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Newsletters

  • Planted:

I just planted the first clipping from my digital garden. A clipping is what I’m calling my email newsletter, sticking with the garden metaphor.

I’m still brainstorming what exactly I want clippings to be, and of course they’ll evolve over time, but my current intention is: send a newsletter every 1-3 months with a selection of stuff I’ve written since the last one, plus anything interesting I’ve read and whatever else is on my mind.

Or maybe I’ll stick to sending a clipping every month. That’s one of a laundry list of open questions I’m jotting down below.

Open questions

  • Is "clipping" a good metaphor name? Should I just call it a newsletter?
  • Should I set a rigid once-per-month cadence? Or just clip one whenever I feel like it?
  • Should the title include a number? E.g. #1 January 2024. It could be fun to have a count, and it adds accountability
  • Should the title be the month and year? Or something descriptive about what I wrote that month?
  • Would titling by month be odd if there isn’t one per month?
  • Should the URL path be the month and year? Should it include the #?
  • Should I say "Hello, [name]" to start? I did include first name in signup, and idk what else I’d use it for
  • Are bullet points or paragraphs of things I’ve written that month better? Or numbered lists?
  • Are brief action verb hyperlinks or full titles better? E.g. "I wrote about thinking small..." versus "Think small: I wrote about..."

My reader experience

I’ve been pretty into newsletters since college when I first subscribed to Morning Brew (I even became a campus rep lol), although I’ve definitely been through alternating phases of signing up for an overwhelming number then purging. These days I maintain zero email inbox, so I tend to be pretty aware when I don’t actually want to read some newsletter and it’s time to unsubscribe.

I also like RSS and wish it was more widely used. I don’t have a set routine yet—I just kinda pop open feedly when I think of it. I’ve also played around with RSS-to-email using val.town. So I’m still meandering into my long-term RSS habit.

Inspiration

The nice thing is that I can draw inspiration from other newsletters. Over the years I’ve naturally picked up on stuff I like and don’t like, and now my antenna is up for tactics I can borrow.

Recently I’ve liked Robin Rendle’s newsletter. Robin also created a wonderful illustrated essay about newsletters.

Send me newsletters you like!

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