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How To Handle Ezine Overload…Without Turning Into An Ezine Junkie!

Written By: Roger J. Burke

This article may be freely used in ezines, on websites or in e-books, as long as the by-line is left intact.

Notification of publication would be greatly appreciated, and if possible, a copy of the relevant ezine or newsletter.
Please send notification to: mailto:webmaster@online-wealth.com

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The good thing about ezines is there are a lot to choose from; the bad thing about ezines is also there are a lot to choose from!

If, like many others, you subscribe to many ezines, the sheer number coming at you can be daunting. Every day, every week, day in, day out – whew! What to do? How did I get myself in this fix, in the first place? I was spending so much time reading, categorizing, printing and filing a mountain of ezines, our home office was beginning to look like a used paper factory! Sometimes, I’d wonder if I was turning into an ezine junkie!

“That’s it!” Sherry says one day, “YOU gotta do something about this monkey on yer mind! Today already! I can’t find the door to the bathroom, fer Pete’s sake.” She glares at me…I looked around – it wasn’t quite that bad, but I could see her point.

So, I did.

First off, I took more notice of the SUBJECT line of every email, instead of just eagerly, madly, desperately, clicking on every one. Pretty soon, I found out that the ones that were ALWAYS IN CAPS were of little or no use, so I didn’t bother reading them any more. Those that included ezines were quickly consigned to the UNSUBSCRIBE basket.

That still left a heckuva lot of ezines!

Hey, that SUBJECT line is pretty cool – why not scan through all of those first and see which ones *really* grab me? Which of them are really talking to *me*?

So, I did.

Hmmm, this is interesting, some of those SUBJECT lines are really vague, or outrageously pompous, or unrelated to my interests, or just plain dull. Tap, tap, click, click – gone. Oh, what a relief! The UNSUBSCRIBE basket was growing and my fingers were flying!

“You’ve still got a long way to go,” Sherry says darkly, as she fills up another garbage bag of ezine litter.

Sherry was right: That cut things down a fair bit, but still not enough – I could FEEL Sherry’s eyes boring through me as I then reviewed each ezine. Nervously, my finger hovered over the mouse button – TD (To Delete) or Not TD, that’s the question?

Hey, is there a Table Of Contents I can look at and perhaps find out if there is something that *REALLY* grabs me? Maybe I should scan that first?

So, I did.

What, this here ezine has NO Table Of Contents! I’ve been wasting my time, wading through this stuff, trying to find something *really* interesting, useful or informative? Click, gone! What about the next: hmmm, yes, here’s a Table Of Contents, quick scaaan, yes, hey, that’s an interesting headline, I’ll look at that. HOLD THAT EZINE! Next, please!

And so forth, etcetera, and so on, through the whole lot.

By the time I’d finished, I felt great. Sherry pats me on the back, “Goooood job, now you *only* have 385 ezines to figure out what to do with!” She smiles sweetly, pityingly, at me. “You have such a wide range of ezine categories, dear, why don’t you just concentrate on the ones that are truly, really, absolutely important to US?” Sherry said that last word with a lotta emphasis, so I figured I should take a long hard look at the remainder.

So, once again, I did!

OK, OK, so maybe I don’t really need “The Daily Life of The Madagascar Swamp Beetle”, “Secrets of Alien Life Under Your Fingernails”, or “One Million and One Things To Do With Toothpicks”. Click, click, click – all gone! I just hoped that I wouldn’t wake up one night, screaming, wondering where my box of toothpicks was! ;()

Hours later – many hours later – fingers and brain throbbing from the strain, I turned to Sherry, “OK, that’s it, we’re down to the good oil, the pot o’gold, the top of the heap – you name it!” Sherry looks at me *real* hard now, eyes narrowing, but still she has a smile on her face. Why do I suddenly feel worried, with a sinking feeling in my stomach?

“Well, dear, when you’ve finished reading each ezine, you *are* going to *delete it*…aren’t you…from now on, right?” That…that…word cut to the bone. I looked at her, frantically, my eyes widening in horror. Delete? DELETE?
I gulped for air as she went on, “And, there’ll be no more *printing* also – we do have to use the bathroom sometime, right?” Again, cutting like a razor blade. No printing? NO PRINTING? The sweat began to pop from my forehead, my eyes began to glaze, I felt myself going dizzy…

“But…”, she continues, almost hypnotically, “why don’t you *extract* from each ezine the gems of knowledge, those pearls of wisdom, that we must have…before I let you DELETE?” I thought about that, trying to calm down…hmmm, yes, why not open up a text editor, and copy/paste the *really* good stuff to a new file. And, one for each day maybe, properly labeled with a headline, and in a special folder…or even on a diskette? Why not, indeed?

So, I did…

A few too many hours later, I beamed at Sherry, “There we are, all extracts nicely filed, *almost* all ezines deleted (hey, I’m not perfect, OK, Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that, alright?), and all the *categorically* useful information can now be printed on one or maybe two pages, each day or so!” Pause… “Well, no more than three pages, tops.” I smiled happily, but probably looked like an idiot. She smiled benignly and patted my hand, making soothing sounds.

“What more can I do?” I ask.

“Take out all this garbage, would you dear?”

Some things never change! :-((

About the Author

Roger Burke has been involved with computers since 1967, and has managed to break quite a few, over the years. He, and his wife Sherry, are now actively engaged in online self-publishing and promoting specific affiliate programs at http://online-wealth.com . If you have any comments or questions about this article, please send emails to mailto:webmaster@online-wealth.com .
Copyright 2001, Online-Wealth. All rights reserved.

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