Here are some things I didn’t pay people to say…
“Your newsletter always brightens my inbox – it never fails to be interesting – usefully orthogonal!” ~ @BenjaminEllis
“#Backchannel by Christian Payne – an excellent Etch-a-Sketch® swipe of perspective and inspiration that punctuates my week. Serendipitous connection, great journalism, social commentary, life experience, technological adventure, whiskey. What more do you need?” ~ @FellowCreative
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘social media’ (is it still a thing and if so where and what is it?) and I’ve become increasingly dismayed at the way my favourite channels and media have become corrupted by bad algorithms and poor design thinking. Why has instagram messed with my timeline? Why does it think it knows what I would ‘like to see’? Ditto Twitter. But why is this digital shit so important to me? Why don’t I just put my phone down and get out into the wide world I love? Why don’t I go and meet interesting humans?
So I guess that’s where my love of your newsletter comes in. It seems to be curated by a very interesting human – with sharp observational skills – who, despite his love of tech, spends an awful lot of time getting out into the world looking at real things. Very interesting things. And having well-informed opinions of things and then asking good questions of his audience if he doesn’t have have a well-informed opinion….
I love a good algorithm when it’s put to use doing something clever for me, but that’s usually on a functional and practical level. Now more than ever I want a human curator not just to sift the wheat from the chaff, but to actually choose some real gems for me. For me.
What I’m looking for is a curator with an emotional intelligence and informed curiosity and they are rare as rare can be.
I’ve resisted using the term Gonzo because everyone thinks that means getting wasted HST style but thank you for putting a lot of you into what you do. I’ll take your journalistic balance as a given and not just sit back and enjoy being pointed in very interesting directions, but also enjoy being encouraged to get out into the world and see, smell, taste and feel it for real. ~ @Timleroyis
“Friday’s tonic from @Documentally – refreshing, real, and inspiring by turn. Cheers!” ~ @Ben_Emmens
“I read Documentally from start to finish each week, always interesting and thought-provoking!” ~ @Simon_Hemsley
“The [Backchannel] newsletter fills in the gaps around the other things I’ve been looking at online during the week.” ~ @MetScanner
“Documentally’s newsletter always gets me excited to listen to podcasts that I know I won’t actually listen to but, damn, they sound good.” ~ @StillmanSays
I learn something from Backchannel very week, often more than one thing. Always interesting and engaging, and full of good stuff. @tontowilliams