Why We’re Freaking Out About Substack

Ben Smith at the New York Times:

Danny Lavery had just agreed to a two-year, $430,000 contract with the newsletter platform Substack when I met him for coffee last week in Brooklyn, and he was deciding what to do with the money.

Good overview of the state of indy publishing on the Internet, of which Substack is a part. But only a part.

Blogging is back, under a new name and with a newsletter-first philosophy.

I’m pleased. I loved blogs and was saddened by their apparent demise in the 2010s.

I regret, a little bit, relaunching my blog here as mitchwagner.blog in 2019 or so. The word “blog” is old-fashioned. I did the domain change for reasons of convenience, to solve a technology problem with minimum hassle, rather than for branding purposes.

As with the blogging boom of the 2000s, there is much talk of journalists being able to go over publishers’ heads and go directly to readers. This time it’s more realistic, with a recognition that only some journalists will have the clout, skills, and temperament to go indy.