Shutting off the EdTech Factotum newsletter (but keeping the blog)

With the recent changes to the European privacy laws, and my lack of ability to maintain any kind of publishing schedule, I’ve decided to scrap the EdTech Factotum newsletter.

I started the EdTech Factotum newsletter a year ago with the goal of publishing a new edition each week, summarizing three articles that I had read that week. I managed to maintain a pretty consistent schedule for the first few months, but soon started faltering, missing a week here and a week there.

The time between publishing newsletters got longer and longer. I had some technical issues as I fought with Tiny Letter, and tried to reclaim my newsletter by installing the MailPoet plugin and using that to publish my newsletters directly from WordPress. But that created it’s own headaches as it didn’t play well with the Gutenberg WordPress editor.

Frustrating as the technical was, I like to think there is value in working thru the frustration as it helps me keep my skills up.

But then came the GDPR, the new EU privacy legislation that makes my own provinces FIPPA regulations (once some of the the strongest in Canada) pale by comparison.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. The GDPR is an excellent privacy regulation. Progressive and aggressive, the GDPR provides users data protection and privacy legislation that is a model for the rest of the world. Indeed, as you no doubt have noticed yourself with the onslaught of privacy and terms of service updates you have received over the past few weeks, the rest of the world has reacted to the GDPR as, well, the Internet knows no geographical boundaries.

The GDPR requirements are not onerous. As far as I can tell, I would need to get some kind of explicit opt-in consent from the 100 or so folks who have subscribed to the EdTech Factotum newsletter, create a privacy policy for the site, and provide some better opt-out tools. And, really, I am in Canada so could probably continue to proceed with the newsletter as is until my country (and more likely my province) updates the privacy legislation to be in line with the EU’s. Which, I think, is inevitable.

But the GDPR + the technical challenges + the lack of output from me = an easy decision to drop the ETF newsletter and just blog.

If you are one of the subscribers to the newsletter, know that I am deleting all stored subscription information from the site, including your name and email address. I’m just uninstalling MailPoet and will sweep thru the DB to make sure any of your info is deleted from my site.

I’ll continue to blog here at EdTech Factotum. The only difference is now this will just be a regular ol’ blog and there won’t be any newsletters emailed to you fine folks. I’ll still post the occasional summary of what I read here. And you can still follow along via the RSS feed (remember those?),  Twitter, or my EdTech Factotum Facebook page.

Photo: Mobile Privacy by EFF Photos CC-BY