Better late than never, I call your attention (yes, I know you’re aware of it already. pipe down.) to the newsletter phenomenon. Joanne McNeil Wrote an excellent overview and analysis last summer: Tiny Letters to the Web We Miss.

I knew what a blog was in 2002, I knew what it was in 2008, which was slightly different but still definitely a “blog.” Now, I have no idea what the word means any more. It isn’t something that runs on WordPress, because that is now the CMS for almost 20% of the web. It isn’t a place for short links, because that is Twitter. Tumblr and Instagram took over for photoblogs. And those long personal essay/personal rant posts that people would write every once in a while?—?those are happening here on Medium instead of our own websites. Specific products are driving the content.

TinyLetter isn’t driving the content as much as it is driving the newsletter trend. The format can be used for multiple purposes just like blogs used to be. *

If you want to dip your toes, let me recommend Charlie LLoyd‘s 6 and Debbie Chachra‘s Metafoundry. 6, 37: Blur‘s metasequoia section is one of the best things I’ve read in a while. And if you were paying attention while you read Metafoundry 15: Scribbled Leatherjackets you got a glimpse of Dr. Chachra’s thinking on Making (capitalization intended) that ended up, eventually, as Why I Am Not a Maker on the Atlantic’s web site.

A couple other newsletters I enjoy: Sarah Jeong and Parker Higgins‘ 5 Useful Articles (dispatches from the IP/copyright wars) and @(s)laughtercrystal‘s #PortsmouthLOVE Letter (local fun and coolness).

Some thought has been given to a #dailycoolcreature newsletter – no promises, but watch this space for any announcements.

A photo posted by John P (@drhypercube) on