What I'm promising with Linked
Linked is about how we connect. It's also a whetstone. Here's some things I want to do with it.
As I'm writing this, it's late at night. I'm feeling a little inspired, and after an hour and a half of trying to sleep, I figure the next best thing is to get these thoughts into a file somewhere.
Linked is another attempt at writing regularly. It's simultaneously taking writing more and less serious. I've noticed that in an effort to "take things more seriously" I've just ended up comparing myself unfavourably to people with much different circumstances and a lot more practice; this means I've fallen off the sharpness that I know that I'm capable of.
So... we're at that whetstone.
I actually kind of dislike the title Linked, but it was the best thing that I could think of to distil down my broad "shit that I write about" into something simpler.
I want to explore Internet culture. I want to see what dreams people had (or have) for themselves, through the Internet. I want to learn about how that's driving them, in a good or bad way. I want to explore how our relationships have changed with the space, and revisit some of those that we've left behind.
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What started as "writing about esports marketing" with PlusHeart made me realise that things like Twitch culture was interwoven too deeply to ignore. That cascaded into thinking about things like forum culture, multiplayer gaming, fandoms, and where people found purpose here.
So until I come up with a better way of explaining it, that hippie explanation is going to have to do.
I also wanted to establish some other things.
Here's what I can promise you from Linked:
Posts are going to be authentic. This means I'm not going to fake my feelings for the purposes of a more entertaining piece. I think this is a good baseline, because if it isn't coming from a real place, why am I writing about it?
It's going to be well-edited, and not a block of text. I think that there's a visual artistry to writing that's hard to explain; I've been doing this long enough to know that peoples' eyes glaze over if there isn't some kind of regular paragraph break. At the very least, your eyes are going to thank me.
Things I write about are going to focus on human feelings. This doesn't mean I'm going to just be focusing on the cheap pops of nostalgia, but I think there's honestly something sad about the lost feelings that were associated with the earlier.
I'm going to try to talk to people much smarter than me. I like the idea of an interview because I like the art of conversation. I'm not sure if I'm particularly good at it, but I think the only way to be able to improve this is to seek out different perspectives.
It's going to try to be something you're happy to get in your inbox. This can be surprisingly difficult; I'll go into why below.
Here's some other stuff, so you aren't surprised
I want to take this newsletter paid. Maybe not now, but eventually. This is going to mean pay-walling things, or things like time-gating (say, two weeks until a post becomes public). This is going to be done through Substack, which means a monthly subscription.
I'm still figuring out how I feel about this, but I want it to remain fair. I don't want someone to feel like the only way they can consume my work is through paying; I'll also admit that I'm not sure I should be diving into that kind of operation at the moment.
But part of Linked (and well, the rest of this newsletter) is admitting that I have an ambition to be paid for my work, and to make it something that can help support me. I don't think this is wrong, and I'm working at being less ashamed of it. If your favourite artist can have a Patreon, I can have a Substack.
Right now you can’t pay for a subscription, but you can pledge for one. That means you won’t be charged until I turn payments on; it’ll give me a good idea of if someone’s interested, in the meantime.
However, going paid means that this newsletter has to have a point, and it has to be valuable to other people. It can't just be me "figuring myself out" in a diary format; it has to be informed, and it has to escape my sphere of introspection and messiness. I think part of the balance I'll need to strike is making that kind of messiness fit into other peoples' experience, as well.
And if there's one thing I'd like to do, it's connect with you through what I'm writing. I'd like you to feel like I'm hitting small, familiar parts of you that are dormant, or they're spaces you visit on a regular basis.
Comments are going to be open for now, and likely moderated pretty strictly. Voiceovers will be done using Substack's UI, and if they're able to be behind a paywall one day, I'll likely move them there. Subscribers will also get Substack chats through the app.
Unsubscribing from just this section
I’m leaving it up to you whether you want to subscribe to all of this newsletter, or just certain sections. Substack has a good tutorial on how to unsubscibe from just Linked, or other sections. Use it.
So here we are
It's 1:30AM. I'm wondering if this bit of time in front of the laptop will completely mess up my sleep schedule, throw off the semblance of health I've built for myself this week, and cascade into ruining every other positive growth I've made for myself in the past little while.
In other words, it's probably (definitely) time to go to bed.
Thanks for staying up with me a little. There'll be more to come soon.