No, I didn't sneeze. Zookoda.com is an email marketing service for bloggers. It's supposed to help you build your readership by sending e-mails of your posts to subscribers. It's free, so like many free things I checked into it.
For starters, the home page has the word "Yeh". Here's a message for all businesses out there: it's not cool to be illiterate. If you want to be professional, stick with "Yes". If you want to be hip and casual, it's "Yeah". If you want to sound as if you were just hit in the stomach with a wayward elbow, it's "Yeh". It's one small step up from "Ug".
For seconders, the signup page isn't secure. If you want me to type in my personal information, you better make sure that nifty little "https" is up in the address bar. I don't like submitting information in the open. I did anyway for two reasons: even when it's printed, few people can spell my last name correctly; and I want to write a review that's more than five syllables.
The "About" page has the "yeh" as well. I'm reading it as I wait for my confirmation e-mail to arrive. Oh, that's another personal note... I call it "e-mail". Running the letters together, without the dash, makes the word sound like "emale" in my head because that's how English works. So stop it. Use the dash.
It was 10:30 AM when I signed up. I had to wait for an e-mail before I could continue. It's now 8:22 PM, when I got the first confirmation e-mail. I'm now waiting for another before I can actually do anything with the service. Color me not happy.
8:52 PM, and I'm finally registered. Here we go...
Typo on one of the templates. The grey one. "Enter You E-mail". They need to hire a pirate, so they get an extra R. I got a site timeout once, and it loads slowly. The majority of the templates are Blogger templates, with one Zookoda template. Meh. Hopefully they'll have some more templates soon, but as it is it's not bad. Not great, but not bad. There is an option to make a custom template of your own, though. I may revisit it once I actually get going, but for now I'm going with one of the Blogger templates. Different than the one you're currently viewing. It's good if you've got a default Blogger blog, since the e-mail's theme would match your blog. Sort of a brand recognition kinda thing.
I can't send anything yet. Seems I've not been authenticated. So, if I was a spammer, I'd be stymied. (That means "stopped cold", for those of you unfamiliar with slang from 1928.) Your outgoing newsletter things will all have your actual name and mailing address. Well, they'll have whatever name and mailing address you provided when you signed up with the service. As a real person who has gone to some lengths to keep his real name separate from his internet name, I don't like that. However, it's a necessary evil in this age of Spam and roses. Without the roses. Legitimate subscribers will have to be patient before they can send anything. Legitimate subscribers can be patient, so that's OK.
After all is said and done, I don't think this is for me. It may be good for someone, but I'm not that someone. I thought it may be a viable alternative for the default newsletter option for our shop. But I really don't want my name going out like that. If that's the way it has to be, then no alternative is going to suit my needs.
Oh, one last thing... they call the members of their community "Zookodans". As an Arizonan who is a Tucsonan, I say go with "Zooker" or something. That's where you can get your hip, edgy made-up word jollies out all you want.