Happy birthday to Understandably! Also, 17 questions ... plus a poll ... and 7 other things worth knowing today.
Chiming in on making Daylight Savings (DST) permanent, it seems too awkward. Only 40% of the countries in the world now employ DST, which means going back to Standard Time in Autumn. As far as my research went, not one country is permanently on DST, those that dropped DST are now permanently on Standard Time. Why? My guess is that since the world is more unified with communications, having only one country that is permanently on DST would wreak havoc in business that deal worldwide. It’s hard enough with DST in the summer than to deal with that kind of chaos year around.
I don't remember how I initially found Understandably but I'm very glad I did. As far as the daily topics issues goes I see that running aground eventually. Very simply, Understandably has become an integral part of my weekday routine. Making changes would cause me great anxiety. Understandably is like that rocking chair you sit in on your front porch as the sun rises each day. I fear you are forgetting the phrase "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Understandably ain't broke. BTW Bill, you seem amazingly mature for a 3 year old. Happy birthday.
Understandably is the first email I open each morning. My only problem is finding it. Sometimes it’s in my personal emails, Sometimes in promotions. I always move it to my inbox but it doesn’t stay there
I like Understandably as it is, AND I'd be ok with y'all trying new things. (It's annoying but oft true that two - opposite - things can be true at the same time; just ask my therapist.;-) ) I am curious though - why do you care whether people think of this as news or something else? And as for your other ideas (weekly and daily options, sometimes just having '7 other things', etc) you probably won't know until you try. You seem like you are fairly entrepreneurial, so experimenting and "failing fast" so you can find what works for you and your audience will likely work for you. Go forth and DO!
I am new to Understandably. A friend introduced it to me earlier this month. I find myself searching my inbox each morning and enjoy reading each “newsletter”. I find them refreshing and thought provoking. I specifically like that each story is a short read and doesn’t seem to have an particular agenda, just interesting information that sometimes leads to wonderful conversations over coffee with my husband. Personally, I struggle to find the truth in news reporting, everyone seems to have an agenda and an opinion. Just give me the facts so I can form my own opinion. I appreciate the “7 things worth knowing” as I feel the stories selected do not have a political bend. In short, I congratulate Bill for this milestone and urge continue what he is doing. As far as questions about content, I’d rather the stories not be “predicable”. As far as guest writers, I’d be cautious in making sure they are not making a political statement. Anyway, my thoughts.
Hi there, and happy birthday. Somehow I found this newsletter the day the short novel on Buffet was shared. I love the newsletter, and love the idea of reaching out in a effort to improve it. I try to read it every day, but can't always due to time. I see from you stats, many people receive the letter, but don't always read it. I was one of those people who told you.....I really missed the 7 other things...when you went low power! My only though about increasing the number of readers would be to try and keep it short. Maybe a time limit, as in - can be read in 7 minutes....or 10...whatever. I know it limits the stories, but it might increase readers! For example...when you went low power.....did the daily numbers increase or decrease. Would be interesting to check. Maybe try a shorter story on Fridays....and see if that day....numbers go up! Pete
It's great as-is. Plz continue to keep it simple. We all have SO MUCH coming at us and ultimately decide how much we can digest. Thanks Bill
Don't change a thing about the format of Understandably. I love opening up the email Mon-Fri @6:30 am and never know what to expect. The spontaneity it what is so very refreshing. That having been said, I also understand that you have a business to run and it's not a non-profit. I think your 'growing loyal readers' will understand when you make changes regarding fees or advertising to support your ability to continue, as is.
I enjoy the transparency of this newsletter; the open exploratory adventure of the author adapting, learning, and growing. With a good number of the questions, I'd say just keep trying new things as you see fit and continue learning because as a reader I learn with you. Regarding question 1; I think the structure would suffocate your creativity, so if you try something along those lines make sure you keep your approach flexible. Potentially combine the idea from question 1 with some of your other questions/concerns - have guests write some of those structured columns or alternate with guests writing the main column; keep one of the collumns free and make the other available to paid subscribers (or if possible make them available on a pay as you go basis if possible).
Seperate comment on the 7 other things. I find the $8/month verified twitter account hilarious. Talk about first world problems - this is generally a bunch of rich people upset that another rich person wants less than $100/year to provide the service of validating their status/protecting their social identity/signature. If it isn't worth it, don't pay it - when someone else starts using your name to promote things you don't like or embarass you then you can rethink your stance or find an alternative solution. Meanwhile most of us little people are stuck paying for subscriptions to things that we used to be able to buy one time and nobody cares (computer programs that are subscription not instead of buy install & maintain; satellite radio that you have to purchase and then still need a subscription to use, or even home fitness devices like pelaton.) Sorry I just don't feel any sympathy for the rich folks that are upset that another rich person is taking away something that they are used to being free...
I thought the time change catastrophe was going to be finally eradicated by the end of 2023. The only real (clock related) time I can ground to was back some 60 years ago when it got dark around 9 pm in the summer and you go out on a clear night and look for the Echo 1 satellite. These silly time changes are ruining our health and as usual make no sense to keep in effect.
Happy 3rd Birthday! Great questions you're asking yourself and us. One thing I'd like to see would be a "tip jar" or donation "box" so those of us without subscriptions can contribute and help you keep this great newsletter going!
The 7 other things part is optional, the essay is not. Whether written by you or a guest writer, it has rapidly become the way I start my day. It’s an antidote to the rest of the news, and grounds me so I can face the increasingly divisive world we live in. And face the rest of my inbox. Like the other guy said, it’s that comforting rocking chair to watch the sun rise. Some people read a Bible verse in the morning, some people read a daily meditation, I read Understandably. I will get off my butt and upgrade to paid today. Thanks always.
P.S. you could definitely teach a course, that’s a great idea. Just make sure you don’t skimp on your daily Understandably article in order to do it. :)
I’ll simply comment on the poll at this point and ponder the other questions for a more measured response. On most days I open the email and punch the logo and go to the web page on my iPad (after reading the online comics I subscribe to). If I’m reading on my iPhone as I am now (waiting on new prescription sunglasses to be fitted), I’ll move from the email to the website and the hit the substack app. I am a daily reader.
I have always called Understandably a "Newsletter". I read it every morning and find 99% or the topics you and your guest writers share to be very interesting. I receive your newsletter through my work email and when there is a topic that hits home with me, I share it with my team. It's unfortunate that the healthcare company I work for will not permit me to pay for a subscription or come up with a format that I could share it company wide. Anyway, what I wanted to share with you is, don't change a thing! Your topics are spot on, and I love reading the 7 Other Things. Keep up the great work!
I like your column just the way it is. There is too much change in the world, let's keep this constant!