San Francisco, California

Just link!

Sloan explains why his newsletter is just a link to a post on his website:

My enthusiasm for the approach is related to my enthusiasm for the potential of the web page circa 2021. Typography, layout, inline interaction… a bunch of things have finally clicked into place, and it’s honestly a joy these days to make a web page. (Note that I said “web page,” not “web app.” Whole different situation.) Was it absolutely necessary for the illustration in this post to be a live 3D animation, three.js happily chugging along? No. Do I think it’s cool that it is? Yes!

I like this approach a whole lot.

Newsletters are still a very good thing but there is a samey-ness that I’ve noticed. I see this as the Radiolab Effect: a very popular format takes hold of the medium until everyone thinks that’s the only way to make a podcast/website/whatever. They think that a podcast can be nothing more than that dog woofing, leaf crunching, old dude: “there’s a lot of mysterious stuff going on in this town, and I always knew it” train sounds “Eerie, Wyoming is only a six hour train ride from the nearest pub, and it’s home to just one resident...” more barking, more leaf crunching, man wheezing sounds ”...Peter.” kind of format.

Newsletters have their format now and what I love about Sloan’s just-throw-a-link-in-the-email approach is that it allows for variation and weirdness, or at least it feels like it has more potential than your typical friendly neighborhood newsletter.

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