Quarterly Update: H.A.T. Year 2, Q1
How it's been going, eh?
During the first year of How About This I used to publish a monthly update post where I explained how the newsletter was growing, reflecting on some highlights, talking about the future of the newsletter, etc.
This being year 2, I decided that I’d write quarterly updates instead. So here we go.
At the end of year one H.A.T. had reached 1039 subscribers (7 paid or comped, 1032 free). As of August 1, H.A.T. has 1,249 subscribers (7 paid or comped, the rest are free).
Most of the new subscribers (maybe 90%?) seem to come from within the Substack ecosystem through Recommendations or the like.
It appears that 75 subscribers found the newsletter via Substack Notes during the past 3 months, so that’s pretty cool.
Solid growth continues.
I published 22 essays, interviews and other stuff during the past three months: 21 free posts, 1 for paid subscribers. Still trying to figure out when/how to incorporate regular paid posts into the workflow but it still makes the most sense to me to publish at least 95% free posts for now.
By far my post popular post was my 4,000 word opus about public libraries:
Special thanks tofor linking to this essay!
If you discovered this newsletter via the public libraries essay then welcome! Happy to have you here!
Some of my newsletters have been more personal during the past few months, talking about things like:
Plus some great Q&A posts with interesting people!
Out and about
I’ve tried to do more online networking by commenting on newsletters in addition to posting on Threads, Substack Notes and Bluesky. If you’d like to follow me there (and vice versa) look for markdykeman or mark dykeman on each site. Easy peasy. Say hello if you see me there!
It’s not always easy or efficient to try to interact with people on these sites but it involves less travel, uses less gasoline and is probably better for the environment than most of the alternatives.
Some of this virtual hobnobbing led me to cook up an idea that should bear fruit over the next 5 months or so, keep reading for more details!
Behind the scenes I’m working on a new… feature, I guess which I have codenamed Generation Lens. I want to explore the differences (and similarities) between generations with other writers. So far I have lined up other writers/newsletter publishers from Generations X, Y and Z with the possibility of at least one Boomer joining the cause.
Over the course of 4 - 6 months (hoping to start in September) I plan to feature a number of essays and collaborations about the generations via three methods:
Several Substack Letters series when I exchange posts with people from a different generational cohort. I’m also planning to include at least one Substack Letters series with another member of Gen X where we can discuss our own perspectives on our own generation.
Q&A posts which are more compressed versions of the Substack Letters series
At least one omnibus post where I also combine the thoughts of other folks who were interested in making shorter contributions.
I think this will be interesting and fun when it comes out and I’m hoping you’ll enjoy seeing these other perspectives. More details as we get closer!
Besides this series I’ll be publishing more interviews and essays. I’ve been wanting to write about the classic How to Read a Book for years, it seems. Plus I want to write about Dunbar’s number: some of the context that people may be missing when they think about it, plus my thoughts about it.
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