Apr 26, 2022·edited Apr 26, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

I appreciate the different view on this, BUT as far as replacing the NYT, the comparison might make more sense when talking about its op-ed section for analysis, not so much with news. News gathering is a different animal and unless authors made enough to have a support system for investigative journalism, including legal, money for FOIA, travel, etc., it seems like it might not work out so well.

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Quite a few of us at Substack HQ are 👀 👀

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Apr 26, 2022·edited Apr 26, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

Hey Tomas, Do you have anything set up were I can make $ contributions to you on an individual basis? There have been several times when I finish something of yours and want to fork over $ just because of that article. That's how I roll, I'm like a guy strolling down a street with buskers around me and I pause and listen and if I like, I put $ in their guitar case. Can you put out a guitar case or a hat? If you can set up something like this, it picks up people like me who are more motivated on a per article basis. You lose something in $ regularity but gain in realtime feedback, people vote quite accurately with their wallet, it's evolutionary (my dear Watson)

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Apr 28, 2022·edited Apr 28, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

I'm a Substack reader and subscriber, and spend up to $15 a month on subscriptions here. That's about my limit, I'm discovering, in a world of subscriptions for online magazines, blogs, and software that can take as much as $2,000 a year out of my pocket, if I let myself go (I haven't, so far, and I don't think I will, nor will others.)

The problem for you content providers is my sort of behavior. When it all starts feeling like money drip, drip, dripping out of my pocket, I pause my Substack subscription. And if I feel like reading someone new, I switch, hopping around, over the various Substack blogs. And sometimes, I get nervous about the cash outflow, and cancel, if the topics are not of interest in any particular month.

That makes for less security for you folks. Those $50k/month subscription bases and readerships are not going to last forever. And you are going to feel the pressure to keep going on your hamster wheels, which you have to keep spinning, to justify your subscriptions to your readers.

That will lead to burnout.

I just don't see Substack as a threat or stable long term competitor to legacy media, unless the formula gets changed for all parties. Less cost of subscription for subscribers, better pay than traditional media for writers, less silo-ing of opinion based content.

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Apr 27, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

Hi Tomas, Thank You for this through provoking write-up. Way-back, 2012, Bruce Sterling introduced the concept op Stacks, check-out https://suspendedjudgement.tumblr.com/post/33293065193/on-bruce-sterlings-stacks-and-ibm-smartcamp

Your write-up makes good arguments why perhaps Substack may emerge as THE Stack for (quality) written(?) material. Stacks that figure-out how to operate whilst benefitting 'all' inside the Stack instead of treating folks as cattle may well be on to something. Have Fun!

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This article has great insight, I actually started on medium but felt it lacked somehow and then read a couple articles on substack and then decided to move here. The Bundling idea is very interesting, i think i would be more inclined to subscribe if there were bundles as well. Thanks for article!

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May 29, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

A month after reading this, a question pops up in my mind : if one was to start from scratch on a topic today, how would you balance user acquisition vs retention?

Would you start publishing on Medium till you get to a sizable audience, and then move to Substack?

I'm not a fan of Medium's way of controlling things, but it might be the best way to start for a writer.

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Thanks so much for the education. You provided clarity and a reality to my hunches!

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As a new Substack user who is considering just using Medium (which I have an account for) when I want to write something that it totally off of my niche here, this is a fascinating piece. I just moved over here from Wordpress.

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May 1, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

great article @tomas Pueyo - thank you

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I'm new to all of this, and started with zero subs. I've been publishing on Substack since January, and on Medium since March. My honest take so far? It's much easier for me to get engagement on Medium than Substack. I think Medium is a better fit for people trying to grow an audience, where Substack is the better choice if you already have a following.

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Apr 29, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

The problem with this take is that the vast majority of substacks don't do any actual original reporting. The big money maker substacks are just analysis and opinion. There is value in actually getting the facts.

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Great article!

I think Substack should go down the bundling route you suggest but slightly differently.

They should offer the option to subscribe to 1/2/5/10/20 newsletters at a discount the more your subscribe to. So 1=$5, 2=$9, etc. Subscribers are then free to add/remove subscriptions as they go along, with the usual month's notice.

Authors can opt out of this if they want to charge more but hopefully, on average, they would receive more because more subscribers would be willing to add them to their bundle.

The burden of any loss in revenue due to a large bundle at a cheap price should be taken by Substack because again, hopefully they will be making more anyway by encouraging subscribers to spend that little bit more.

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Apr 26, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

You didn't mention RSS and RSS reader apps as a way for authors and readers to meet. I'd be interested to learn where you think this fits into your model.

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Apr 26, 2022·edited Apr 26, 2022Liked by Tomas Pueyo

Thank you, Tomas, for another highly-useful article. I have a basic question: I have a significant amount of notes on various topics that I'd like to organize into articles. But I keep procrastinating. For example, I am paying for hosting a blog, but after posting the first two articles I have not visited it.

I am far more interested in generating novel ideas than in the volume of articles or readers. And I don't need additional income, although it would be nice.

My topics are interest include:

- what to do about cognitive biases such as those described by Kahneman in "Thinking, Fast and Slow" (I have some novel ideas adapted from my past career in engineering)

- relationships between Kahneman's ideas in TFaS and in his new book "Noise"

- relationships between decision-making, mental models, and habits

- my numerous running commentary on the margins of the physical books I read

Given that I don't have an audience or many articles, where would you recommend me to start publishing:

- in my own blog?

- in Medium?

- in Substack?

Thank you in advance!


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