I’ve been thinking about it for a while. An experiment for now. I’m not the last one to do this but I cant be that far off. I figured I’d better have a go at writing one before it’s just robots doing it. I only subscribe to a select few myself but I read them all. Even the one that’s only 10% interesting.
My pilot newsletter, #000 went out to 39 inboxes. (Including mine.) Those that got wind of it either hand typed the URL from a photo posted online, received a DM or heard me mention the URL at the end of a podcast.
This is the URL – Documentally.com/Backchannel
I figured if I started out like that the initial recipients might actually want to receive my email. Anything I do will be noise to someone. I feel there’s value in all sharing. Not always as much for the recipient but there’s normally a reason behind it. The need to connect. Our uncontrolable yearning for some kind of affirmation, recognition. I’ve talked about how chit chat and small talk are vital if we are to take the conversation to the next level. It’s often an icebreaker. A way of creating rapport. I don’t believe this is noise. The issue is with our filters. They have not yet come of age.
There is never too much information. Just too little focus on what’s important.
That’s one of the reasons I’m keen to experiment with a newsletter. The filtering is a bit all-or-nothing but the unsubscribe button is there for a reason. An ‘unsubscribed’ notification is not going to impact my income. Only my ego. If at any point I do get too self indulgent, offer little value, drop a badly timed newsletter or just lose the plot… Maybe those that know me might hang in there till next time. But it’s not the be all and end all. I’d rather people exercise the right to click unsubscribe than to suffer what they perceive to be more noise. We’re chasing likes and favourites so intently, we can forget why it is we create anything at all.
This is more for me. On the best days it’s autotelic. Any perceived value I share could be considered a side effect of me needing a change in pace, a different focus. The bonus will be a backchannel to a network I feel I’ve lost touch with.
In amongst the bits people might like I’ll certainly screw up, write badly, contradict myself and ‘overshare’. That is a part of who I am.
What’s different about a newsletter?
Not sure yet. I’m still learning.
If you subscribe to my blog that can also hit your inbox. So what’s different? Apart from the obvious, I’ve had more interaction from one pilot newsletter than I have from my last 5 blog posts to thousands. Perhaps the casual voice of an email is easier to respond to. If that’s how you blog then maybe there’s no reason to start a newsletter. Especially if like me you are using a platform like TinyLetter that uses weird tracking tech. I’m not sure yet if the stats I get are worth the intrusion. There’s probably an open source system out there. I dare not experiment with Mac Mail. The simplicity of TinyLetter has finally drawn me in.
I like the fact that my unarchived posts live in people inboxes. The destination is a folder on your computer. It needs to be forwarded in order to share and can’t be linked to.
What will it look like?
I’m hoping I can be more casual. I find blogging hard work. I have drafts that have never been published because I’ve either lost interest half way or they are just no good.
I’m going to try to keep to a format:
Things I saw – Things I read – Things I wrote – Things I heard – Things I bought – Things I learned – Things I did – Other Things.
Right now there are at least three marketing emails you are subscribed to that you keep meaning to ditch. Bin them and add one you might like. If you’d like the occasional email containing some enthusiasm, curiosity and some of my findings, here is the link again.
This is the subscribe page – Documentally.com/Backchannel
And if you are doing something similar you think I’d like, please let me know.
Thanks for reading.
I’m @Documentally on twitter.
I take photos and run workshops.
Once around a gravestone, you suggested to me that it could be quite cathartic to write stuff.
I’ve had a rich life of experience if not money and wealth.
The conundrum for me is trying to find a way to write something meaningful (to me) knowing that it may not be meaningful to others. When combined with the demands to get enough cash to live on you may start to see the challenge.
I did have a slightly unusual childhood but perhaps we all have! http://lucidtouchstone.co.uk/a-slightly-unusual-childhood/
And perhaps we should all write about stuff…
Stuff for me, may be mundane, it may be meaningful. Robots writing stuff may even throw up interesting ideas but I can’t help thinking or wondering where the heart really is?
I’m sick and tired of getting inundated with marketing guff in my mailbox. I should know as I’ve studied and used bits of it myself.
Writing or doing something which sparks off ideas is what I really love. In a world where we inhabit oblong boxes called, TV’s, computer screens and mobile phones and where instant gratification seems to be the order of the day.
No one has the energy for thought, thinking is hard work. Far easier to watch a video and have a chuckle at a cat doing something funny and then click on the little ads that pop up.
Maybe a new world is waiting to give birth but it doesn’t know what it wants to be.
Me, I’m going back to creating a website and perhaps writing stuff which is both meaningful and where I can earn enough to pay the mortgage and buy food… So please click those little ads won’t you!
Wow. Thanks for the comment and the link took me to an epic story. And just an extract! I spent a good chunk of years in a caravan too but i’m not sure i got into as much trouble. Or at least I didn’t get caught as much. Actually thinking about it… I think I just chose not to remember parts. Thanks for sharing and keep on inventing!