I took a big break over the last two months to take a look at Charged newsletter, the state of things and where we could go next. It ended up being a two month long break, but it was well overdue - for over two years I’ve been sending it every weekend.
Stepping back was good, and gave me time to reflect on things. When I started out, I thought I might get 100-200 subscribers, but today we’ve grown to 11,000 active subscribers, which was totally unexpected! As a result, I haven’t had time to look after the newsletter (let alone this site) until recently, so it got a bit stale, and even didn’t work in places.
Today, Charged newsletter is back, and it’s better than ever. For the first time in two years I’ve built the entire newsletter from the ground up using a framework called Ink that means you don’t have to use the old-school HTML that email traditionally demands. That means it’s far more maintainable, and works in almost all email clients – even Outlook 2007!
With a more modern design, that finally matches this website, a cleaner layout, and proper email client support, Charged is better than ever! I’m planning to share more in-depth analysis of single stories both in the newsletter and here, as well as dive even deeper in the podcast, which is out every week too!
On top of that, the newsletter archives will all finally be hosted here in the next week, in a single place, rather than being across the various platforms I’ve used over the years, like MailChimp and Campaign Monitor – dive into all 100+ newsletters here.
The podcast, which is now 34 episodes in, has had more than 150,000 unique listeners in just six months. John Edgar and I discuss technology each week, and it’s been a blast so far, as well as one hell of a learning process. We started out with crappy audio and poor editing, and as we’ve learnt we’ve perfected the sound, our own discussions and the overall product – I hope you love it.
Alongside the podcast late last year we launched an invite-only Slack community for discussing topics, meeting people and talking with us directly, which has been a success as well.
More than 400 people use the Slack every week, and discussions have blossomed on everything from politics to technology’s impact on the world. Later this year I’m planning to offer community accesss, a daily newsletter and private updates for a small monthly fee to help continue the creation of Charged, and I’ll have more to share on that soon.
I hope you enjoy the new design, and if you have any thoughts, feedback or ideas for the future, I’d love to hear from you! Just hit reply on any of our emails (or comment here).