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The New Social Network That Isn’t New at All


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The New Social Network That Isn’t New at All

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SAN FRANCISCO — My favorite new social network doesn’t incessantly spam me with notifications. When I post, I’m not bombarded with @mentions from bots and trolls. And after I use it, I don’t worry about ads following me around the web.

That’s because my new social network is an email newsletter. Every week or so, I blast it out to a few thousand people who have signed up to read my musings. Some of them email back, occasionally leading to a thoughtful conversation. It’s still early in the experiment, but I think I love it.

The newsletter is not a new phenomenon. But there is a growing interest among those who are disenchanted with social media in what the writer Craig Mod has called “the world’s oldest networked publishing platform.” For us, the inbox is becoming a more attractive medium than the news feed.

The shift toward newsletters is part of a broader change. For years, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, asked us to live in a more “open and connected” version of the world. And billions of us did, posting status updates, photos and videos on the social network and flocking to other services like Twitter, where I post regular messages about my mood, personified in photos of my dog.

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