This post is by Semil Shah from Haystack.vc
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Earlier this week, I tweeted a thought about the difference I see between blogging versus publishing: “Publishing is when you draft a bunch of versions, have scores of people look at it, maybe a PR eye on it, etc. (often on Medium). Blogging is when you open up the CMS (usually on your own site) and just start typing and post it within 20-30 minutes.”
This made me think of other mediums. As a heavy Twitter user, I’ve seen lots of people adopt tweetstorms. I’m not a big fan of them. People have encouraged me to follow suit and while I respect it’s native, “in-line” content, it feels a bit pushy to do it. Then I thought about blogs, and how lots of people in tech write online but very few blog in the way I think of it. And, then, I thought about a space in between email newsletters. Email newsletters are important because email is a very important channel; you can track all sorts of analytics related to a campaign; and creating one every week or month is not that hard.
I wanted to highlight three people (and friends) who I think do email newsletters well:
1/ MG Siegler – everyone in tech knows MG. His blogs are usually must-reads. MG has shifted his writing a bit from the OG TechCrunch days and now, as a VC, has a slightly different style. His newsletter is really good – there’s a clear format, he writes 1-2 pieces, and then he links to others with his own commentary. I rarely read the articles he suggests because I’m most interested in MG’s take on the article itself. Subscribe to MG’s newsletter here.
2/ Connie Loizos – anyone following venture capital is likely a subscriber to StrictlyVC. Connie has nailed the daily newsletter format. Now, bear in mind this woman (and mother of 2) used to wake up maybe between 4-5am PST to organize her scoops; she’s changed a bit on timing now given she’s at TechCrunch now, but the format is solid and consistent, which includes breaking or headline news up top, a preview of her most recent piece on TechCrunch, funding news, and my personal favorite — her end section which has more whimsical links. I end up clicking on those the most. Note, like MG, Connie doesn’t really tweet that much. Subscribe to StrictlyVC here.
3/ Alex Taussig – Alex may not be as well known within tech circles as MG or Connie, but his weekly email newsletter is really, really good. Alex is a consumer partner at Lightspeed, where I am a venture partner. Alex is the type of person whose brain is very active, and he is a polymath type, where his interests carry him into different arenas and he has the capacity to quickly learn a new sector very quickly. In his newsletter, you’ll find commentary on SMB trends, or Facebook Libra, or what’s happening in astronomy — all in a very digestible format. Of any newsletter I subscribe to, I’d go far as to say Alex’s is the best-designed one. I almost didn’t write that because I know this will go to his head, but it’s true. I meet lots of investors who want to share more of their viewpoints but don’t feel comfortable tweeting and don’t have the energy to blog, and for those folks I point them to Alex’s newsletter “Drinking From The Firehose” and encourage them to do it just 10-12 times a year. Subscribe to Alex’s newsletter here.
There are more sites popping up that let folks start these newsletters with less friction. That’s a good thing. But over time, I really believe in owning your content, owning your site, owning your domain, owning your design, and so forth. MG, Connie, and Alex are 3 people who have done a great job at this. Go check them out.