Welcome. I thought mailing lists were dead. Didn’t you?

The title I’ve give this post is the subject line from the mailing list Rands has set up.

Since the death of Google Reader a few months ago, and despite the fact that I set up my own aggregator and native client pair, having a busy work and home life means that aggregators as a separate port of call just don’t get a look in.

I think I’ve probably subscribed to about five mailing lists in the past six months. This is something I never thought would happen, and frankly, I find it reasonably depressing. Not only should most email not exist, I’m now adding to it! The mass-closure and restrictions of open ecosystems and web APIs in the past few years seems to have led to a narrowness of thought, and an approaching peak (nadir?) of the celebration of startup culture, which, whilst terribly exciting in its “let’s solve a problem!” form, is really quite awful in its’ “we’ll only solve problems that make money!” form.

So the question I ask myself now is, would I pay for a decent aggregator service which gets itself back into my day without causing me massive disruption? Well, no, not if it’s yet another data-owning service which just mines me to sell to someone else. What’s the point? I use enough of those already. What I need is something that inveigles itself into my daily flow. Uses the tools I already use. Gives me direction rather than makes me make choices. A bit..like…email 🙁