Buttondown is the best way to start and run your newsletter
Instagram has rewired my brain.
It is the first thing I do when I wake up, it is the last thing I do when I go to sleep. I don’t actually enjoy it: my eyes hurt from the glowing screen, my hands cramp from holding my phone up constantly, and my psychological state has declined dramatically.
Moments are no longer experienced. Moments are viewed, captured, posted, promoted, shared, storied. There is a constant sense of anxiety and urgency, resulting in rewards of likes and comments or blows to the ego when a post bombs. Any sense of prediction has been diminished: connection with the audience is no longer determined by a personal preference but by an automated expectation of what you may potentially want to see. It creates fears of scarcity, of comparison, and it is all an illusion.
A couple of interesting thoughts from Craig Mod about the underlying reasons behind the shift to newsletters.
Today Substack announced support for sending audio episodes in email newsletters: Subscription podcasting through Substack works in the same way as publishing newsletters. Once the feature is enabled, you can create an audio post that is just like a normal post and can go out to everyone or only to ...
"Let's replace the shadows that Twitter and Facebook and Google have been on the media with some business-model fundamentals. As 2018 has shown, they've offered us a lot more heartache than it feels like they're actually worth."
This is a very staid and sober statement about the ills of social media platforms (aka silos) and a proposed way forward for 2019. His argument is tremendously bolstered by the fact that he’s actually got his own website where he’s hosting and distributing his own content.
Ernie, should you see this, I’d welcome you to come join a rapidly growing group of creators who have been doing almost exactly what you’ve prescribed. We’re amassing a wealth of knowledge, tools, code, and examples at Indieweb.org to help you and others on their journey to better owning and controlling their online identities in almost the exact way in which you’re talking about in your article. Both individually and together we’re trying to build web websites that allow all the functionality of the platforms, but in a way that is both easy and beautiful for everyone to manage and use. Given the outlet for your piece, I’ll also mention that there’s a specific page for IndieWeb and Journalism.
I’d invite you to join the online chat and add yourself as an example to any of the appropriate pages, including perhaps for Craft. Also feel free to discuss your future plans and ask for any help or support you’d like to see for improving your own website. Together I hope we can all make your prediction for 2019 a reality.
Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia
But what if, in 2019, we take a step back and decide not to let the platform decide how to run the show? ❧
January 09, 2019 at 07:55AM
I’ve been working on a redesign of my site recently, using a more robust CMS, and the advantages of controlling the structure of the platform soup-to-nuts are obvious, even if it requires more upfront work. ❧
January 09, 2019 at 07:57AM
2019 is the year when publishers — whether big ones like Axios or the Los Angeles Times or tiny ones like mine or Judd Legum’s Popular Information — move away from letting someone else call all the shots. Or, at least, they should. ❧
January 09, 2019 at 08:01AM
Future Trends in Technology and Education is a monthly report. It surveys recent developments in how education is changing, primarily under the impact of digital technologies. Its purpose is to help educators, policy-makers, and the public think about the future of teaching, learning, research, and institutions. Every month FTTE aggregates recent developments, checking them against previously-identified trendlines. As certain trends build in support and significance, the report recommends watching them for future impact. FTTE also notes trends which appear to be declining in significance.
Yesterday I upgraded my laptop to OSX Mojave. Among the improvements: a desktop version of the iOS news app, which is slick. I checked into it a few times yesterday, and I expect I will again today. Under the hood, it's a highly-curated feed reader. There's a proprietary API, but a lot of content is...
In this episode, I talk about my plans to leave Facebook and how I plan to in some ways replace it with a monthly newsletter. Then I brainstorm about how to receive replies and reactions from it.
Eddie shouldn’t have warned so heavily about the technical nature of this microcast. The general ideas are very clear, it’s their implementation which is likely more technical than some would appreciate.
This reminds me that I ought to get back to working on my own newsletter that I’d started to set up ages ago. It’s certainly an interesting way to target friends and family (who are unlikely to use RSS or readers) with updates outside of the traditional silos.
I’m also reminded that David Shanske is using Postmatic as an email newsletter service and it has functionality built in that allows recipients to reply to emailed updates via email which then posts the comments back to the comment section of the particular posts. Might be worth either checking this out or attempting to replicate this type of functionality? The way Postmatic is doing things is on a more post by post basis however, so it might take some additional work to get things to work properly in a newsletter with multiple stories/posts.
Another option is to add “web actions” into posts for replies. Or perhaps even adding other social context UI into newsletters similar to the way I’ve done in prior posts to allow people to respond via Twitter.
Certainly lots of options and ideas to explore.