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Pivoting to Substack

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JayFarrar, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. BYH 2: Electric Boogaloo

    BYH 2: Electric Boogaloo Well-Known Member

    Holy shit I just read that Calcaterra newsletter. What a load of pompous pretentious shit, from a guy who has made a career out of writing pompous pretentious shit. Most of us would either shut the fuck up and keep writing our word vomit and apparently paying our mortgage (somehow I doubt that) or actually live up to our principles by walking away. Craig of course has to have it both ways. Unfollowing that guy years ago was the best decision I've ever made on Twitter.
    cake in the rain and Octave like this.
  2. Octave

    Octave Well-Known Member

    He has had a lofty opinion of himself for someone whose work for years had the flavor of parsley.
  3. BYH 2: Electric Boogaloo

    BYH 2: Electric Boogaloo Well-Known Member

    He was an awfully smug and condescending towards the mainstream press, until he realized that trying to align himself with the mainstream press sounded cool and noble after Trump won.
  4. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member


    I like this. Im going to use it....."your work has the flavour of parsley!"
    Octave likes this.
  5. Octave

    Octave Well-Known Member

    Hardball Talk was one of those sites where the commentariat is more interesting than the bloggers. Not a good mark of a publisher.

    He also actively trolled his users and later admitted he did it for views. This was during a much gentler time in the culture as well, when we didn't need all the shit stirred up by anybody.
  6. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

  7. Severian

    Severian Well-Known Member

  8. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    Medium laid off its journo staff in 2015, so not just about unionizing. Turns out billionaires are as tight with a buck as we are. There's still no good business model to generate sustaining profits from actual journalism.

    Maybe that's why other entities for the public good -- like Amtrak -- are forced to subsist on the public teat. I wonder how many news ops took bailout/stimulus money???
    wicked likes this.
  9. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Medium had 700,000 paid subscriptions with $35 million in revenue (The mess at Medium) going into this year and a successful company by any measure.

    But the point wasn't to build a successful company, the point of Medium was to make something so big, that you go publicly traded and you could get a multi-billion dollar market cap or something so big and attractive that it would be bought by Facebook/Google/etc., for a billion or two or some other plural number.

    As for everyone whining about Substack, I wish they would all just shut the fuck up.

    Here's the thing, Substack is a vendor. That's it. People complaining about it are like people complaining about Constant Contact or Mail Chimp, those are both platforms to manage and distribute emails to a wide list. Substack took it a step further by adding the ability to build a site using very basic software for free.

    You literally don't pay a penny to Substack if you don't charge. If you do. then they get 10 percent plus, as previously noted, a percentage charged for the credit card transactions through another vendor.

    Making it free meant they needed to attract some names that would build buzz, and that's what they did, using VC money from some tech bro douche. They aren't using the sub fees they get to attract names. It is all VC money. Does Substack have some issues?

    Sure, but for those of us in the got laid off because the mega corporation we worked for decided to close the papers and Substack provided a rare bit of hope in a shitty world for reporting. Because, let's face it, it is shitty. Everyone knows it is shitty and rather than try to make it better, they'd rather just complain because someone they don't know but don't like got a publishing advance to write words, which is, by the way, the established model for things like publishing words.

    There's also plenty of writers who are making good livings using Substack, isn't some pipe dream but you have to make it a business. You have to not just write but learn how to do marketing and accounting and social media promotion and then go out and do those things to make it a real shop.

    Why does everything have to be so dumb, all the time?
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