Newsletter vs Blog

Email is still the killer app

Robin Rendle on newsletters versus blog posts:

I think the weird thing about newsletters is that they’re so…formal. It would make for a cruel and unusual punishment if I sent an email out to a bunch of people that was nonsensical, doesn’t conclude properly, doesn’t have some sense of progress or I-don’t-know-what. But with a blog post? I don’t care!


In fact, that’s the graceful thing about blogs and personal sites. They can be just for you; scribbling down notes in a public but non-important way. It doesn’t have to lead anywhere, and there doesn’t have to be this big pretense that you’re the smartest person in the room.


A blog post can start in the middle of nothing, go nowhere, and then just…


There’s a real point here in that a blog or a personal site can be just for you. This site is pretty much just for me. If someone else likes what I’m writing, I appreciate it. However, I’m not writing for any other audience than myself. 

I never could figure out a newsletter format that felt natural and entertaining. Doing a newsletter has been a joy, but it also can be a hassle and a chore. I don’t want to do anything that’s a chore, especially if I’m doing it voluntarily. Writing should never be a chore. For me, doing a regular newsletter is a chore, and that’s why I completely revamped this website to be the be-all, end-all of me online.

On the other hand, I love reading formal newsletters from people I find fascinating and interesting. Here are a few of my favorites:

Warren Ellis’ Orbital Operations
Dave Winer’s Scripting News
Kai Brach’s Dense Discovery
Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American
Will Leitch’s This Here Newsletter

May 27, 2020