Issue # 25 Monday, December 7, 1998

About the Author:

Internet e-zine guru Todd Kuipers

Todd Kuipers is a software designer/Internet consultant, living and breathing, with his wife Susanna, in Calgary, Alberta. He is resident at Merak Projects currently working on Web based implementations of their petroleum softwareand their Web site. He spends his spare time reading, writing, reading and writing about beer, tasting beer, reviewing anything that he comes across and providing pure research skills to paying customers. Current and past things Todd and Internet can be seen at http://propagandist.com/.

One time proprietor of the currently defunct "E-mail-zines list", a listing of e-zines available via e-mail, Todd kept his interest in "low-bandwidth active delivery content" and currently subscribes to (and generally reads) 80+ e-mail publications on a wide variety of topics.


  

Full-column and topic INDEX

First up this week: Amazon.com and the plethora of newsletters that they provide (to absolutely anyone). Below that, another short, and further down, the credits!

Review - Amazon Newsletters

Quick Rating:
Overall - 5
Content - 5
Writing - 5
Regularity - 5
Extras - 5

E-zine Description: From the site:

Discover new books, music, and video with our free recommendation service. Tell us what you like and we'll e-mail you recommendations, reviews, articles, and interviews--all tailored to your tastes. Plus, from time to time, your favorite authors, artists, or actors will drop you a line. Sign up now!

Frequency of Publication: varies, many bi-weekly

Subscription Instructions:
Visit:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/subst/delivers/delivers-signup-combo.html/

WWW location:
http://www.amazon.com/

Contact Information:

http://www.amazon.com/

Cost: free

Review

Content - 5
I don't tend to review e-zines and newsletters as a cluster, but the volume of information that Amazon distributes is large enough that I wouldn't have space to cover even the few that I subscribe to. I'm reviewing the book-related newsletters and basing it on the general content from the Reference, Science and Nature, Philosophy, History, Politics, Cyberculture, Science Fiction, Literature, Independent Presses and Horror newsletters.

These newletters cover new releases, interviews, reviews, bestsellers notices, seasonal picks and general recommendations. Most of these newsletters provide anywhere from 10-25 described books and cover a wide variety, even within a particular sub-topic. Recommendations vary from solid mainstream books, to bestsellers, pop publications, and eclectic items. Each review/recommendation piece has a decent amount of content, while leading you back to the site for further info (and hopefully a purchase). The interviews are quite extensive and for the most part impart a good look at the author involved.

Writing Quality/Style - 5
The style varies, but the quality is high and quite consistent across all mailers. (As would be expected from a commercial outfit like Amazon).

Regularity - 5
Very regular, every two weeks.

Extras - 5
Well, I could wade into a review of the Amazon site and all the really swell info and books you can get there, while making sure I mention their personalized recommendation service, music and videos, and out of print search service, but I won't. Suffice it to say, these newsletters are well laid out and have all the appropriate, subscribe/unsubscribe and proper contact info bits.

Overall - 5
I use these newsletters regulary (probably too often, as my light wallet shows). A rare mailer arrives in which I can't find a book that I'd love to add to my to buy list. Very enoyable and informative. One caveat though: I use Amazon as research and recommendation service, but only rarely buy my books from the site. Given that I live in Canada, the books have to cross the border and I'm always hit with the federal sales tax and a Canada Customs "handling fee" of up to $15. I tend to take my lists and buy/order them through one of my local bookstores. Amazon could probably get more of my business if they provided a distribution centre this side of the border. But heck, regardless of my problems, I have to say their newsletters are great.

E-zine Title: Lockergnome

E-zine Description: Let Lockergnome do the work for you! We'll e-mail our Windows 95/98/NT newsletter to you for FREE--packed with the latest 32-bit downloads (freeware & shareware), websites, games, media, fonts, updates & patches, themes, tips & tricks, computer industry news, and more!

Not sure why I haven't done a review of Lockergnome yet, given that Chris is an e-mail newsletter God (135,000 subscribers). If you want tips and tricks about Windows, this is your onestop shopping point.

Frequency of Publication: daily

Subscription Instructions: Visit http://www.lockergnome.com/

WWW location:
http://www.lockergnome.com/

Contact Information:
e-mail: chris@lockergnome.com

Cost: amazingly free

Previous Issues

Text © Todd Kuipers, 1998, 1999. Part of the original Sideroad.
The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at www.sideroad.com.