“It’s also worth noting that Thompson’s position is protected: No outsider can take away his subscribers or prevent him from communicating with them. Email is a boring, simple, old technology. The first email was sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. Unlike followers or social media subscribers, email has yet to be usurped by algorithms (for the most part; Gmail does a little bit of sorting now). It’s a predictable marketing channel.”
Craig Mod writes a good history of books, electronic books and magazines, and where we are now. His part about email as a book and publishing format is really interesting because the uptick in email newsletters is growing and I myself subscribe to quite a few. I enjoy the slowness of it—I choose when to read it—and how it shows up in my inbox just for me. There is no algorithm telling me what I should see, I'm making the choice to get this. It's an alternative to RSS that works well. For a bit of push back on Mod's essay, I recommend the piece Tim Carmody wrote on Kottke.org.