New Red Letters Technology The Junction Words

The Email Chic

In all like­li­hood,
you have heard of Elec­tron­ic Mail,
but I’ve noticed that much of our audi­ence (and 18–25 year olds in gen­er­al) have been con­sis­tent­ly estranged from it, despite its preva­lence in news media.
 
 
Per­haps it’s not imme­di­ate­ly evi­dent as the coolest thing, but if stay­ing informed” and grass roots-ing brands are still as hip as they appear to be, email newslet­ters should soon become so groovy that you’ll begin leav­ing the house for a down-the-street cof­fee shop just to be seen read­ing them.
Wel­come to the won­der­ful world of aggre­ga­tion.
In many ways, email newslet­ters are the antithe­sis of (and med­ica­tion for) Facebook’s school of rumi­nate aggre­ga­tion. You know - the doc­trine that will for­ev­er be remem­bered as the orig­i­nal intel­lec­tu­al cat­a­lyst for the down­fall of human civ­i­liza­tion. The skim­ming and the jump­ing… how many Face­book users could I fool by sim­ply send­ing fea­tured images, head­lines, and abstracts for social cards with­out any hyper­linked des­ti­na­tion? Could I man­age to get Don­ald Tump elect­ed Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States by way of Scrolling Hyp­no­sis, alone?
 
Stay­ing informed is a habit of time-hon­ored tra­di­tions. Gramps has stopped by Bill’s Gen­er­al Goods every week­day morn­ing for twen­ty years with a hand­ful of change because The Sleep­yville Mon­i­tor is a part of his iden­ti­ty - depen­dent upon- and account­able to his trust. We’ve con­tin­ued into 21st cen­tu­ry news media as if a dig­i­tal equiv­a­lent of his read­er­ship would be so dif­fi­cult to fath­om that lega­cy pub­li­ca­tions are best-off forc­ing the stan­dards of print onto the web instead of invest­ing in research/experimentation, which is why the fuck­ing New York Times still sends your hand­set away to a sep­a­rate mobile ver­sion of their site - a hor­ri­ble rem­nant of brows­ing from the oughts that’s rarely seen on blogs, these days, much less on prop­er­ties of titan­ic news pow­er­hous­es.
 
For what­ev­er rea­son, most of the indus­try has behaved as if Grandpa’s sort of rou­tines no longer exist in day-to-day life, but - if any­thing - our Auto­mat­ed Hell is vast­ly more sat­u­rat­ed with them, no? Unless you’re sequestered away in a dili­gent­ly self-made Email-Free Zone, you’re receiv­ing shit dai­ly. I, myself, am con­sid­er­ably proud of my ~60,000 unread emails, and I’ve con­ced­ed to the vast major­i­ty of the pop­up opt-ins I’ve encoun­tered since short­ly after our launch because I rarely found myself visiting/reading unde­sir­able web.
 
“I don’t email” is a sen­ti­ment I hear from young peo­ple often, which is per­fect­ly fine. I don’t vote!
 
If it’s true that nobody wants that,” nobody should be par­tic­i­pat­ing in the demo­c­ra­t­ic process. Yes, I’ve expe­ri­enced the no patience for more than 300 words phase of life, and I under­stand whole­heart­ed­ly the desire to retreat for­ev­er from it all. I would much rather exist in an old, open farm­house with a wife, a gar­den, no inter­net, dusty old lit­er­a­ture, and two ancient Bent­leys than spend all my time craft­ing mirages in a black mir­ror, but nei­ther cow­ardice nor neg­li­gence are options for us, right now. This coun­try doesn’t have room for any more.
 
That’s not to say that you should be expect­ed to read 6 hours of news a day - it’s the media’s (our) job to main­tain our own acces­si­bil­i­ty, and for this, daily/weekly newslet­ters are an unbe­liev­ably effec­tive method. The meta-aggre­ga­tors in today’s indus­try are often paid exclu­sive­ly to ease your diges­tion, both inde­pen­dent­ly and by mast­heads.
 
Dave Pell is a superb gate­way from the for­mer - an aggre­ga­tion leg­end. His dai­ly cor­re­spon­dence - called NextDraft - is more often than not the ide­al front page of the day.
I’m ask­ing those of you youths yet with­out your own read­ing habits to trust my taste - if not my author­i­ty - and explore some options from my own inbox.
 
Ulti­mate­ly, you just can’t replace a lega­cy die-hard-news shop for a good polit­i­cal brief­ing.
The POLITICO Play­book is the most time-effi­cient way to keep up with U.S. and World pol­i­tics as you walk about your life, and many of The New York­er’s newslet­ters are a great long­form, much more visu­al com­pli­ment. For a slight­ly less-chaot­ic, but still rel­a­tive­ly unproven alter­na­tive to the for­mer, try Axios AM.
 
Nation­al Geo­graph­ic may seem a bit old guard, but has remained a con­sis­tent­ly excel­lent pho­to­graph­ic pub­li­ca­tion. Its print edi­tion has no place but on the poll in tan­gi­ble media sub­scrip­tion terms, but it has been quite depress­ing, as of late. Turns out, we’ve made quite a dystopia for our­selves, and their abil­i­ty to encap­su­late the world can be over­stim­u­lat­ing, at times. If you’d like a bit more con­trol - or are uncom­pro­mis­ing­ly dig­i­tal-only - its web edi­tion has matured quite com­pe­tent­ly, and is ele­gant­ly parsed by their newslet­ters. (You’ll need to cre­ate an account, if you don’t already have one.)
It’s no secret that Medi­um has been on the decline, late­ly - and it’s always required a par­tic­u­lar sort of tol­er­ance - but The Dai­ly Digest still deliv­ers a few impor­tant essays, occa­sion­al­ly. And of course - there are options by reg­u­lar­i­ty and top­ic, which you can fid­dle with here when logged in.
 
On the more inno­v­a­tive end of the indus­try, there’s The Out­line’s newslet­ter, which - being the prop­er­ty of a more delib­er­ate, gor­geous, open-web pub­li­ca­tion - is a bit under­whelm­ing, but then again… why aren’t you just look­ing at the site, any­way? The Pud­ding’s out­put may be sparse, but - again - just… look at it. I can’t claim to have made much use of the infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in their gor­geous visu­al essays, but it sure is fas­ci­nat­ing.
 
The Verge’s Com­mand Line is often so clever, it can almost make tech news engag­ing. (Our very own The Tone is direct­ly mod­eled after it, visu­al­ly.) WIRED’s newslet­ter isn’t bad either - it’d be excel­lent if its par­ent web­site wasn’t so fuck­ing bro­ken.
 
Then there’s War Is Bor­ing - a tactical/tech news site? I recent­ly dis­cov­ered. From drones to AKs, high tech­nol­o­gy to low pol­i­tics.” I wouldn’t describe it as a pri­ma­ry read for me, but it’s still nice to see what the Big Boys are up to, once in a while. (I am most­ly just wait­ing atten­tive­ly for the U.S.S. Iowa to be put up for auc­tion.)
 
If you’re a filthy word nerd like myself, it’s like­ly you’ve seen a Tweet or two from the Hag­gard Hawks account - Paul Antho­ny Jones’ high­ly-edu­cat­ed mus­ings on obscure words, lan­guage & ety­mol­o­gy facts.” After an excel­lent few years of play­ful indul­gences, the project now has a whole Dweeb­Net with a newslet­ter that always fas­ci­nates, if a bit dry­ly. What did you expect?
 
The Poet­ry Foun­da­tion can also be eas­i­ly con­vinced to send you their Poem of the Day, and biweek­ly newslet­ter.
And final­ly… the meta media folks.
Colum­bia Jour­nal­ism Review’s always the pret­ti­est to look at when it comes to cov­er­age of indus­try, and their squeaky-clean per­spec­tive won me over quite quick­ly. They send their ultra-clean, edi­tor-com­piled Week­ly High­lights every Thurs­day. The Amer­i­can Press Insti­tute’s list isn’t a bad idea, either. Then, of course, there’s Harvard’s Nie­man­Lab, which offers after­noon and Sat­ur­day morn­ing emails. All three often cite the Pew Research Cen­ter, which offers its own palette of email lists, should you find your­self hun­gry for d a t a. Though, I do not, and I enjoy them.
 
Land­ing on the home­page” of even the most famil­iar online pub­li­ca­tions can feel daunt­ing and imper­son­al, but hav­ing an author­i­ty on the indus­try (hope­ful­ly, with some sense of humor) parse the tor­rent and deliv­er it unto your per­son­al inbox can ease the read­ing process into a much more inti­mate, sen­si­cal, enjoy­able, and pro­duc­tive expen­di­ture of your valu­able time.
 
For a pub­li­ca­tion of our scale, the rou­tine of a newslet­ter can act first as a sim­ple reminder of our exis­tence, and mature into a way to reach out direct­ly to our audi­ence in a dis­tinct­ly mag­a­zine method­ol­o­gy - one which per­vades a real, con­se­quen­tial rela­tion­ship with con­sumers.
 
And it’s d i g i t a l !
Every Sun­day,
The Tone aggre­gates paths to the most rel­e­vant con­ver­sa­tions of the week
 
in a
 
super-digestible newslet­ter
with inter­nal and exter­nal links to our pre­ferred con­tent.


Edi­tor-in-Chief