Ezine software for Mac??

So, I am in the middle of trying to revive the Ezine for another web forum where I mod and was wondering if anyone is hip to a decent Ezine software program for Mac? Does not have to be free.

Anyone? Anyone?

Could you be a little more specific about what you are looking for out of such a program? Chances are there is something out there, though most likely a web application rather than a local application, which can provide exemplary support for web publishing, but I’m not sure what makes an Ezine different from a blog, or a content management system, or just a plain old website management program like RapidWeaver (which is a Mac program).

Ok, let’s chuck the word Ezine for a moment because I think that verbiage itself was the cause of its own defunctitude.

Let’s say newsletter instead. With graphics. Maybe. :confused:

Does perhaps Scrivener itself contain this ability and I am unaware?

Ah, so basically you want to produce a periodical newsletter for e-mail delivery with HTML formatting? Scrivener can export to HTML using compile, however that probably isn’t the best way to go about it as the type of HTML it produces is a bit too “modern” for many e-mail clients. Many of them have issues with using CSS at all, and even more have issues with CSS that is not inside the HTML elements themselves. That all might be in the language of Geekish, but what it basically means is that it uses methods for formatting a web page which not all e-mail clients and webmail clients have adopted: some/all formatting may be lost for some of your readers. Additionally, while it includes images in this export (you just have to make sure you drag them into the text document itself in Scrivener), it doesn’t support any kind of formatting to them, like word flow around images, and will require knowledge of how to adjust the image references to the appropriate spot. With e-mail, you can’t include the images directly in the mailing itself—they have to be located on a web server somewhere and then the e-mail has to absolutely reference them. Scrivener’s export uses the URI protocol and relative referencing which is not useful for this particular application.

So I’m not sure I would recommend Scrivener 1.x as a one-shot HTML e-mail production tool. For writing the actual content, sure, but you’ll need something that can edit the files it makes and output good old school HTML 4.01. Scrivener 2.x, on the other hand, will have much better support for this and could potentially be used for e-mail publication (though I haven’t really looked into that in aspect yet, all of the options I’ve seen, such as using BR instead of P and so forth, which are vital components to effective e-mail design).

Setting aside Scrivener for the moment, this is an area of software I’m not terribly familiar with because honestly I’ve always just hand-coded websites, and especially HTML e-mails because there are so many little gotchas with e-mail delivery that most web design applications do not address well, since they are tuned to browser delivery and taking advantage of the most modern developments there. RapidWeaver, for instance, would be perfectly useless precisely because it’s such a savvy modern web application.

This is probably more information than you were expecting. I’ve spent the past few years honing the craft of HTML e-mail delivery and learning all of its weaknesses, so I might be a bit more “picky” than most.

You might wish to look at something web-based. MailChimp, I believe is free if your subscription base is below a certain amount, and provides a very wide array of templates and tools for proper newsletter delivery. Using a template means you don’t have to worry so much about the gritty details. You can just dump your text and illustrations into the correct areas, preview it, and be done with it. It will even generate a text version for you, which helps keep your newsletter from ending up in people’s spam folders.

Wow.

I have been taken up into the pretty, spinning, disk shaped craft of alien origin, given the secrets of the universe, and… I don’t read the script. :open_mouth: :mrgreen:

Just kidding.

Thank you for the info. Your response took time and thought. I appreciate it.

I’m having a lookie at RapidWeaver as we speak and a few other programs.

To give an idea of what I am thinking of, here is the newsletter recently sent out by my competing web-forum: http://www.writingforums.com/newsletter/2.pdf

It’s a little bloated in my opinion, and I would be looking to create something a little slicker, and much more trimmed. They host the newsletter at their actual site and also in this PDF format.

To reiterate, RapidWeaver is probably not a good tool for this job because it is tuned to take advantage of the latest in browser advancements. E-mail is still stuck in 1995 in many aspects.

That said most of what you’ve demonstrated with the PDF could be accomplished in HTML save for columns. You can fake columns with a table (and there are other advanced techniques which are better that only work on the web and then only in some browsers), but it’s a real pain because it has no concept of flow. If you add a paragraph to the top of the left column, the overflow will not spill into the top of the right column, but just push the left column down so that it is disproportionate with the right column.

Publishing in PDF isn’t a bad option for something like a zine. It’s a bit unorthodox in terms of what people expect from an e-mail newsletter, but I think as long as you provide the content in the e-mail itself, and the PDF for those that want to read it as intended or print it out, it would work well and be considered a nice touch. Using PDF for the design you linked to is, however, overkill in my opinion. I’d only use PDF is layout is intensive and highly stylistic.

I’m not sure if the aesthetic of the newsletter you linked to above is really important to you, but have you considered just using apple’s mail.app “stationary”? They’re html, but not greatly complex, so they should look fine in most email programs, and they let you intersperse pictures with text.

Actually, thanks for mentioning that as it reminded me that images can be included in the e-mail itself (though the trick doesn’t work everywhere), it’s just not highly recommended because, especially if your mailing list is large, it can really bog down the servers. That’s why I had forgotten all about it, as I was working primarily for very large mailing lists, and then you have to be very careful about total mail size because you can bring a mail server to its knees if you sent out 100,000 copies of what Mail uses for stationary. :slight_smile: It’s fine for individual one-offs, though.

Incidentally, Apple is using HTML for stationary, along with that attached image trick, you just don’t have very much control over it. HTML is the only “standard” for formatting e-mail between clients. Using the word “standard” is a bit unfair since within that declaration there is a huge amount of variation. Some clients support a lot, others support hardly any at all, others mangle things or omit half of the specification. There are other ways to format e-mail, but they are not standard in the sense that 9 out of 10 clients will not know what to do with them. Microsoft, in more recent version of Outlook, has made the idiotic move of going back to Word rendering—which doesn’t work with anything other than Outlook/express.

Robert,

Thank you. :wink:

Every avenue of investigation is appreciated. To be honest, I’m not sure at all what I really want if only because of the variable of how much time investment I can afford.

I can tell you the Ezine (for so it was named) died a quick death at my other forum because those who took on the project reached too far, they got it in their minds that the product they had decided on was not a changeable dynamic, and in the end it came to nothing.

Where I am right now with my fellow powers that be over there is trying to get them to buy into a smaller, more do-able project. I’m in the middle of negotiations that it can be other than what it was, so to speak.

Wish me luck!

So why email? Why not s CMS like Drupal, Wordpress, or even Blogger to post your NL to the net. Then set up a notification/rss feed to allow folks to pull the update. This will allow you a lot more flexibility as well as easier maintenance and user interaction.

Keep in mind that if you want to have “authenticated” access to “registered users only” you will need to look at one of the more complex solutions like Drupal or Wordpress. I am a Drupal fan for no other reason that “it is what I use”. You might hate it. Wordpress is pretty widely used by a large number of simpler sites. It might get what you need. There are a ton of options though so give a few of them a look before settling on a single option.