What’s an Ezine?

I’m speechless… thankfully, this is a blog and I don’t have to talk. I’m just amazed that there is such a huge incoming load of emails to us in the last month all asking the same question, “What is an Ezine?” or “I’ve never heard of an ezine used as a noun before” or variations of blank stares when we mention the word “Ezine” in any communication.

6 Months ago I wrote an article to address the question, “What is an Ezine?

First, a refresher or heads up for anyone who really doesn’t know what an “Ezine” is: IT IS AN EMAIL-BASED NEWSLETTER. :-)

How does this apply to Ezine@rticles.com?

We got our start by providing supplemental content for EZINE publishers who need short articles that they could use without having to ask permission from the author as long as they included the resource box, kept all of the text/links in-tact and followed a simple TOS (Terms of Service) when reprinting.

For the pro’s reading this blog, please ignore the following as it’s for the benefit of those new to what an ‘ezine’ is:

When you write articles and syndicate or distribute them on a site like ours, you are NOT an ezine publisher.

Recently, I’ve even seen a competitor using one of those freebie knock-off CMS’s to create an ezine article directory when this webmaster clearly had no idea what an ‘ezine’ is.

Some think “ezine” is a word we made up. I’m not kidding. Sorry to disappoint, but we didn’t make up the word. We’re named “Ezine Articles” because the articles within the site are or were originally intended for ezine publishers to use.

If you write articles and distribute them to a site like ours, you are not technically an “ezine writer” nor are you producing an “ezine” but rather you are a syndicated author or writer.

If you host the same articles you syndicate to us, your website is not an ezine.

If you produce your own newsletter online via the web, your newsletter is not an ezine.

If you host any of our articles via our RSS feeds via your own website, you are not an ezine publisher, but rather we would consider you a webmaster or *RSS publisher*.

If there was one main point I could drive home today about what really makes up an EZINE, it would be this distinction: An ezine is an email-based newsletter.


Any questions?


Edward Weiss writes:

Yeah, I thought the term “ezine” was pretty much known throughout cyberland. I’m pretty sure those 25 and under know what it is. It’s the generation after that that may be a bit confused.

I guess that’s bad news for the “ezine queen” huh?

Comment provided July 16, 2006 at 12:54 PM


Lance@carwashguys.com writes:

I think it is rather hilarious that someone built a directory site, used the word Ezines and attempted to attract people to post articles in their directory site. But maybe the joke is on all of us. Because even if they do not know what it is; millions of internet users do. And therefore when they type Ezines into the search engines this site is attempting to get your traffic and attract writers to it. Although this is reletively small peanuts it does show that “imitation is the highest form of flattery?”

Comment provided July 16, 2006 at 6:44 PM


Dina writes:

An ezine is an electronic magazine.

Comment provided July 17, 2006 at 8:16 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Yes, it is but I remember the very first ones in 1995 and 1996. They were emailed electronic company newsletters, academic newsletters and such. Then in 1997 we saw Electronic Trade Journals and Industry Association emailed newsletters. Yes rather crude, as they have lines of asterisks across the page signifying the next topic, but those were Ezines too. Many non-profits, museums, government agencies send out Ezines now too, some sub-contract this out some do not.

When does a Museum online Newsletter become a Magazine like the paper copy of the Smithsonian and when is it only an online Newsletter? When does a company newsletter become an Ezine? Because many companies like Costco put out Magazines as company Newsletters. Is it a matter of graphics, which change the definition? Are the predecessors to the Ezine in 1995, 96 and 97 invalid as Ezines?

I receive online versions of many science magazines, industry trade journals and highly graphic-itized newsletters on topics of space, technology, computers, information, internet, etc. Many call themselves Ezines. Some do not. Some simply call themselves Electronic Updates, online newsletters and such. I take at least 20 government newsletters, which have lots of graphics on them.

Many online newsletters call themselves Ezines, but are really pushing the low end of the blurred line between newsletters and Ezines. Then there are the definite Ezines, which are electronic versions of print magazines and trade journals in weekly updates and they try very hard NOT to call themselves Ezines, as they wish the electronic version to re-enforce the readers loyalty to the print version. Ezines do not have a good definition; Electronic Magazine, while it is the best definition to me, seems to be lacking in the reality of the use of the word.

In fact from a pure usage standpoint of those who gather their news and information and prefer this format, I would say that Ezine does not suffice and needs an upgrade of the definition. Additionally an online newsletter or update with multiple stories or information and graphics is an Ezine, I beg to differ with anyone who denies that. In fact if it is not, then you better go 70% of those out there that call them selves Ezines, because they are running away with the show and many have HUGE subscription bases in the 10s of thousands. The definition of Ezines is evolving and attempting to limit the definition, perhaps does not serve the users or subscribers. More importantly the quality of the Ezine is at stake because of the shear numbers of new entrants into the market and the ways they attempt to differentiate themselves. This is an interesting subject and I wonder does anyone else have opinions or thoughts on alternative definitions?

Meanwhile I attempted to use the word Ezine as an action verb;


Comment provided July 17, 2006 at 1:10 PM




So, you’re suggesting that people send their ezine via RSS?

While I agree that every ezine publisher should publish an RSS feed of their newsletter, if they don’t send it via email, it’s not an ezine.

Comment provided July 18, 2006 at 5:47 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Sure why not send out Ezines RSS and capitalize on multiple branches of the Tree to distribute, plus your own email lists. An Ezine Publisher would be missing the total game if they did not do that.

I think I was more referring to article writers, who reach all the Ezine Publishers via RSS. For instance once they post in places like this the Ezine Publishers capture it that way. Which puts the article into the pipeline so to speak; so they can EZINE IT! Which one could say would then be an action verb. Because the act of putting your articles into distribution for Ezine Publishers to pick it up could be called Ezining It! In other words what do you call posting an article for the sole purpose of getting Ezines to distribute it? There is no word for that action, so we make one; Ezining it or Ezine It a verb. Kind of like Faxing It or Zerox it or FedEx it.

Ezine It. Now then how you get an ezine to pick it up is the way in which you put it into the system. Posting it on this site, is not Ezining it. But when this site sends it out RSS in hopes that those Ezine Publishers recieving it will send it to their subscriber lists then you are attempting to Ezine It. If you have a PR Article and you post it at a PR Article site you are not Ezining it, you are merely doing public relations in hopes of mass circulation.

Ezine and Ezining an article; is an intended mass distribution method action targeting Ezine Publishers to put your article in their publication. It could also be an action of an Ezine Publisher to Fling it out to their subscribers like a Frisbee, they are Ezining your article in mass email distribution.

That was my thought really. But I think that Ezines, being Electronic Magazines or Electronic Newsletters are Ezines, no matter how they are distributed and they do not necessarily have to be emailed in my opinion. For instance GM may have 110 locations in 22 countries and if they send an Electronic Newsletter to all their Vendors, Employees and Biggest Customers who are all using a similar computer network, then they would not be using email to send it, yet it is still an Electronic Magazine either way. So, if they use their computer network to send it out then it is an Ezine.

If one of these new online libraries posts an Electronic Magazine in its system, it is an Ezine, having never appeared in print yet displayed on the site. It would still be an Ezine. If someone on a Moon Colony sent a Newsletter to the ground base, they would not be using email perhaps, but the ground base would then send it out by email. So when does it become an Ezine; When it is was created, not when it was distributed you see? So you could say the creation with the intent to email means your creation is an Ezine, but if your never send it is it or is it not an Ezine.

I think absolute definitions are not smart to use because the Ezine Format is still evolving. Some Ezines are in both Print and Electronic. Some are sent by email, or on a computer system and then printed and distributed and some are printed, scanned and then emailed. So in this case a Printed Work becomes an Ezine when it is mass sent by email even if at the time it may not have been intended during its creation to be distributed in such fashion. It makes sense to be careful with definitions otherwise you box yourself in and miss a potential opportunity in the future as things evolve.

Comment provided July 18, 2006 at 10:30 AM



Ok, we’ll just have to disagree on this one.

I’ve never heard of an ezine being delivered in any format other than EMAIL as the transport mechanism.

One dot I could connect with your thoughts though:

Yes, savvy ezine publishers are finding ways to use XML to auto-create their ezines. http://www.lockergnome.com for example uses RSS feeds to create their ezines… but even then, they use EMAIL to deliver the RSS-constructed ezine.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@ :-)

Comment provided July 18, 2006 at 10:39 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Indeed we could disagree on this, yet if my history is correct ARPA contracted Bell Labs and Xerox park to come up with system of communication and they were the first people to call something E-Mail or electronic mail. But even before that, they were sending out correspondence- online network newsletters, announcements and notifications of discoveries in the same exact general format of many of the online newsletters or Ezines, which is what we would call them today.

So, even though back then it was not called an Ezine, because the term had not been coined, it was an Ezine, but email did not exist quite yet. Even the Internet did not exist, yet it was an electronic newsletter. As things progressed, it would not be important which came first.

And with regards to that, there will be further evolution of both the chicken and the egg as the fine feathered friends of distribution still have to cross the road and will figure out how; the road ahead that is (and it might be a runway).

Many companies in the Franchising Sector have intranets and online networks and they send out electronic newsletters on thier system to all their independent business people. The Brokerage industry does too to independent agents. And so does Lockheed, Boeing and General Electric. Many Government agencies have employee newsletters which go out too. And often these newsletters are shared by more than just the company, agency or non-profit, as they are viewed by vendors who have access to the system as well.

Now then, if we do not call these Electronic Magazines and Newsletters Ezines, that is okay definitionally speaking, but what are they called then?
Also what if an Ezine is placed on a specific website and the Ezine Publisher only sends out a link to the specific page. They did not send out the Ezine, it is only available online at their site. Would their Electronic Newsletter or Magazine not be an Ezine? Often they are labeled Ezines, but alas they were never emailed so by your definition they would not be Ezines? But sure they would says the people who make them?

And here is another stretch of the argument against absolute definitions; then there is writers prose; It is the artists freedom to call it what they like. If I write 10-pages and call it a novel, it is. If I write three sentences and call it a poem, it is. If I write; It Is or I am and call it a quote or tale; it is.

Definitions are too confining and who is to say in the future you might not send your Ezine to a Home Entertainment Center in the home on a big flat panel high-defintion TV combination Internet system. Who is to say the method used to do this will be called email? Most likely it will be something other than email, but the format and feel of the Ezine will most likely be the same, well at least in the early stages anyway?

What about the new SMS on the cell phones, who is to say that they will not be able to recieve such information to them or a holographic wrist watch. All this is coming and so if an Ezine is email only based then will we all miss the boat due to pure definitions. After all the Ezine Publishers will be the first to provide content in that new medium as they look for additional outlets and distributions of their already published regularly ezine.

I believe it is unwise to too narrowly focus and try to corral naturally evolving defintions, change is constant and life and information will always find a way to get to where it needs to go. So, if we do such a cut and dry definition, we leave other methods of distribution of the exact same material out to dry with none. So what are they? Outcast and if so, does that serve all of those who desire mass distribution.

Personally as a writer I do not care if my articles end up on Wal-Mart TV or the Jiffy Lube Franchisee network. After all with Wal-Mart being the Earth’s largest employer, give me all you got right? They need content too and they send out electronic newsletters on their own networks to employees, vendors and management. To me I say these mass distribution electronic newletters are Ezines.

The reason I say this is because in 1995 we put our newsletters for my company online at our website, because well because not everyone was using email yet and the attachment thing was trickey on many email programs. Not all the software would be in sync. I would say we were one of the first companies to really do this for our customers, employees and franchisees.

After seeing this incredible evolution and even watching this site, before RSS was popular, you can see how things have changed. And this leads me to speculate that they will change again in the future and thus the Ezine should have a definition which allows it to evolve rather than lose out to a more advaced species in the future. That is what I am thinking. Let’s not box ourselves in unless it serves the greater good and the forward progression of this Website, its users, its Ezine Publisher clients and hungry for content customers. After all the website name is EzineArticles right? So, lets make Ezine the most broad definition allowing for the most possible future chess moves. Any other thoughts?

Comment provided July 18, 2006 at 3:57 PM


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.