automatically subscribing your to the RSS feed.

I really want my inbox back, but I feel like I'm constantly battling lists I get subscribed to that I didn't ask to be subscribed to.

Well, tools like this one enable a publisher to pick their format and enable a user to pick their format, so it's kind of the opposite of flaming your less desired format. It's a compatibility layer.

People who flame a format they don't like are just trying to ensure that their preferred one stays relevant. I am not a fan of email subscription and I love Atom and RSS. If I didn't constantly remind people about the pros of feeds and the cons of email subscriptions, before I know it most websites will drop feeds and pop up asking me to subscribe to their newsletter...

Why does it need to be "kill"? Why not "improve the newsletters"?

All email killers failed to kill email.

I use this: https://notifier.in/

Same thing, works well. Newsletters are plague.

> Newsletters are plague.

That really depends on how you use email. I always have a very empty email inbox and newsletters stay there until I read them (I'm talking about newsletters from people, not the latest deals on some ecommerce website).

I wouldn't call them a plague but it's easy to drown in stuff being pushed out via email. So you end up filtering and it all goes into a folder you never look at.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact