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Sunday, December 29, 2019

Five Favorite Newsletters

Every once in a while I post about trying to reduce the amount of email and snail mail that I get, and that you should try to do same. My Unsubscribe Successful post was about reducing email, while Stopping Unwanted Junk Mail was about the physical kind. With this post, instead of telling you about how you can reduce the amount of mail you get, I'd like to highlight a handful of mailing lists that I actually find useful. One of them, I've actually been subscribed to since the early 1990s.

Here are some of the newsletters that I enjoy now.

1.)  This is True

This newsletter just celebrated its 25th year of existence. For the math challenged, that means it started in 1994. Its tag line is weird news, uncommon sense. Editor Randy Cassingham has been offering this newsletter of bizarre-but-true news items for over 1300 issues. Typically, there are stories of the idiots of the world and what they try to get away with. Other times, it is something a bit more thought provoking. It is a good bit of humor offered on a weekly basis. There is a free ad-supported version and a paid version with a few more stories and no ads. Well worth the subscription, but you can try out for free to see if you like.

2.) Techdirt

This newsletter is a daily. It is probably my favorite newsletter. While I have a strong tech background, this describes the latest comings and goings of what's happening with technology with a strong legal slant in language that the typical layman can understand. It is something our representatives in Washington, DC should be reading, as many of them just don't get tech as demonstrated by how wrong some of the laws they try to pass are. Give it a try sometime and you'll find a new understanding of fair use and laugh about some of the silly lawsuits that are happening.

3.) Inside Daily Brief

This is my favorite newsletter for the daily news. They call it A concise presentation of the world's most important, interesting news. You get ten stories to help keep you up to date on what's happening in the world. Not only do you get that concise presentation, but each article includes a link to the original source so you can read more about the topic if interested. In addition to a general news newsletter, they also offer specialized ones on topics like security, cycling, MMA, and Bitcoin. They even have location-specific newsletters for places like Boston that I didn't even know existed.

4.) Slashdot

Getting this newsletter started due to my tech background. It is a social news website that originally billed itself as News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters. The site has summaries of stories and links to news articles submitted by their users. Then, each story becomes the topic of a threaded discussion among users. The popular stories are then sent out daily in the newsletter. This catches some topics that the more mainstream news sites care less about.

5.) Sweepstakes Advantage

For those into entering sweepstakes, the site provides a daily newsletter of new sweepstakes you can enter. They maintain a directory of giveaways, categorized by type and end date. So, I can easily see what's new for Instagram giveaways or ones that you must be a resident of Massachusetts to enter. I don't enter as many giveaways as I used to, but I still find their daily newsletter helpful.

I get plenty more newsletters daily and weekly, some even monthly. Some are too specialized for the general audience, like Krebs on Security which highlights data breaches and computer warnings, while others are related to the latest deals available at your favorite store, like Totally Target and I Heart CVS. Those pair up online coupons with the latest store-specific sales for you to get the best prices for things you may or may not need. Depending upon what stores you like will determine which store-specific deals newsletter you should subscribe to.

What are some of your favorite newsletters? Please share in the comments below, and please do include why a particular newsletter is a favorite.

*Read my Disclosure