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Innovation Inspiration — #4: Newsletters Are All the Rage

Innovation Inspiration
Innovation Inspiration — #4: Newsletters Are All the Rage
By Lucy Gray • Issue #4 • View online
Welcome to the fourth edition of my newsletter on innovation! I’m planning on replacing my daily High Techpectations newsletter with this one produced with Twitter’s Getrevue platform. More on the trend of newsletters below…

A New Tool for News Curation
I’ve been experimenting this week with a news discovery tool that’s called Refind. Refind can be connected to Getrevue newsletters like this as a content source.
According to Refind’s help documentation, this is what it does:
“Every day, Refind picks the 5 most relevant links from around the web for you, based on the topics, sites, and people you’re interested in. Made for busy people.
  • Key takeaways for when you don’t have time for the entire article.
  • Audio versions for when you’re on the go.
  • Smart reading list to help you actually read what you wanted to read.
  • Weekend Edition to catch you up in busy weeks.
  • Expert-curated Deep Dives into new topics that spark your interest.”
If you are interested in trying out Refind, use my referral link which will get me access to the premium version of Refind.
Newsletter Buzz
So… via Refind, I stumbled on a useful post from New York magazine’s the Cut on newsletters that others find valuable. See links below. Given that this is is my first foray into this genre, I thought it was worth a read. There are lots of great examples to peruse including one suggested by Maria Popova:
The Pause from On Being is the letter companion to the beloved public-radio program that for two decades has provided some of the most substantive, necessary, and generous public conversations of our time — a contemplative space that slakes something elemental in us amid a culture that increasingly rewards distraction and reaction.” —Maria Popova (Brain Pickings)
I also found another piece from the Cut via Twitter on how email newsletters are the new literary genre which seems debatable, but interesting food for thought. It seems like many creators are on the newsletter bandwagon as journalists, marketers, and the like are still trying to figure out how to promote content and make a living.
The new “it” social media has been via audio as seen in Clubhouse. Once Clubhouse gained a significant following, Twitter followed suit with Spaces, and apparently, Facebook has also launched something similar. The same pattern has developed with newsletters; Getrevue was acquired by Twitter and Facebook has launched Bulletin.
Finally, newsletters are nothing new necessarily. Check out the following video interview from 3 years ago from the found of Axios which strives to bring brevity and efficiency to the reader through high-quality content produced by experts. Fascinating!
Axios Is Innovating Digital Media with...Newsletters - video Dailymotion
Email Newsletters Are a New Literary Genre
23 Newsletter Writers on Their Favorite Newsletters
Implications for Schools
There are some potentially interesting implications of this trend for schools. Schools should be continually asking evaluating their communications and asking themselves if their current efforts are effective. Are weekly emails to students being read? Are parents tracking important school events well? Is the school community bolstered by the kinds of media produced by the school? How can we combat email fatigue and inbox clutter?
I’m wondering if schools could take some cues from newsletters and experiment. For example, instead of relying on Mailchimp or other traditional email newsletter services, why not start a Substack or a newsletter here on Twitter through Getrevue, add multiple teachers or administrators as authors, and have them write each week about goings-on or their observations or whatever topic you deem appropriate? I’d love to see schools have a publication that’s organic, educator-driven, and gives a glimpse into the day-to-day life of an institution.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Lucy Gray

Innovation advisor and ed tech evangelist Lucy Gray curates interesting ideas and resources for forward-thinking educators.

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