Inverse filter (send to everyone except) for posts

@Scarletink @1dancona @isa_borderline & I were discussing this in the new Discord, and @John suggested we post it here.

It would be valuable if we could make it easier for users to opt-out instead of requiring them to opt-in, for a variety of reasons. Often users who have already signed up for, say, “Eleanor’s newsletter,” would be happy to get extra newsletters each week, but would not affirmatively opt-in. It would be nice there were a way to easily expand newsletter offerings, for example if I started a “reflections on personal knowledge management” feature for the Obsidian Roundup a lot of people would be interested, but others might get annoyed and want to opt-out, so I haven’t done it because currently there’s no easy way for people to opt-out unless I want to do it by hand.

David Perell of Write of Passage has his newsletter set up so that when you subscribe, you subscribe to everything, but if you find that you really don’t like his Friday Features or his Monday Musing and just want the Wednesday Writing Tips you can opt out which I imagine means that more people than would affirmatively sign up for those segments are reading them.

As another example, I could imagine someone subscribed to Scott Alexander’s Astral Codex Ten wanting to get his book reviews but not get emails about the open threads or travel updates.

A way to selectively opt out would help avoid the thing where subscribers start getting into the habit of ignoring your newsletter because they really are interested in, say, articles about management but not about personal life, whereas other people really like the personal updates.

In my opinion this feature would make healthy list management much easier and make it lower-risk to experiment with new offerings without worrying about upsetting subscribers or needing to build the whole segment from scratch or annoy people with constant opt-in letters.

Agreed, this would be a useful addition, and I’ll add my vote when I free one up. To add to that…

Although this quasi-extension of your Idea would probably be more suited to its own Idea thread since it may require… ActivityPub? I have no idea… my addition would be for a Ghost site aggregating several Ghost blogs be able to allow the user to subscribe/unsubscribe to/from any of the aggregated blogs, possibly even allowing for the user to receive an automated and condensed digest once a week or so from their selections. But that’s all something for way down the line, if even at all.

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The way I would imagine this working is that you’d be able to create new “user selected” segments, of which you could either start them empty (opt-in), or start them with your existing subscriber base (opt-out). You’d have the (opt-out) list automatically add anyone who subscribes to your “main” newsletter.

Anyway, I think it’d be a pretty fantastic way of scaling larger newsletters, and allowing a bit more variation on the things we send.

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