A sort of meta-newsletter, if you will
November 1, 2020 2:58 PM   Subscribe

You've noticed the trend of high-profile authors switching to email bulletins. Everything old is new again, of course: authors were leaving papers for newsletters decades ago. But what if you aren't attached to any particular one and just want to see what's popular? You could subscribe to Winning The Internet, a newsletter that collects the most talked-about links from other newsletters.
posted by Monochrome (34 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
Your ideas are intriguing to me
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 3:28 PM on November 1 [8 favorites]


A reader's digest, if you will.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:44 PM on November 1 [19 favorites]


Your ideas of which ideas are intriguing are intriguing to me
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:50 PM on November 1 [24 favorites]


I was ecstatic to see what I thought was a revived NTK up there, but no, Need2Know is no NTK. It wouldn't even fit on a ZX Spectrum screen ...
posted by scruss at 4:03 PM on November 1 [7 favorites]


One of the newsletters that this meta-newsletter draws on is Patrick Tanguay's Sentiers. The value of Sentiers isn't only (or mostly) in the links it shares, it's in the commentary and selective highlighting from within those links. Kind of like how the value of Metafilter is not just in the posts but also in the comments. A meta-newsletter wouldn't really give me what I value from newsletters in the first place.
posted by Paragon at 4:04 PM on November 1 [3 favorites]


Does anybody read the newsletters down here?
posted by chavenet at 4:14 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]


Oh, it's like a meme pool.
posted by rodlymight at 4:44 PM on November 1 [13 favorites]


I am intrigued by the concept of intrigue. It is intriguing and yet interesting as well.
posted by Splunge at 5:15 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]


My Newsletter (Briefingday) is among their aggregate list — Glad that I finally get to read the stuff I post.
posted by marbant at 10:11 PM on November 1 [5 favorites]


I feel like Winning the Internet misunderstands what’s good about newsletters - it’s not the data it’s the flavour
posted by The River Ivel at 3:33 AM on November 2 [1 favorite]


The necessity for email newsletters in 2020 makes me think about how much better the web would be right now if, a decade ago, nerds had done a better job of explaining to mainstream web users what RSS was and why they might want to use it.
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:18 AM on November 2 [19 favorites]


Kind of like how the value of Metafilter is not just in the posts but also in the comments.

posted by Paragon at 6:04 PM on November 1 [3 favorites +] [!]


That is wholly the opposite of my experience and use of Metafilter. So, I'm really enthusiastic about this post. Easily the first time in a decade that I've been this interested in something here.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 5:26 AM on November 2


> The necessity for email newsletters in 2020 makes me think about how much better the web would be right now if, a decade ago, nerds had done a better job of explaining to mainstream web users what RSS was and why they might want to use it.

RSS's problem isn't one of insufficient nerd evangelism, it's one of being incompatible with (or at the very least not sufficiently protective of) the walled garden surveillance capitalism economy. Don't blame the nerds who created RSS, blame the nerds who work for Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. and the investor class who can't imagine a world where content is shared openly.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:32 AM on November 2 [15 favorites]


Is there a list of MiFi-ian email newsletters?

(here I go again asking a green question on the blue, expect to be greyed soon:)
posted by sammyo at 6:40 AM on November 2 [1 favorite]


A meta way to the filter internet content, you mean?
posted by MiraK at 6:50 AM on November 2


They've got all-purpose newsletters covered. I'd like to hear about the niche newsletters.
posted by aniola at 7:00 AM on November 2 [1 favorite]


how much better the web would be right now if, a decade ago, nerds had done a better job of explaining

If we did a better job of explaining, we wouldn't be nerds.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 7:24 AM on November 2 [8 favorites]


If we did a better job of explaining, we wouldn't be nerds.

I think the problem is that the nerds made the web useable for non-nerds. And there are more non-nerds than nerds and so the web got overwhelmed by the non-nerds.

Newsletters are a way for nerds to hide in the obscure corner alleys of the shopping mall again.
posted by srboisvert at 8:25 AM on November 2 [2 favorites]


I wasn't very interested until I got to the part where the methodology is described, but now I've subscribed - not so much for the links themselves, but because I'm curious to see what they are about. Interesting idea, thanks.
posted by Gamecat at 9:20 AM on November 2


i cannot believe they stole our appelation too
posted by ntk at 9:28 AM on November 2 [1 favorite]


I still use RSS and am confused by why everyone doesn't.
posted by desuetude at 9:56 AM on November 2 [5 favorites]


> I still use RSS and am confused by why everyone doesn't.

I'm an RSS zealot, but it's getting harder these days to get access to content that used to be available via RSS. That's not to say it's impossible, and smarter RSS readers can deal with some classes of problems (e.g. transparently load web content for feeds that only publish a teaser), but a lot of content originates on and is only published on platforms that don't provide an RSS feed. Web-scraping sometimes works and sometimes doesn't, and usually costs extra or relies on services that appear and disappear frequently... It's just an added hassle for a population that self-selects for busy people who want to keep up with a lot of things and not waste time getting it working.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:11 AM on November 2 [2 favorites]


I’ve signed up for email newsletters but I always end up unsubscribing. When I’m in my inbox, I’m just not in the right headspace to contemplate thoughtful writing. For me, email is all about responding, delegating, or deleting and moving on. It’s a “lean forward” space, not a “lean back” one.

I know it’s a minor difference—I could just open them in my browser—but for whatever reason it’s stopped me from ever really being able to engage with a newsletter.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:26 AM on November 2 [4 favorites]


@tonycpsu check out upstract.com — been doing this for 20 years
posted by marbant at 10:58 AM on November 2 [1 favorite]


> I’ve signed up for email newsletters but I always end up unsubscribing. When I’m in my inbox, I’m just not in the right headspace to contemplate thoughtful writing. For me, email is all about responding, delegating, or deleting and moving on. It’s a “lean forward” space, not a “lean back” one.

If you want to dip back in, one option would be forwarding them to an RSS feed. I've been an RSS user now since '07, starting with Google Reader and migrating eventually to Feedbin. Feedbin (and most modern RSS services) offers an email you can use to send newsletter directly to your feed (or, you can do what I do and use a Gmail plus sign alias and then forward those emails directly to the Feedbin address; I do this so my Feedbin account won't get spam mails). That'll keep your inbox clean and let you access the newsletters when you want to.
posted by protocoach at 11:41 AM on November 2 [2 favorites]


That’s a good idea, I think NewsBlur already supports that. I’ll look into it!
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:20 PM on November 2


> I'm an RSS zealot, but it's getting harder these days to get access to content that used to be available via RSS.

Oh, absolutely. I meant more that I don't understand why more people don't WANT to use RSS readers (and therefore generate the necessary demand for content-compatibility.)
posted by desuetude at 12:42 PM on November 2


Next thing you know they'll discover Usenet newsgroups, Anonymous FTP, and go back to the one true text based email. Then they'll discover sex and think that they invented it.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:27 PM on November 2 [3 favorites]


My blog and many others based on Wordpress technology still have an RSS feed. I still miss the times when it was a standard part of the web experience.
posted by Paragon at 4:16 PM on November 2


Next thing you know they'll discover Usenet newsgroups

You laugh, but I literally just today described a Usenet newsgroup (without saying that) as a way for all of us in a particular non-colocated community of interest to have asynchronous discussions without a thousand reply-all emails to dig through when you want to refer back to something later, and everyone thought I was a genius.
posted by ctmf at 5:51 PM on November 2 [4 favorites]


One day blogs will come back AND I WILL LAUGH
posted by jscalzi at 5:56 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


It is my firm belief that everything my volunteer organisation does—badly—via facebook, could be better done on an email listserv. Yet here we are in 2020
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:44 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


i cannot believe they stole our appelation too

Have you considered stealing it back?
posted by majick at 10:28 PM on November 2


I've found that a lot of sites still have their RSS feed embedded in their sites' source code.

That's how I got the RSS feed for several sites that no RSS reader could find a feed for.
posted by reenum at 11:15 AM on November 3


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