I’m on the fence here. As you may know, I’m publishing two newsletters each week, one via Substack, and this newsletter published via Revue. They are both minimally viable, but…
First things first, if you’re reading this, what do you think about newsletters in general? You can comment on my newsletters, but I’m really asking for a conceptual review, whether more direct, opt-in engagement like newsletters and blogs are a better experience than what we could now call Traditional Social Media (where an algorithm built to make money for the platform selects what you are presented with and in which order).
Honestly, a return to self-publishing and opting-in to what we want to consume (so, I control what I publish and how, and you control what you consume and when, and how) is where I would like to see the internet move, or return to, but I think it’s an uphill battle. The challenge of discovery (finding new things to consume, whether video or tweet or whatever) is the thing that I believe brings people back to platforms that will attempt to scratch the itch, since giving people what they want in large quantities is how revenue can be generated.
This is not necessarily the goal of any and all content published, but if we are using platforms based on that premise, then we get what we get. Ultimately I will distill from Substack and Revue, the things that I think work, and integrate them into my own publishing scheme and workflow(s), and at that point you’ll be invited to come along.
I think assembling a newsletter should be something we can automate and have complete control over, and while Substack and Revue offer some minimal style options, there is a lot left on the table. And as for automation, this is not about spitting out computer-generated words, and whatnot, but more about assembling some blog entries, article links, photos, and basically making the newsletter a way to share content, not a way to author content. It sounds so dry with that description, but it is what it is. We should all be able to publish a photo or a video or an article or whatever, and then share it with friends, family, colleagues, customers, the world… whether via email, an activity stream, a bunch of tweets, an rss or atom feed… anything, any way we want, using workflows that actually do flow.
This is something I’ll probably touch on in Quoggling Sand in the next week or two, check it out by clicking in the next section!