On-line/emailable family newsletter

I’d like to start up a monthly family newsletter, but am not sure what kind of format to use. I don’t want a simple email text type of thing, I’d like to be able to include pictures, graphics, etc.

Can anyone else that has done this give me any advice? Is a website/blog better, or is there a program that I can use to produce an emailable version? Keep in mind, as I’m sure my questions show, that I’m not the most computer savvy person in the whole world.

Sending an HTML/graphical newsletter through email can’t be done using a regular email client like Outlook Express etc. Instead you need to use a special way set up through a mail server, which is what companies use for mailing lists.

On the other hand, embedding an image into an email, much like an attachment, is pretty easy, but a little boring.

The other problem you will have is that HTML emails do not like certain HTML and CSS code, so they don’t always look right in certain email clients, particularly online clients like Hotmail, Yahoo, and GMail.

And on top of that, they’re more likely to be flagged as spam and go straight to a junk filter.

Ugh. It’s a struggl to get anything working right, but it can be done if you work at it.

A website might be a better idea, then you can just send the link to everyone when you update it. If you don’t have your own webspace, you could set up a blog through Blogger or a similar site. That would let you add pictures etc, although you can’t control the layout as completely as you could with your own webpage. You can of course make the blog private so only family members you specify and/or invite can access it.

See above my “not the most computer savvy person in the world”. I would not mind working at it, I would just not have any clue how what to do. Are there any simple, fill-in-the blanks type template for email newsletters floating around?

That’s probably the leading candidate at the moment. Is creating a personal webpage, as opposed to blog, very much more complicated?

Not that I know of. If you don’t already have a fair amount of experience buggering about with HTML and mail server software, then it’s probably best not to try it, and go with Colophon’s suggestion of starting up a blog. Many come with pre-made templates that are easy to set up and post onto, so it should be simple for a beginner.

There are online sites, such as http://www.myfamily.com where you can do just exactly what you’re asking about. They charge a small annual fee, and you can post pictures, news, recipes, whatever you want.

My family uses this and we really like it.

You could create a “Google Docs” file and everyone could just update it with the stuff you refer to. It’s free.

Thanks, FatBaldGuy…umm, not that I think you’re fat. And baldness can be very attractive…

Anyway, I’ll definitely check that site out.

A plug for personal websites:

The myfamily site charges $30/year for the premium package. For less than $50 per year more, you can not only post family pictures and cool HTML newsletters, you can also provide 100 people in your family with personalized email addresses based on the family name - if you get your own website!

For instance, if your family name is Smith, I can plug that into the search box on the website I’m about to give you and I get an available website called [noparse]smithworld.us[/noparse]. By adding the word “family” to the end of Smith, I come up with [noparse]smithfamilyworld.com[/noparse]. This would mean that if your name was Lucretia Smith, you could have an email address of [noparse]lucretia@smithfamilyworld.com[/noparse]. You can ask family members to kick in a few bucks for their email addresses to help pay for the site as well.

Try my hosting service: Tigertech. I’ve been with them over 10 years and I am very happy with their customer service and reliability. Plans start at $75 per year if paid by the year, or $6.95 per month if paid monthly. This includes an incredible amount of disk space and more than generous bandwidth - plus if you’re not happy, you can cancel at any time and all the unused funds (even on a prepaid yearly plan) will be refunded. You can’t ask for much more from a hosting service, IMHO.

Good luck on the family site. It can be very rewarding, keeping a site like that going. If you need help, feel free to PM me and I’ll do what I can.