My flight home yesterday was canceled, so I took advantage of the enforced downtime to implement something new. You can now subscribe to The Local Yarn by email.

This is a nice & easy way of getting new writings and updates, but there’s an additional important part about this: the email newsletter will include new comments as well as new posts. I’m trying to follow through with the concept of comments as “long term notes”, and specifically with holding up my end of the bargain I make with commenters: I subject new comments to varying levels of heavy scrutiny, but if your comment is published it gets nearly equal status with the original post. I’ve already implemented that idea into the visual presentation of comments, now I’m making good on it from the publishing side as well.

One of my goals for TLY is that good posts will actually get better over time by attracting high-quality comments. The challenge is that, on any site, good posts tend to drop out of view with the passing of time. In this default environment, commenters have very little incentive to add a note to an older post because almost no one would see it.

Email subscriptions are one of my ideas for closing this feedback loop. Having a community of subscribers will make it attractive to contribute to, and easy to enjoy, all the new writing on TLY. As gardener-in-chief, I’ll be doing my part to cycle through and renew older writings with comments of my own, as well as adding new writing.

On the subscriptions page, you’ll see that I also implemented an RSS feed for new comments in addition to the existing one for new posts. If you prefer the RSS route, you can get all the same functionality that way. Not as many people use RSS these days, though, so having the email subscription option ensures a low-friction way for both comments and posts to be delivered to as many readers as possible.