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You Say Tomato

It's easy to call a sweater a sweater, but there are different kinds of sweaters (cardigan, pullover, and so on). In the same respect, there are many kinds of email broadcasts. The general umbrella term for an independently published document is zine. This word's concept predates computer distribution; people have been circulating various works using “unconventional” methods for decades. When the Internet started gaining popularity, e-zines (electronic zines) began to pop up. An e-zine can be delivered via email or simply put up on the Web (thus becoming a webzine). It's distributed in an electronic fashion, and that's all it needs to be in order to have that little e affixed to it. So, we've got this blanket term—now how many applications can we find for it? I'd like to believe the world will never run out of new ideas for electronic communications. However, for the sake of argument, let's look at the five major types of email publications around today: email newsletters, announcement lists, bulletins/action alerts, moderated discussion lists and unmoderated discussion lists.

NOTE

Some people choose to write the words email, e-zine, and e-publication without the hyphen. We've got a relatively new medium at our doorstep, so the rules haven't been completely written yet (which, for the most part, is a good thing for all). Whatever you decide, please be consistent. What's the correct pronunciation for e-zine? I believe zine should rhyme with mean or teen, but many people are rhyming it with wine or mine. My logic is this: Do you read magaZEENs or magaZYNEs? No matter what you choose to call your publication, you're correct. After all, it's yours. Isn't it nice to be yourself?

Bonus

Distribute your electronic mailings at Topica (www.topica.com). The free service is adequate (but somewhat limited). You'll have to put up with network advertisements if you don't pay for the service. It's a great place to start for people who just want to get up and running as soon as possible.



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