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Introducing: Substack Notes
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Substack is cordially inviting all of you to participate in its new “Notes” feature. This is available to all of you at no cost whatsoever. It works on Apple IoS, Android, and on both PC and Mac.
This rollout reflects a central plank in their founding strategy: creating a viable network of media where the content creators are in charge of their own product and control their own subscription lists. The intention of Notes is to now build on existing network effects and turbo-charge them, for both writers/content providers and readers like yourselves.
Before I share with you some screenshots about Notes from a couple of the key figures at Substack, I want to inform you that my Substack here at FbF will continue to be my primary focus, with the same level of effort and dedication that I have delivered throughout its existence. For some time now, I have wanted to add small items (such as links, images, short posts, etc.) to what I have traditionally been cranking out here, but delivery has been an issue that I haven’t been able to resolve. The last thing I wanted to do was to flood readers’ inboxes with emails that contained minor items.
Notes solves this issue for me, as I can now share non-core posts via Notes. These notes are open to comments, likes, and what they call “re-stacks”. You can engage with other writers and readers as well. I spent a few days as a beta tester, and found some cool features, such as one where you highlight content from a Substack entry, and a pop up will appear asking if you want to “re-stack it” on Notes, giving you the additional option of writing text above the re-stack. Other features include rich text such as bolding, headlines/subheaders, cross out, and so on. I’ve even added 12 images to a single note in order to test its capabilities, and the test posted successfully.
Again: this is an addition to what we already have here. It won’t be to everyone’s taste. Some may choose to participate, others will not. I can see the value in what Substack is trying to achieve with Notes, so I am going to give it a go.
Many people are already comparing this to Twitter, and honestly, the similarities are many.
WARNING: As you guys have been incredibly loyal to me, I have to let you know that I am forecasting a serious shitshow happening over there between writers, as there are already many agitated types from across the political spectrum moving towards making demands of Substack, criticizing the composition of the writers participating in Notes, and so on.
I am going to try and be a gentleman who is “above it all” (we’ll see if I can pull it off) for two simple reasons: 1. I am getting too old for vicious arguing on the internet and 2. I have a loyalty to Substack, because they have been very good to me in allowing me to create what we know as Fisted by Foucault. I don’t want to be a shithead who spoils their plans, especially considering that their success is also my success.
Small requests of those who choose to participate in Notes
You guys have been very disciplined in the comments section here over the years (keep it up, and thank you very much!), so please do not get me in trouble over there. A cohort will arrive there looking to cause problems for people that they target for various reasons, even if unprovoked.
Your undying loyalty ;)
They still have some kinks to work out, and some additional features to add, like DMs.
One thing that you must be made aware of: if you subscribe to a writer’s feed, you automatically subscribe to their newsletter (free option, of course) for now. Substack has promised all of us that they will implement an option where we can subscribe to writer’s feeds without subscribing to their Substack.
Notes will not generate an avalanche of emails (thank God!). Instead, you might get a digest of three to six notes in a single email once a week or so for whichever Substack you are subscribed to. You have the option of unsubscribing from these email digests as well (I know I will right away).
For every one of you who likes and replies to this Note of mine, I will hit “subscribe” on your Substack profile, so that I can follow your feed, and so that we can build the FbF stronghold on Notes together.
Click on the note above, and say hi (or whatever else) in the replies.
Fromat Substack on what Notes is meant to be:
A slightly longer version of the same message can be found here:
And from the big guy himself, Hamish:
For those who are interested in Notes, I’ll see you there in between the times when I am working here at FbF.