Roundabout a year ago yours truly sought out “substitute” for this blog. I desired the ability to “post” information to content consumers, much as is done with websites, except I wanted the content delivered direct. Use an email newsletter service. Voila! There are tons of those around. Easy!
That is a fact. There are plenty of email newsletter service providers already in business. Some are free, and others even allow you to charge for your newsletter. I was looking for both options, but I also wanted the ability to encrypt newsletters with OpenPGP and provide subscribers with a way to read the stuff without having a degree from MIT (i.e. install crazy complex software); I thought it would also be nice to have some protection for both myself and potential subscribers in case of a security breach. As the latter goes, nothing but NOTHING is un-hackable, so why not make the stored data completely useless to miscreants?
I simply could not get this combination of features from anything in the wild, so I built it myself (with a little help of course). It is called MKISIO.
After covering the basic requirements some additional fun stuff was added, including …
- Optional invitation functionality – so a publisher can ensure only known peeps are subscribing to their newsletter
- Shortlink and QR code quick subscribe widgets – for plastering on legacy blogs and social media profiles
- Subscription clearinghouse – as new publications are started, anyone with an account can find them and subscribe (assuming they are not invitation-only)
- A couple of aces and kings up a sleeve, guaranteeing consistent performance in Hold ‘Em
As to the why this concoction was dreamed up in the first place, well the folks over at ReclaimTheWeb have the skinny on that. It wasn’t about creating a solution for raw censorship or economic hardball a.k.a. de-platforming though; I just wanted something that could afford more privacy and security, thereby making free speech the default. Sure, if someone wants to share confidential information via a MKISIO newsletter, they most certainly can use the encryption functionality. That was part of my original wish list, if only because nobody was doing it. Call it a personal challenge, successfully tackled. But the system is also good for sharing treasured fruitcake recipes, keeping extended family up-to-date on the kiddos report cards, or castigating members of the condo association … without fear of “repercussions”.
Meanwhile, I will be writing what otherwise would get posted here, over there. You can subscribe to my newsletters by clicking this link. Alternatively, feel free to point your phone camera at the nifty QR code to the left (that is if you are not already reading this post on it).
End Note: If you’ve read all of the above technical jargon slash carefully crafted PR and are still wondering where the name came from because you thought “MKIS” stood for Marketing Information Systems (you are correct), just read this (warning: it’s silly, but almost the truth). Finally, don’t forget that the beast is still work-in-progress, so if you decide to play and find a problem please feel free to let me know.
MG signing off (to blog via email for a while)