What’s the state of email newsletter services nowadays? Is there any service differentiating itself on being privacy-respecting? (No tracking/analytics/short URLs.) I’ve been looking, but all the services I find seem to be all about maximum-tracking. *sigh*

@laura did you consider using Mailpoet? It is a wordpress plugin, and the free version is very limited in tracking abilities. A pro-feature in your case :-)

@laura Maybe in the end it is enough reason to set up a wp site just for this...

@laura I seem to be very good in giving you ‘nah, not exactly what I was looking for’ advice 🙃

@dosch haha, I appreciate you trying! It’s just not worth setting up a WP site, with all the associated difficulties of WP sites (I used to use WP a lot.) Most of the plugins are full of tracking (including WP’s own.) It might be a hopeless cause right now…

@laura @dosch I've just disabled MailPoet on a web I mantain for exactly the same reasons... And I'm starting to wonder if wordpress is worth the effort.
I've managed to not expose visitors to google fonts and such, but even with very few plugins, I think it is impossible to get rid of it on the control panel.

The site has a small userbase (around 150 contacts) so, once I've imported it into my mail client, I don't think I'm using any other plugin for sending bulletins...

@aab @laura how do you check for external trackers in your website?
My uBlock doesn’t report anything when I’m on my site...

@dosch @laura Besides ublock, I use privacy badger and umatrix

@dosch @aab I use Safari/Mac so my setup won’t be much use to you!

@laura An option: Run/host your own PHPList instance and turn off all URL tracking.

Or if you're really into an adventure, create a one-way announce list on your own Mailman 3 and Mailserver instance.


I did'nt know that you can run our own PHP-list instance!


@MacLemon yeah, we’ve been through the self-hosting option with Sendy, but it’s just too much to maintain.


If I recall cocrrectly, @carlo had a very similar question a few weeks ago!?
I'm not sure what he ended up with, though....

@el_joa @laura I went with Substack, but they do track. I could do without it (for this particular newsletter of mine) but the rest of the features made up for it (YMMV). I wanted to get going *fast* and not fall into that ol' bikeshedding routine (…again). It was a conscious decision on my end.

Let's ask @klickreflex what Buttondown is like in that regard (it's what he is using for his newsletter).

@laura sadly, the better (maybe only?) option is probably something that is Free Software and rolling your own SMTP outgoing e-mail service. Or maybe delegating the actual sending to some paid relay service with reasonable terms of service, but finding one might be a bit of hit and miss :pika:

@aperezdc yeah, we’ve tried that before, and it’s just too much maintenance. I think it’s a long-shot to find something that is both privacy-respecting and easy to use.

@laura In my experience an only outgoing SMTP service is not that much of a hassle, modulo initial setup, at least for moderate amounts of traffic. That's my experience for a <100 people company service. That is, if you can trust your users won't abuse the service.

Receiving mail over SMTP is a tough beast, because just handling spam and virus scanning may need a dedicated beefy machine.

We can “thank” the big tech companies for making email setup hard :blobugh:

@laura I looked around myself as well, couldn't find anything useful there. Decided to go for webfeeds instead since they are definitely privacy respecting and there isn't even a need to collect email addresses.

For people who prefer email, there is still the option to use a feed2mail service.

Anyway, when you find one, I would love to hear and push privacy-respecting newsletter services!

Alway thought that was the purpose of having mailing lists and newsletters instead of good old newsservers and RSS: To get the users' e-mail addresses and permission to flood their inboxes.
( I heard something about spam being a problem on newsservers, but why wouldn't the same spamfilters as for e-mail work there?)

I believe mailgun doesn't do any tracking by default. However I'm not 100% sure...

@laura @aral Standard Notes Extended accounts let you post your “note” as a blog post that people can subscribe to. No analytics.

@laura if your looking for info on stuff try reddit? Easier than news letters and you get privacy as well 😊

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Little updates, posts, and toot-able things by Laura Kalbag. Leave your surveillance capitalism shackles behind and come join me in the fediverse! Want to know why I’m here? Read my post on ‘What is Mastodon and why should I use it?’