Rebirth of the Newsletter

After a week of vacation (which was excellent), I needed to go through the normal re-entry of catching up on all the emails I had missed in my absence. In the middle of the missives, it dawned on me how many newsletters I read. (I think I counted twenty from the last week?!?) They aren’t sales or promotions; those get spam-hammered immediately. These newsletters were from friends (or services) that I actually look forward to, and the fact they arrive as emails was actually really helpful, (better than just another piece of content floating on the internet.) Now, I can read the letter when I have time, and I’ll only have to go to the web if I find something interesting (and since it’s from a friend, chances are it will be.)

The greater internet (for me) is sort of a nightmare at the moment. It’s hard to find much that’s worthwhile. That which is interesting is usually crowded out by behemoth paid-by-the word, advertising-driven sites. I used to use the internet to find refuge from reality television, until the internet also became reality television.  I just can’t do deep internet trawls anymore, but I very rely (and need) the web to serve up new inspirations and constantly help me reframe my world. (It’s actually why i’m so addicted to the information super highway.)

A good read is tough to find, (that which is valuable is rarely plentiful.) There’s a certain amount of hunt-and-gather that has always been the nature of the web. And as dorky as they are, RSS readers are excellent here (RIP Google Reader). Unfortunately, for me the stories I’d rather read are buried beneath sites counting down the top 10/20/50 best whatevers, with every entry serving up a new round of ads. (The latest in ad-driven internet crack.)

Good content usually doesn’t live off ads, and it’s usually hidden deep in the niche, (the more different from your normal routine, the harder it is to find.) That content has a point of view and stirs something inside you. It inspires, or provokes, or has you seeing things you would have never seen. You can usually spot “good content” because it has a shelf-life. It’s worth reading/discussing several days/weeks after it’s published.

WIth that obvious rant out-of-the-way, here’s few newsletters I’m loving lately in-case you’re so inclined….

  • Just Another Crowd by Sean Bonner – technology, anti-establishment, and antagonism from my favorite misanthrope.
  • The Ann Freeman Weekly – #realtalk about journalism, feminism, and spirit animals.
  • Tuesday Ten by Rosie Simon – The best of current culture, social media stunts, etc.
  • Percolate Daily Brew – Five of the top articles suggested daily based on my Twitter feed (and their algorithm for weighting/rating content is *excellent*.) Not sure they support consumer web accounts anymore (pivot), but it looks like I can invite people; email me if interested.
  • Quibb Daily – Quibb filters content to you based on your Twitter feed, (I wrote about them here previously.) It’s a great service, I just wish their audience had a little wider aperture (It’s mostly tech start-ups, VC blogs, 23-year-old know-it-all’s, etc….which I’m worn-thin on at the moment.) Still, I scan the newsletter daily and always find something I’m glad I saw.

I’m definitely on the hunt for inspired newsletters…if you have any favorites; email me, please. (I ended up closing the comments on this blog…the constant spam attacks were too much. (Death of the blog comment is another trend for another time.))

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