June 24, 2022

Where To Keep The Family Jewels


Would You Keep Your Most Valuable Possessions In The Vault Of A Company That Might One Day Just Close Their Doors And Block You From Getting All Your Stuff Back?

A few years ago … let’s call at it the ‘advent of social’, common wisdom suggested

‘Email is dead … long live Social’. If you know me, you will not be surprised to learn that I disagreed with ‘common wisdom’. I even wrote how the people at the vanguard of the movement were not just wrong … they were really wrong.

Fast forward to 2022 and it is clear that email has not disappeared… in fact for the past few years it has really caught hold … with everyone.

I publish my newsletter over on Substack, a company that when it launched just 5 years ago was greeted with a general shrug of shoulders and comments that could be rolled up into the umbrella term of ‘What Are They Thinking’.

I decided that what they were thinking was really interesting and when they announced their public beta in 2018, signed up to explore more, launching my first ever Substack newsletter on February 8th, 2018.

At the time my Wordpress Blog was at people-first.net … before moving to people first.vision and then on to people first.business. But I also had a mail chimp account which I used to send occasional missives … so needed to move my subscribers from there over to Substack, but life was busy and more importantly, IMHO Substack wasn’t quite ready for what I needed.

It was a year later when I threw my entire lot in with the company, closed down my Mailchimp account and moved my subscribers and committed to a weekly missive. Since then Substack functionality has gone from strength to strength. There are still oddities in some of their design decisions … like why can’t I center text if I really want to center text .. but on the whole … all good.

Of course lots of companies have woken up to the phenomena … both on the newsletter creation side and software to generate said newsletters. The ‘arms race’ is in full swing.

It was at the end of 2021 that the Microsoft company ‘LinkedIN’ launched its own newsletter functionality. If you are on LinkedIN, you know this because you are receiving messages from many people … too many actually, to sign up for their newsletter. But it is clear that people are signing up for them - the question is - are they reading them?

(Let’s Find out)

Here’s the Challenge.

Willy Sutton was a bank robber in the United States, dying at the age of 79 in November 1980. There is an apocryphal story where a reporter asked him why he robbed banks. Willy replied;

“ Because That’s where the money is.”

Willy Sutton

People often ask me why I am on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter et al

Willy knows - BUT - being there doesn’t mean these platforms are there only places where my thinking, IP, articles, ideas et al reside. All of that starts here - or over on that newsletter. In documents on my hard drive. In my Obsidian vault. Oh so many places - joined together by one common denominator.

I have control over where and how that content is managed and how it is found. No algorithms. Not ‘at the will’ of a faceless corporate bureaucrat.

Just my stuff. Where I want it. So when I want it, I can find it.

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