Reply by Email

Long term readers may remember that I was a fan of the social network previously know as Twitter.

Once upon a time, it was a seemingly rock-solid and an everlasting social platform. It was often a good experience, and an unmatched communication channel for when customers were ignored by uncontactable corporate types.

It was also great for gathering, storing and displaying feedback from a large pool of people but that has unfortunately changed in recent years partially due to the misguided whims of one particular arguably-overpowered billionaire.

The feedback focused functionality has now gone, and it’s far from the open and reliable platform it used to be.

And so, the blog needs a new comment system again!

Going forward, I won’t so easily overlook the obvious red flag of a non-profitable and proprietary centralised service giants. 🚩

Although there are some up-and-coming social platforms alternatives like Mastodon. I don’t think they’re ready just yet, and I’d rather not have a dedicated database with backend either.

There are few good third-party blog post comment systems out there for static sites, and even some DIY options too, but after browsing the solutions used by some of my favourite blogs, I’ve decided to stick with a good old fashioned solution. Email.

The Email Reply Button

A few notes on mitigating some of the more obvious issues with email only comments or replies to blog posts:

1. Open Email Conversations

If comments from readers only came in via private emails, the valuable public discussion would be lost.

This is something that we’re facing more often on the modern internet, with open social platforms becoming unreliable or community discussions being diverted away from public forums into isolated and ephemeral centralised IM chat clients like Discord.

That’s why I still plan to publish useful or striking comments underneath blog posts.

Comments added to posts will be hand-picked and at the email writers discretion, but this will hopefully keep the conversation alive for those who don’t want to write in themselves.

It’ll also attempt to migrate over any existing comments from the Twitter comments era at some point.

2. Email Security and Privacy

Although there’s nothing much on this site that would require excessive privacy or security for a reply. Email is fundamentally not designed as a private method of communication.

Although I won’t publish email addresses at all on the site, should you want to send pseudonymous feedback, I’d encourage readers to use Proton’s Email Aliases (called Simple Login), Mozilla Firefox’s Relay or some other service to obscure your email identity should you want to.

If you’d rather your email content was not featured publicly on the site, or you’d like your name redacted etc, just say so in the email and I’ll do my utmost to respect this.

For those more technically minded, or if you already use a secure email provider, you can reply by email with PGP encryption too.

The particular email address that I’m activating for blog comments is hosted by Proton Mail and so other Proton users should have their email automatically encrypted already.

For those using other PGP email encryption systems, here’s the PGP public-key fingerprint and public key file:


You’ll also find my PGP public key over at too.

I will also setup PGP WKD (Web Key Directory) on this domain for automatic encryption outside of Proton Mail soon.

Last but not least… don’t be shy!

I don’t have any in-depth analytics running on this site and so I often have little idea of the readership beyond basic hit logs and those of you who already reach out.

Feel free to reach out (encrypted PGP or not) even if it’s just a “Hi 👋” to acknowledge your interest.

I’d be happy to read it, and I’ll do my best to reply.

Comments & Questions

Reply by email to send in your thoughts.

Comments may be featured here unless you say otherwise. You can encrypt emails with PGP too, learn more about my email replies here.

PGP: 9ba2c5570aec2933970053e7967775cb1020ef23