Substack: new blog, same as the old blog, but in a good way

I smiled and gave a noncommittal answer. As a freelancer, it seemed more likely than not that one day I would start a Substack, or something similar. What choice did I have?

Clio Chang, The Substackerati, Columbia Journalism Review

Let’s review the last 100 years of sharing opinions and knowledge while attempting to get paid for it.

1920s: start a speakeasy

1930s: crash the world economy

1940s: start a party

1950s: write in to a magazine

1960s: start a movement

1970s: start a garden

1980s: start a TV show

1990s: start a band

2000s: start a blog

2010s: start a company

The 2020s are shaping up to be start a podcast and start a newsletter. Personally, I’m sticking with the blog while dragging it back to its roots as a place to share thoughts with minimal editing. Which, from what I’ve read, is the appeal of these newsletters popping up on Substack. Writers come out of the strict editorial of institutions with lots of ideas to share.

Sometimes it’s not great. The article linked up there mentions a few writers who probably needed a firmer editor to push back on their opinions even as those writers believed their editors were holding them back. Reader, let me tell you, not much changed when the gatekeepers got pushed out of the way. The intensity, maybe, but the opinions are equally questionable.

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