At 3:33 PM -0600 2/8/2000, Mike Avery wrote:
> HTML BAD!!!
> Big messages BAD!!
> Sending that crap without asking permission first - VERY BAD!!!
One our of three isn't bad. HTML isn't bad. big messages aren't bad.
sending either without the person saying it's okay -- that's bad,
although even then, the answer is "it depends".
When Amazon moved their update subscriptions to supporting HTML, they
converted all their subscriptions to HTML, and gave people a way to
change back. Another service that's currently working on adding the
same functionality, but which shall remain nameless, looked at the
same issue, and decided to leave everyone on the text version of the
publication, and to set things up to make it easy to switch to HTML
if they want it.
it all comes down to which choice is better for your audience. I
know, for instance, that a recent survey of subscribers to a certain
mailing list system on what those subscribers wanted, 50% asked for
an HTML version, and 20% didn't care, leaving only 30% who preferred
the text-only option. And frankly, if you're sure 70-80% of your
users are going to want to change to HTML, then it *does* make sense
to switch everyone over and ask the others to switch back, on the
principle of doing what is best for the largest part of your
population. Yes, you'll honk off some folks -- but whatever you do,
including nothing, will honk off some part of a group. So decisions
need to get made by the principles of least-harm/most-good.
to say "html bad" is very, oh, 1996. maybe 1997. HTML, when well
done, is very good. In fact, for a general audience, I could make a
good argument that not even bothering with a text-only list would be
okay. Yes, 20% of users prefer text-only, but the percentage of those
who'd do without is much smaller than that, depending mostly, of
course, on how interesting the content is.
Chuq Von Rospach - Plaidworks Consulting (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
Apple Mail List Gnome (mailto:email@example.com)
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
and say 'Man, what are you doing here?'"