Point Lookout An email newsletter from Chaco Canyon Consulting
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Point Lookout is a free weekly email newsletter of tips, insights and perspectives that help people in dynamic problem-solving organizations find better ways to work with each other. It gives concrete, nuts-and-bolts methods for dealing with real-life situations.

ECheck out an independent review at List-A-Dayach Wednesday, you'll receive a brief email message describing a situation that will probably be familiar to you, and suggesting some ways for dealing with it that you might not have thought of. The intent is to expand your vocabulary of responses, to make you aware of more choices, so that when you next face a similar situation, you might deal with it a little better than last time. I respect your time — every article is shorter than 500 words.

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Will I start getting more spam?

Absolutely not. I will not release your address to any third party for any purpose, unless you ask me to. I do ask for some information about you in the form below, but that is solely for internal use to help me understand who my subscribers are, where my subscribers come from, and what their interests are. I do not send spam — ever.

How to suggest a topic

If you'd like to suggest a topic, just send it to me by email: rbrenxVsvYfnrOReFsIQuner@ChacvrbElvPtIsZKrZoFoCanyon.com. If you need anonymity, send your suggestion using the Point Lookout message form, which doesn't require your contact information, and which won't contain your email address unless you provide it.

Why "Point Lookout"?

Point LookoutThe Point Lookout Sandstone is the oldest element of the Mesa Verde Group of rocks, which comprise the geology of Chaco Canyon. While the Point Lookout sandstone isn't actually visible in the canyon, it can be seen at Mesa Verde, and it forms the foundation of the geological structures at Chaco. I took its name for my email newsletter because I was looking for something that suggested a longer view — a vantage point from which we can better see where we're going. So when I found that this name was also connected to Chaco Canyon, I knew it had to be. The photo above is a view of Point Lookout, which is crowned with the sandstone that bears its name. (Photo courtesy US National Park Service)

How to subscribe via RSS feed

You can also receive Point Lookout via RSS feed. Each Wednesday's issue becomes available via RSS on the following Sunday. The advantages of RSS are many, but perhaps the main ones are that it reduces your email load and it isn't subject to overly aggressive spam filtering. To subscribe via RSS, you'll need an RSS reader, and then you'll point it at the feed for Point Lookout, which is http://www.ChacoCanyon.com/rss/feed.xml. Learn more about how and why to subscribe via RSS.

Why I don't offer an HTML version in email

Every once in a while, someone writes to request an HTML version of Point Lookout in email. It's happening more and more often, and I really would like to offer an email version of Point Lookout in HTML, with nice graphics and so on. I almost did it in late 2006 — I actually built most of the machinery to do it and I created a few pilot issues for internal testing. But I had to drop the idea. Let me explain why, and then I'll point you to a workaround.

Many of my subscribers use Outlook, Yahoo! or HotMail to read Point Lookout. Yahoo! and HotMail are problematic (very non-standards-compliant) when it comes to HTML messages. Outlook presents a bundle of problems for HTML email. Together, these three mail clients cover more than half of my subscription base. So I decided that until this mess get straightened out, I would focus my energy on the writing and leave the HTML-munging to others.

If you prefer the look and feel of the Web to straight ASCII (and who doesn't?), may I suggest an alternative? All of my articles appear essentially simultaneously in three places: in email (as text), on my Web site, and by RSS feed. If you like the graphics and layout that are possible with HTML, try my Web site or RSS. To make it easy to access the Web version, I always include a link to it near the top of the text-version email.

Until the email standards for HTML gel, I hope we can all be patient. Could be a while.

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