Newsletter vs Blog

Robin Rendle on newsletters versus blog posts:

I think the weird thing about newsletters is that they’re so…formal. It would make for a cruel and unusual punishment if I sent an email out to a bunch of people that was nonsensical, doesn’t conclude properly, doesn’t have some sense of progress or I-don’t-know-what. But with a blog post? I don’t care!


In fact, that’s the graceful thing about blogs and personal sites. They can be just for you; scribbling down notes in a public but non-important way. It doesn’t have to lead anywhere, and there doesn’t have to be this big pretense that you’re the smartest person in the room.


A blog post can start in the middle of nothing, go nowhere, and then just…


There’s a real point here in that a blog or a personal site can be just for you. This site is pretty much just for me. If someone else likes what I’m writing, I appreciate it. However, I’m not writing for any other audience than myself. 

I never could figure out a newsletter format that felt natural and entertaining. Doing a newsletter has been a joy, but it also can be a hassle and a chore. I don’t want to do anything that’s a chore, especially if I’m doing it voluntarily. Writing should never be a chore. For me, doing a regular newsletter is a chore and that’s why I completely revamped this website to be the be all, end all of me online1.

On the other hand, I love reading formal newsletters from people I find fascinating and interesting. Here are a few of my favorites:

Warren Ellis’ Orbital Operations
Dave Winer’s Scripting News
Kai Brach’s Dense Discovery
Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American
Will Leitch’s This Here Newsletter

  1. Aside from some social media spots