The future is email (or, everyone should have a newsletter)

We associate newsletters with companies and well-known people, because that’s how it currently is. A typical person doesn’t have a newsletter — they have instagram or some other social media. 

Their presence on the web is exactly that, very social and very exposed. 

Posting on social media is like performing on stage. The essence of the performance is prescribed by the venue. There’s an audience, large or small. That audience can react to you and in doing so, they share their reactions with everyone else.  

On some platforms (like instagram), you can make your profile private. However, the number of followers, likes, and comments is still visible. Yes, you can hide the number of likes or disable comments, but that’s not the default. And when you do so, that makes you a little different, maybe a little odd.

Newsletters (perhaps, “email blogs” would be a better way to call this) are intimate. It’s like having a one-on-one conversation. There are no likes or comments. If the reader wants to react, they have to write something to you. Writing takes some effort. And their only audience is you.

They are free form, too. You aren’t confined to the format: you can send a long article or a short one, a photo, a couple photos, or not at all. 

And most importantly, there's freedom. Email is email. You don't have to have the same email client as your readers. And that's what makes it so powerful.