Issue # 6 Monday, July 6, 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 software. 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. 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 40+ e-mail publications on a wide variety of topics.


  

INDEX
E-mail-zine Essentials

Again with a couple of shorter reviews (probably the standard format in the future). "This is True" and "News of the Weird", a couple of e-mail e-mail-zines that cover the strangeness and inaninty that shows up in the general press.

Review #1 - This is True
Quick Rating:
Overall - 5+
Content - 5
Writing - 5
Regularity - 5
Extras - 5

E-zine Description: This is True is a weekly syndicated newspaper column by Colorado humorist Randy Cassingham. True is a commentary on the news, and reports on bizarre-but-true news items found in "legitimate" printed news sources from around the world. Each story is punctuated with commentary by Randy -- a tagline which is humorous, ironic, opinionated or some combination thereof -- with luck, all three. It has been publishing weekly since June, 1994, and currently runs in print in three countries, as well as by e-mail subscription to a huge audience on the Internet (from the This is True Web site).

Frequency of Publication: Weekly

Subscription Instructions: send a blank e-mail to the following e-mail address.
Address:
join-this-is-true@lyris.net

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

Contact Information:
Visit the site or submit questions to: arcie@thisistrue.com

Cost: Free. There is also a premium subscription with extra items (and of course extra commentary) available for $15US/year; send a blank message to: Upgrade@thisistrue.com for details.

Review

I was first introduced to This is True in May of 1995 when I was searching around on the Web and Gopher (Web precursor) for e-mail publications to subscribe to. This it True is a professionally done e-mail-zine that does everything a good one should. Randy does an excellent job searching out the latest in strange but true facts. Randy is a bonafide e-mail/net and traditional media publishing celebrity and has been seen talking to all sorts of important people about the benefits of e-mail publishing. Take a gander at his talk given at the The Online News Summit II.

Rating:

Content - 5
This newsletter is a lot of fun. Up-to-date weirdness in the form of five or more shorts every week, each appended by well-chosen and funny "editor" comments. I find that I generally hear about the strange stuff here before it filters down to the other on-line and print publications that I read. Always something here to make you choke or laugh.

Writing Quality/Style - 5
Stylish, well laid and well organized. The prose always entertains and Randy's quips add some nice spice.

Regularity - 5
Every week like clockwork (calender work?)

Extras - 5
This is True is done by a guy that knows his e-mail-zines. Every issue has the proper extra details (see last weeks column) and a few more like the "honorary unsubscriber" obituary and a listing of available This is True books.

Overall - 5+
This e-mail-zine does everything so well and is entertaining enough that I'd like to give it a six. If I did I'd have to spend an hour or two making a new award graphic. So if Randy's ok with it, I hope the five works well enough.

Review #2 - Weird News

Quick Rating:
Overall - 5
Content - 5
Writing - 5
Regularity - 4
Extras - 5

E-zine Description: News of the Weird is a weekly syndicated column by Chuck Shepherd containing synopses of bizarre news stories reported in various sources. While it is carried in over 200 newspapers the News of the Weird electronic mailing list brings this column straight to your mailbox every week. The e-mail edition has over 33,000 readers on the Internet in 93 countries.

Frequency of Publication: Weekly

Subscription Instructions:
Address:
notw-request@nine.org
E-mail Subject: subscribe

WWW location: http://www.nine.org/notw/notw.html or at the Universal Press Syndicate Weird News Site http://www.newsoftheweird.com/.

Contact Information:
Visit the site or submit questions to: notw-admin@nine.org

Cost: Free!

Review

I've been reading this column for well over three years now and have enjoyed every single issue. Chuck Shepherd does a very interesting job of categorizing the weirdness he writes about, sometimes saving up tidbits for a couple months until a pattern emerges. Common categories include "the litigious society" a nutty who's-suing-who list and "least competent people" a look at the incompetant and clueless.

Rating:

Content - 5
Always something that'll make you shake your head or smile or laugh or even cry as you stroll through the things that people do that are becoming less and less strange.

Writing Quality/Style - 5
Excellent synopses of the articles that Chuck edits down into capsule form, leaving you the essential details. Very matter-of-fact with a bit of tongue-in-cheek.

Regularity - 4
Every week, mostly. This column is transcribed and mailed out by a volunteer and generally shows up 2-3 weeks after print publication.

Extras - 5
Chuck let's you know how well sourced he is by documenting every article snippet's original source. From the Edmonton Journal to the Houston Chronicle to Reuters... Every issue is accompanied by a listing of Chuck's Weird News books and links to the NOTW site.

Overall - 5
I always figure that you get a better idea of the human condition reading about the strange and unusual than you do about the latest cat that was treed just down the street. A free publication like this is a Gem.

INDEX

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