The rise of newsletters

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Blogs versus newsletters are back in the vogue now and could redefine the “propagation” of ideas in 2021 and beyond. One of the “rising” stars is Substack, just like the word press challenger was “Ghost”. There are many reasons they might entice someone towards owning a newsletter- to create a medium for community engagement.

I agree that subscribers are essential if you need to stay afloat, but my enthusiasm for the “new experiments” has completely waned off. I used to subscribe to an indie publication and saw an acrimonious split but it turned out to be a bastion of “liberalism” and there was nothing new in the way they have covered start up scene. The stories and ideas are stale and beyond the optics, have lost complete relevance for me.

Newsletters offer something different; however, as again, it requires sticking to the track and hence again easier to lose focus. Subscription fatigue will eventually kick in till the entrepreneur will again find a method to bundle content and “surface content algorithmically”. That’s when the eventual commodification of the newsletters will take place (again).

Besides, you depend on an external agency for hosting your needs, including the exhaustive set of “subscribers”/ An external third party holds the customer relationships and offers a platform that only requires some development effort and hosting solution. Substack is a clever to market the “disruption” with costs involved in the marketing and more optics.

Blogging is something that you own and you can transfer your word press to another instance if you aren’t happy with the existing platform. For all its faults, WordPress.com has been a reliable host and I find their charges usurious, but I get instant support as and when I need it. I pay for the peace of mind (along with the newsletter infrastructure that sends out the emails).

Blogs versus newsletter debate will not settle down but will go on eventually to benefit the readers. I hope more health professionals join the party!