I didn't like newsletters. I found them tedious. I had to open my email to read them, and was confronted by the leagues of spam from other sources - which were often also newsletters, but from retailers that had added me from online purchases and services. My brain had equated newsletters with unwanted marketing, with the sort of spam you get and tolerate in order to get an occasionally useful benefit (Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics, I am looking at you and your coveted 60% coupons. You have furnished my creative supply stash more times than I can count). And most people - at least, the few who'd unsubscribed from Friday At Charlie's - probably were beginning to feel the same way. So where did I go to find the things I wanted to engage with?
Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. And those led me to the sites and blogs of people I came to regularly enjoy. Easy-peasy. In a world where people want quick impressions before they click, time is an investment, and reading a blog (or a newsletter) takes time. So ... I realized I need to go to the short-format marketing and look for my readers there.
Before you say "how dare you accuse people of having no attention spans, is this another rant about millenials or whatever we're calling people nowadays when we don't like them" ... hold up. Technically, I'm a millenial, myself (though I'm on the VERY VERY tail end of the spectrum, which is so weird, but another ramble entirely). And I have a theory about creative people online, and how we're starting to view media through the lens of the internet.
The internet is an amazing place for creative people! It makes creating and sharing so much more accessible than it was in the 80s and 90s. Even today's internet is better for creatives than the dial-up, AOL-and-Bravenet-and-ICQ internet of my high school days: which, incidentally, is when I decided that I wanted to write. Hmmmmm. But I'm coming dangerously close to veering off topic. Focus, Ang. Focus. And that's the thing about the internet. People don't have too much focus for it, because there are so many things everywhere. We have a phrase for it, for Godsakes: FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out. So we make our impressions of things as small as possible, so we can devour more. We call a show that needs our attention for longer than an episode or two a "binge".... but the great thing is, we still do it. But how do we decide what to binge? From seeing enough of those bite-sized peeks at a thing to realize that we're interested. And that is not something that a newsletter can do. That is the territory of the tweet, of the Facebook post, of the Pin, of the omnipresent hashtag and keyword.
So, to make a long story short (too late!), I'm not writing a newsletter, because I'm not writing you a circular ad. I'm writing you postcards, hoping that they'll intrigue you enough that you'll want to take this journey, yourselves.
Happy travels, and I'll see you next time...