53 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. I’m less inclined to click on a Substack newsletter link. All the essays look identical. The site branding is bland (not necessarily a bad thing), but the per-newsletter branding is beholden to the site (sub-optimal). My mind is starting to re-categorize Substack from “Whoa, maybe a neat new voice to be found??” to “Ugh, another 3,000 unedited words sent too frequently?”

      More Substack thoughts for the pile

  2. Jan 2024
    1. A very important project under construction, to regenerate and cosmo-localize our world

      to - Michel's Substack - Translation of interview with Hugo Mathecowitsch on the topic of - A system of sovereign bonds but for alternative types of sovereignties? https://hyp.is/RBLQirocEe6eoeeG2hk_Sw/4thgenerationcivilization.substack.com/p/a-system-of-sovereign-bonds-but-for?showWelcome=true

      for - interview - Hugo Mathecowitsch - Michel Bauwens - substack article - interview - alternative types of sovereignties

    1. I like having as few opportunities as possible for would-be enshittifiers to mess around with what I'm trying to do

      Molly says: "If anyone enshittifies my newsletter, it's going to be me, dammit!"

    1. read [[Dan Allosso]] in Peer to Peer?

      Not sure if you've seen/found it before, but as academia has been having bigger problems with granting tenure over the past 20 years, there's been a rise of discussion of alternate academia pathways, often under the term #AltAc in social media and other locations. Careers in writing in other spaces have certainly abounded here.

    1. Read [[Doug Belshaw]] in I am so tired of moving platforms on 2023-12-27 (accessed:: 2024-01-05 09:58:46)

    2. Venkatesh Rao thinks that the Nazi bar analogy is “an example of a bad metaphor contagion effect” and points to a 2010 post of his about warren vs plaza architectures. He believes that Twitter, for example, is a plaza, whereas Substack is a warren: A warren is a social environment where no participant can see beyond their little corner of a larger maze. Warrens emerge through people personalizing and customizing their individual environments with some degree of emergent collaboration. A plaza is an environment where you can easily get to a global/big picture view of the whole thing. Plazas are created by central planners who believe they know what’s best for everyone.
  3. Dec 2023
  4. May 2023
    1. Keep Comments Open! by Dan Allosso

      Some thoughts about the ability to turn off public comments on Substack posts, which may diminish the conversation.

    1. Those are good points.

      Reply to Dan Allosso at https://danallosso.substack.com/p/what-value-do-i-add-to-the-substack/comment/16463063

      I just saw this morning that Jillian Hess, a professor/researcher/writer at a community college in New York, is also contemplating some of the same territory and trying to balance out the necessaries: https://jillianhess.substack.com/p/introducing-ps-a-new-paid-subscriber

      I see that she's using both Amazon and Bookshop affiliate accounts and links in her stream. Have you delved into this for supplementation (albeit probably small)? I've done it for years and it never nets enough to even cover my hosting costs, though it makes the hobbyist portion of the outlay a bit more comfortable.

      Beyond this, you might appreciate her particular Substack on note books and note taking or her new book: Hess, Jillian M. How Romantics and Victorians Organized Information: Commonplace Books, Scrapbooks, and Albums. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022. https://amzn.to/3VY4RU7

      You're probably beyond needing them, but Substack has been building their writer resources and tips for helping to build paid audience. Details at https://on.substack.com/s/resources and https://on.substack.com/s/office-hours

    1. As an English professor at a public community college, I teach 3-4 extra courses a year—in addition to 6 -7 contractual courses—to supplement my salary and to make living in NYC more affordable. As I prepare to go back to teaching a full load, I need to be honest with myself about what I can actually accomplish. I spend 20-30 hours on each Noted post—while I love the work, it is a lot of work. And, it’s not sustainable for me to keep up my current pace of writing if I am also juggling around 10 courses. So, I’m asking you, dear reader, to consider upgrading your subscription. Right now only 1% of you are paid subscribers. If 5-10% of you upgraded, it would mean that I wouldn’t need to teach extra classes and could devote all of that time to Noted.

      6-7 contractual courses at a public community college in New York is roughly equivalent to 5-10% of Hess' Substack subscribing at $50/year.

      Rough estimates of the variables could fill in the holes here to get a current estimate of subscribers.

    1. Perhaps you're conflating too many things? Ask first, what value do I add to the world? (Arguably loads.) Then ask: How do I (best) distribute this value? To this perhaps one of your answers is Substack, which may or may not be one of many tools you use for this purpose. Then the follow on question is what value do you get back from it?

      Given HCR's numbers (especially in comparison with Twitter) and her time on the platform, I suspect she may have (or at this point had) some sort of special platform deal with Substack which isn't publicly known beyond the basics of what the typical person could get. It's probably the modern digital equivalent of the sort of deal a highly visible academic might get from a magazine like The Atlantic. The pay scale may be different but we can obviously see that the daily output is wildly different too. If you're not aware, when Substack started they reached out to a wide variety of famous/semi-famous people and helped them to build a quick audience that would have taken them far more time and effort than they would otherwise have ever invested. Part of this was providing initial payment/seed money which was really their early investment for getting lots of quality content on the platform as a means of drawing the masses to come to the platform to both read and create as well. Unless you're a massive name working with them directly, you're unlikely to get this sort of deal today, and this means a tougher up hill slog for the "rest of us" as the platform doesn't need to pay for this sort of scaling/network effect now. If nothing else, knowing these early economies of Substack (and really lots of other social platforms, Medium certainly followed this script as an example) will help you to have a broader perspective and better compare your apples to others' oranges.

    1. https://substack.com/notes

      Yet another status update-like product, this time from Substack as Twitter is heavily waning...

  5. Apr 2023
    1. Introducing Substack Notes<br /> by Hamish McKenzie, Chris Best, Jairaj Sethi

    2. In Notes, writers will be able to post short-form content and share ideas with each other and their readers. Like our Recommendations feature, Notes is designed to drive discovery across Substack. But while Recommendations lets writers promote publications, Notes will give them the ability to recommend almost anything—including posts, quotes, comments, images, and links.

      Substack slowly adding features and functionality to make them a full stack blogging/social platform... first long form, then short note features...

      Also pushing in on Twitter's lunch as Twitter is having issues.

    3. There are more than 35 million active subscriptions to writers on Substack, including more than 2 million paid subscriptions.

      As of April 2023, only 5.7% of Substack active subscriptions are paid.

      How exactly do they define "active" subscriptions?

  6. Dec 2022
  7. May 2022
    1. #webmention is just...magic. Instead of getting comments on twitter, substack, your blog, etc etc. It just all comes to one place? I'm actually surprised @SubstackInc doesn't have support already: anytime someone blogs or substacks about your newsletter, you get a mention?

      #webmention is just...magic. Instead of getting comments on twitter, substack, your blog, etc etc. It just all comes to one place? I'm actually surprised @SubstackInc doesn't have support already: anytime someone blogs or substacks about your newsletter, you get a mention? 👌👌

      — person72443 (@person72443) May 9, 2022
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      The linguist in me notes that the tweet above from @person72443 is the first time I've seen someone verbify Substack as "substacks"

  8. Feb 2022
    1. Our business wouldn’t exist without Substack, and we think the world of them, but we’re excited to announce that Every will be run on a platform we built ourselves.

      Every is an example of a newsletter built on Substack that realized what a massive cut was being taken out of the middle so they created their own platform instead.

    1. Substack has now sold 1 million subscriptions to mostly individual publishers.

      Today, we can announce that there are more than 1 million paid subscriptions to publications on Substack. On Substack, the newsletter from Substack https://on.substack.com/p/one-million-strong on 2021-11-15

    1. Nonfiction Techniques Spring 2022

      Caveat emptor. A lot of these "influencer" methods are leaving 30% or far more of their value with the platforms they're using for distribution. A better path is to build and promote your own platform and have a direct relationship with one's readers (in newsletter spaces, it's about "owning"/having your reader's email address). Some other newsletter options can be found here: https://indieweb.org/newsletter as well as methods for building and owning your own technology stack across its site. If nothing else, consider having a website where you can have a portfolio/archive of your work.

      Careful watchers of the newsletter space will notice that almost all of the highlight examples on these services are established big names with pre-existing platforms and audience. Where are the stories of the other 99.9% and how well they're doing? Who is actually making a full time living doing this without a significant leg up to start? As examples, look for major writers leaving the New York Times to set up newsletters, or people like Steve Hayes and Jonah Goldberg leaving The National Review to set up The Dispatch (as a newsletter platform)—it's a good bet that they're getting a better deal from Substack than the average person. The NiemanLab has some relatively good coverage of some of this space. (Their annual predictions series also has solid forward looking coverage of the journalism/technology space: https://www.niemanlab.org/collection/predictions-2022/.)

      (Apologies for lurking... 😅, but happy to chat technology/publishing with anyone interested.)

  9. Nov 2021
    1. when I browse from someone’s blog over to their Substack it feels like going from a sweet little neighborhood into a staid corporate park. A little piece of joy dies in me when that happens because it’s another reminder of the corporatization of the web.

      --Ray

  10. Sep 2021
    1. The result is a job that feels more durable, and sustainable, than any other employment I’ve had. In the past, to lose my job might require only a bad quarter in the ad market, the loss of an ally in upper management, or the takeover of my company by some indifferent telecom company. Today, I can really only lose my job if thousands of people decide independently to “fire” me.
  11. Jul 2021
    1. “Substack is longform media Twitter, for good and for ill,” wrote Ashley Feinberg in the first installment of her Substack.

      Definitely a hot take, but a truthful sounding one.

  12. May 2021
    1. Substack insists that advances are determined by “business decisions, not editorial ones”. Yet it offers writers mentoring and legal advice, and will soon provide editing services.

      Some evidence of Substack acting along the lines of agent, production company, and studio. Then taking a slice of the overall pie.

      By having the breadth of the space they're able to see who to invest in over time, much the same way that Amazon can put smaller companies out of business by knocking off big sales items.

  13. Apr 2021
    1. Since I’m doing that, I’m also considering whether it makes sense for me to have a substack blog as well?

      Given some of the press Substack has gotten in the past few months, I think there's more to be said for actively leaving Substack to move to WordPress or some other platform where you can use your own domain name and content.

      Congratulations on the move!

    1. I have a feeling some of the money framing in the newsletter space is overblown. Some bigger names with pre-existing platforms (and by this I mean exposure, popularity, voices, and other possible media outlets already) have some serious upside to creating paid newsletters. Many of these platforms are trying to not only capture a slice of these pies, they're trying to leverage those same big names to actively make it seem to the average person that they too could have a paid newsletter (see how easy it is...). The reality is that many of these others are going to spend a lot of time and effort to try to garner pennies on the dollar or ultimately fail. This sort of game works much better in the YouTube space where self-hosting the video and doing distribution is a much higher bar. The VC space for newsletters is going to have a dreadful crash when folks realize that there's more competition in the space than they bargained for.

    2. Jessica Lessin, the founder and editor in chief of The Information, a newsletter-centric Silicon Valley subscription publication, said part of its edge was “sophisticated marketing around acquiring and retaining subscribers.”

      Knowing market efficiencies can significantly help some platforms. Not all platforms have this value built in. Many writers are unlikely to see this sort of value in places like Substack which are trying to buy in bulk while they're experimenting. What happens to well-paid writers a year from now when the experimentation ends or dies completely? Where do they take their business then?

      I don't see this ending well for most.

    3. (Substack has courted a number of Times writers. I turned down an offer of an advance well above my Times salary, in part because of the editing and the platform The Times gives me, and in part because I didn’t think I’d make it back — media types often overvalue media writers.)

      This is an important data point. Almost no one is putting any value on editing and other institutional support that outlets provide. Some writers can see at least a little bit of the future.

  14. Mar 2021
    1. I just wanted a way to send out my irregularly-updated newsletter to a couple thousand subscribers without getting caught in a spam filter.

      This is the short version of what Substack is and why people want to use it.

    2. So Substack has an editorial policy, but no accountability. And they have terms of service, but no enforcement.

      This is also the case for many other toxic online social media platforms. A fantastic framing.

    3. It’s become the preferred platform for men who can’t work in diverse environments without getting calls from HR. 

      This is a damning definition of Substack

    4. Substack’s nice interface and large community made it easy for content to go viral. And that’s what I wanted. I didn’t need to be paid, but I wanted to get some of my weirder ideas in front of a broad audience. What I’m saying is that Substack suckered me in with the promise of growing my readership, and the bait was that they had so many great writers with huge followings. But now I’m left wondering how many of those huge followings were made possible by payouts from Substack. 

      YouTube's model is certainly more mature, but is very similar. Some very high profile creators get paid very well and act as scions for hoi poloi who also think they can replicate the same system and become rich themselves. The incredibly vast majority will never come close.

    5. Substack is taking an editorial stance, paying writers who fit that stance, and refusing to be transparent about who those people are.
  15. Feb 2021
    1. In response to this email explosion, the startup Substack launched in 2017 as a newsletter publishing and monetization platform. Most newsletter platforms and payment systems aren’t integrated in any smooth or meaningful way. Charging for access can be an onerous task. Through the Substack system, though, a publisher can easily set up metered access to a newsletter for a subscription fee. As of October, Substack boasts over 25,000 subscribers across various newsletters, paying on average $80 a year. Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi recently launched his novel, The Business Secrets of Drug Dealing, in serial on Substack. Judd Legum’s Popular Information is also published via Substack.

      为了应对这种电子邮件爆炸式增长,创业公司 Substack 在2017年推出了一个新闻发布和盈利平台。大多数通讯平台和支付系统并没有以流畅或有意义的方式集成。收费访问可能是一项繁重的任务。不过通过Substack系统,发布者可以很容易地设置对新闻稿的计量访问,并收取订阅费。截至10月,Substack拥有超过2.5万名订阅者,涵盖各种通讯,平均每年支付80美元。《滚石》杂志的记者马特·泰比(Matt Taibbi)最近在Substack上连载了他的小说《毒品交易的商业秘密》。贾德·莱古姆的《大众资讯》也通过Substack发布。

  16. Jan 2021
    1. One of the things that Platformer members support is my ability to use part of each week to mentor junior writers. Today I want to tell you about my first mentee: Benjamin Strak, author of Design Lobster. As its name suggests, it’s a newsletter about how objects look and work, with an eye toward connecting modern designs with historical antecedents.

      Example of a writer with a platform helping out new talent.

  17. Nov 2020
    1. More importantly, both systems assume that writers have full access to the full conversation that prompts them into writing. On Substack, there are too many walls dividing up the garden.
    2. Substack is the medium of the solo artist. High-rolling soloists at that.
    1. Substack, viewed as a blogging platform, is a lot like Medium — a would-be walled garden, though run by less unscrupulous folks than own the big social-media platforms. I’m temperamentally suspicious of them, as I am of any platform that is, ultimately, subject to the whim of a proprietor. So although I use both Medium and Substack, everything I write therein is also published verbatim on my ‘live’ blog, which is completely under my control, and for whose hosting I pay with my own money. For me, Substack provided merely a convenient and reliable way of sending out the email version of what really matters — the live blog on the open Web. Both Substack and Medium have fairly honourable business models and have facilities whereby writers can get paid, if they wish to be. (I don’t.) And that’s a good thing (though it leads to the power-law outcome that Greer mentions). But it also has the downside in terms of the public sphere that, ultimately, their writing exists mainly inside a walled, members-only, garden. A genteel garden, but still a private garden. That’s why I’ve always followed Dave Winer’s lead: write wherever you like, but always make sure your stuff is also published on the Web.
  18. Nov 2019
    1. In a world of publishing platforms that are dominated by venture capital-backed operations, (even the newsletter platform Substack has raised $17.5m in VC funding) this is a refreshing state-of-affairs. The Ghost Foundation has an annual run rate of $1.73m (and posts this publicly) — and hasn't taken VC money. Ghost was actually launched as a Kickstarter, which long-term readers might remember…  

      Something to watch with respect to this is Jonah Goldberg and Steven Hayes who are working with Substack to put out a membership driven news website.