Toronto. Journal editor Bob Lansdale created the PHSC newsletter in November 2001 to promote the monthly meetings and other current events between journal printings, plus offering a more economical means to publish articles better suited to colour images. The newsletter is distributed free each month in pdf format both on our web site and to a growing number of folk who have submitted an email address.
To increase distribution, we began to solicit email addresses at our events using a form created by Bob Lansdale. I did the distribution via my own email. At one point the distributions stopped and I contacted Bell Support. The company had unilaterally decided to block all emails exceeding 100 addresses. If a customer wished to exceed the limit, blocks of 100 addresses were allowed every 24 hours. Fortunately Support gave me clearance for up to 5,000 addresses per document.
Some months later, distribution stopped again. This time the 100 address limit was enforced but I could send all address blocks the same night. I split the distribution list into a bunch of blocks of 100 or fewer addresses (Bell explained this limit was to counteract any risk of junk mail distribution). A third time the distribution was blocked unilaterally after I sent a few blocks of addresses. This time my password had to be changed frequently as Bell Support “suspected” others were using my address illegally. This continued for months with no over-ride provision offered by Bell.
When the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) took effect, Bell stopped interfering and I could distribute the newsletter as I wished.
Volume 12-10 in January 2013 saw a new editor. Bob Lansdale spun off his innovative newsletter to David Bridge while I continued distribution. Under David, we looked once again at MailChimp. An earlier investigation following the suggestion put forth by John Linsky fell through when we determined the imbedded hot links in pdf files that MailChimp distributed did not work. This limitation had been rectified so our mail list was moved to MailChimp using David’s server. I continued to do updates to the mail list and MailChimp automatically deleted addresses on request (unsubscribe) and tested whether new addresses were repeats or revisions to existing addresses. The move was definitely a time saver and eliminated any need for a PHSC unsubscribe email address. MailChimp also provided statistics on things like deleted emails, percentage opened, comparison to similar organizations, etc.
Volume 16-3 in July 2016 was the last of the original newsletters. From volume 16-4 on the name was changed to the PHSC News. This refreshed layout reflected the newer ideas and a tighter format intended to attract readers without competing with our more academic journal, Photographic Canadiana. David worked closely with Sonja Pushchak as each issue of the refreshed newsletter was distributed. In February 2017 with PHSC News 16-9, Sonja officially became the newsletter editor. David continued with MailChimp distribution and I continued with updates.
Today, we are at about 1,800 addresses (MailChimp is free for 2,000 or fewer addresses regardless of how often you use the service). If you don’t get a copy of our PHSC News, check here to see the latest issue and what you are missing, then send your name and email address to us here.