05 | Newsletters

Does anybody have Al Gore's phone number? I want to have a chat about this Internet he created.

Information is like influenza—it's real, it's everywhere, it's running rampant through the streets, plaguing everybody. Most days, I want a protective barrier to keep the unfounded, stupid, snotty mucus effluvia out of my inbox, and letting only the good, fresh, well-thought out truthful information in. (Side note: these are now a thing, so you can distance yourself from the grossness of humanity...in style!)

Other than getting my info from all the regular places, like a thinking human person, I also like having my content tailored to my interests, via newsletter. Having a nice pile of newsletters delivered to my inbox is the digital equivalent of that stack of fresh magazines waiting to be flipped through during Top Chef reruns.

So while I'm waiting for the next Quickfire, here are some of my favorite newsletters to flip through (currently):

Thinking is Quiet: David Conrad is a UX, Big Data designer, and designs a lot of the techy stuff we all swear our lives by. I found him when I was first learning about the Creative Mornings organization and recognized David as a very smart, very insightful, often funny, and always thoughtful person who exists and on Sunday nights, he sends a Tiny Letter about his latest mental wanderings. While sometimes the "computery tech talk" stuff is lost on me (if you couldn't tell by my usage of "computery tech talk"), he consistently translates the technology that is embedded in my life into terms any one can understand and has interesting, engaging things to say about culture and life in general. Thought-provoking prompts combined with a friendly tone is always an A+.

The Cut: This newsletter from New York Magazine has the tagline: Style. Self. Culture. Power. Which is my four basic food groups. And maybe one day, my epitaph. It's also a good mix level of snark, awareness, cheek, and fluff—also a good epitaph. Come to think of it, if someone asks what I want on my tombstone, refer them to this post. And say sausage and cheese, and I'll take spinach, if someone else wants spinach, too. Hmmmm, pizza.

Anyway, I like The Cut, though I think their editorial calendar is set to STUN because I feel like it's delivered to my inbox 1425 times a day. I get headline fatigue by Wednesday, and find myself thinking, "Didn't I already read this?" My brain only has so much room for hot-takes on the Hadid sisters.

TheWhat: A clever list for curious people... and indeed it is. Inside a clean, minimalist design is a breezy take on some of the latest things/events/products/books and the greatest women artists/writers/thinkers/activists/doers/dreamers. It's run by two best friends and reading theWhat is like listening to a long phone call between them, all cord-twirling around their toes like in high school (ya know, back when phones had cords). TheWhat has an accompanying private Facebook group that's mostly a huge recommendations page among women across the world—from face creams to restaurants to advice on workplace issues. TheWhat also coined the term Perennials, a term to describe people who are "ever-blooming, relevant people of ALL ages who live in the present time, know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology, and have friends of all ages." Yes, it's more of a marketing strategy but it's also a descriptor that doesn't make me gag. And I like their curated approach to all the info. One Cool Thing could be a baby version of what theWhat is offering.

LilyLines: This is the Washington Post's version for professional, smart, mostly-millennial or that weird micro-generation between Millennials and Gen-Xers. It has smart commentary on current news, brief but not shallow interviews with both famous and unknown women, and reports on the big and small events that affect women around the world. Also, this bi-weekly newsie features a baiku, a haiku that closes the newsletter, which I appreciate literarily.

FRANK: This newsletter speaks to the careers and life of women (and where they intersect so that we don't go bonkers). I've always hated that "How does she do it?!" and "Having it all!" concept. It's dumb, dumb, dumb because no one person (woman or otherwise) has ALL the things ALL the time and is ALL the positive emotions about it. Whenever I hear that stupid phrase on news segments or magazine headlines or whatever, I roll my eyes so hard it pops a brain coil. So stop doing it, Media! It's a lazy, outdated, trope. Blech.

Rant over (for now....seriously don't get me started on that topic)... but FRANK goes high with quality content and fun, actionable ideas for your career, your job, your balance, your life. And I never feel like they are in my inbox too much so I am always delightfully surprised when I see it in my email queue. That's the way to do it—be available without pushy. Kudos, Frank.

Honorable mentions:

Everup: More wellness and happy/healthy/work-life balance kind of things, lots of clickbaity titles but enough original, engaging, entertaining items to keep me on the subscriber list.

Career Contessa: Aimed at young professional women (of which I think I'm tipping the scales on that) but offers solid career advice and tips for any office environment, as well as thoughtful articles on modern office culture and that frustrating-as-hell glass ceiling. Whatever your industry, Contessa is in your corner, cheering "Get it, girl!"

The Muse: Their Friday newsletter is top-notch with the GIFs and memes. Another career-oriented newsletter but hey, the hustle is real, people! They also have nice overviews on different kinds of companies to help job-seekers make informed moves in their career. Nothing worse than starting at a new company and three weeks in, realize it's the ninth circle of hell. The Muse is like your online Virgil.

The Skimm: Actually, I find myself deleting The Skimm from my inbox before even reading it anymore. The cutesy tone is often tone-deaf, or more likely, just annoying in that "trying too hard" way. Then I learned that there are many online haters of The Skimm, looking for heads to roll and what-not. What's true about the back of the cereal box is true about The Skimm: If you don't like it, don't read it. So yeah, I don't anymore.

Related Links

— Actually, these are the two very real guys—Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf—who invented the Internet (at least core components, like the main organs of what would grow to be the Internet). Isn't it crazy that their names aren't on everyone's lips all the time? I bet 9 out of 10 people wouldn't recognize their names if asked and those 9 could definitely name a handful of Kardashians. Ugh, no fair! I see you Bob and Vint!

— TheWhat created a Spotify playlist for Perennials and it's a nice backdrop to blog writing, tea-making, laundry folding, shower-readying. Get it here.

#1CT #onecoolthing #literary #newsletters #newsies #email

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