#9 Your Intellectual Companion

Picking a NewsLetter and the Stories.

Hey, Hunter-Gatherer!

I missed last week's letter due to a personal emergency, but all's well now. Thank you for sticking around. Today I want to talk about a trend I anticipated a few years ago: Creators trying to ultimately connect with their users through EMail NewsLetters.

NewsLetters are great for creators as it allows them to reach their audience without worrying if a platform's algorithm will show their content on someone's feed or not. Instead of finding their way around a constantly changing algorithm, they want to opt for a distribution channel that they can fully control→ E-Mail.

Additionally, E-Mail is a blank canvas to allow the creator to craft a piece of content in their own format (instead of the standard formats of either of the platforms). Of the many possibilities, I have recognized NewsLetters to be of roughly 3 forms:

  • Creator's Weekly Update of new content, curations, and other information.

  • Daily/Weekly Blog (often exclusively) delivered through NewsLetters.

  • NewsLetters covering a specific topic (like this one).

As you jump on this trend, subscribing to your favourite creators, I wish to give you a framework that ensures your E-Mail Inbox stays clean and has mostly what you'll actually consume. On all social media, we followed people without much thought and overwhelmed our feeds. By setting a low bar for Follow, the most relevant or high-quality content gets buried and what we discover is mostly left to random luck. With this letter, I attempt to ensure that it doesn't happen for NewsLetters.

Try this

Subscribe to Newsletters from people you want to hear from every week. These are the 10 or so people who can serve as your intellectual companions for years to come.

When it comes to NewsLetters of the third type: Letters on a Specific Topic, a framework is pretty simple: Subscribe if you're perpetually interested in the topic, and whose content you'll prefer over everyone else's on a particular topic.

For the first two types: Creator's Weekly Update or Daily/Weekly Blog, subscribe to a creator whose content/curations you'll consume regardless of the topic.

To put it in another way, you subscribe to Newsletters from people you want to hear from every week. These are the 10 or so people who can serve as your intellectual companions for years to come.

These are usually creators you may pay to keep receiving their content. And to keep the highest quality of content, it's a good thought experiment to run before you decide to subscribe: Are you willing to pay for the Weekly NewsLetter?

Think about this

In weaving our web of beliefs, we are not scientists trying to figure out what is most accurate. We are lawyers who try to make everything fit into the story we want to believe in.

- Maarten van Doorn, Writer (Philosophy PhD.)

Life is perhaps too complex to be reduced to stories. The affairs of the world can seldom be boxed into stories without losing something. Yet it is the stories we choose to compose and share that connect us, unite us and propel our lives forwards.

In this sense, social media is the most powerful element of our culture as we amplify the reach of a story, driving the decisions of both the average and the most powerful people.

Maarten van Doorn invites you to look at the world from the vantage point of Stories:

How can Stories be so Powerful

(11 Min Read)

Respond to this

How much will you be willing to pay for Hunter-Gatherer NewsLetter?

PS. I am not putting this newsletter behind a paywall ever, but it's simply an interesting question to think about.
You may reply to this E-Mail, or via WhatsApp.
I'll compile the responses and share the key insights in the next email.


PS. Everywhere on the Internet as abhishek1point0.
PPS. For any thoughts, questions, or criticisms, you may directly reply to this E-Mail.

Check out Previous Letters.