≡ Menu

Curated newsletters as a trend


For the past several months, I’ve been getting Dave Pell’s daily newsletter, entitled Next Draft. In it, Pell curates interesting links on general topics, clustering two or three related articles together in each entry. He gets sponsorship for his efforts. Lately he’s been sponsored by Betabrand, the company that stalks me with its Black Wool Sweater on Facebook. (I have yet to buy one but the very funny exchange I had with the company is now legendary amongst my FB followers. Link will be below).

About 50% of what Dave links is something I’ve already seen, because, you know, I’m online too (much). What makes Dave’s letter fun is his paragraph of commentary that goes with the links he sends. It’s also interesting to see which second and third link he adds to the main one. His curation is like water cooler takeout: a curious little pre-constructed conversation in a cup. It’s a vastly improved way to absorb current events.

Today my friend Chris Wink from Technically Media posted his curated letter today, and yesterday my friend Briana Morgan from the Philly Area New Media Association revived her curated-links-and-personal-news email. (Both Chris and Briana used TinyLetter. Not sure which software Dave Pell uses).

These curated newsletters (without pictures, even!) are heads and shoulders above the Instapaper, etc. aggregate apps popular on Twitter for two main reasons.

  1. They aren’t crowded “newspaper like” presentations
  2. Each link comes with a comment from the sender

It’s nice to think a collection of links sent to me was sent with some thought behind it. Briana and Chris had their own news to share, too, in and amongst other issues (and Dave usually throws in his own life facts). Basically these curated newsletters are  condensed and directly-delivered Facebook feeds without the drama and with better personal connection. I’ve been thinking about starting my own for a while but I never seem to pull the trigger.

Watch this space. I’ll let you know here if I finally point and shoot.


The BSWS and me. Betabrand’s funny responses to my protests. Storify

Christopher Wink’s newsletter reboot

Briana Morgan’s sign-up page on Tiny Letter

Dave Pell at Nextdraft.com  (where I stole the image from)