Take 5: Newsletters I Love

Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans. Click here to visit NOLAlicious and download this image for your computer, iPhone or iPad.

I like information small and bite-sized and I know most people feel the same. With so much information out there nowadays how are we to find the good stuff? I’m taking a page from Rachael Ray’s Take 5 Ingredients to give you a series I’m calling “Take 5” but instead of recipes (baby steps people, baby steps) it’s going to include five examples of websites, newsletters, nonprofits, places, people, things (you get the point right lovlies?) that I think rock and get IT right.

This does two things. One, let’s face it, I’m not called “ever-observant” for nothing. I’m always consuming information and it brings me great joy to share what I find. Second, I can’t write posts on each of these things individually - or I could but it would just about break me since there is so much great information to share. So in my quest for stronger and more cohesive content to bring you I’m starting with a topic that I happen to know a lot about. Email newsletters. I get more than the average bear and sorting through them I’m looking for information that tells me something, provides more information about that topic and is designed well (which can be a very simple design, don’t confuse simplicity for lacking in style). I’ll write more at another juncture about what I’ve learned makes a good newsletter, a topic I learned an intense and exhastive amount about this past year running NOLAlicious but until then, let’s start simple. ** MY 5 FAVORITE (AND BTW FREE) EMAIL NEWSLETTERS:**

1. Startup Digest - Self-designated members of the “email mafia” this newsletter calls itself “the insider’s guide to the startup world.” It is curated by city and provides the best in startup events, what you need to read and jobs at top startups in your city. I subscribe to three editions; New Orleans, New York and Pittsburgh - I could easily find more of interest but these three are a good swatch of what is going on in those cities. Their lists are rapidly growing, they host a pancake breakfast in different markets around the country to meet subscribers and have an awesome blog sharing tips about enewsletters. All around win.

  1. Jauntsetter - Every week this enewsletter introduces me to somwhere new I want to go, a hotel to stay at, and a fellow traveller who shares their greatest travel tips and recommandations. They archive and keep everything on their website, but the weekly enewsletter is where it’s at. While aimed at New York travel-lovers, I’ve gotten it practically since they launched and it’s by no means only for New Yorkers. The editors are totally that person you want to sit next to in an airplane and exchange travel stories. Their simple layout helps me with ideas for upcoming trips and this summer when on a whim we ended up in New Paltz without a place to stay, Taylor was looking up places on Google and I went straight to Jauntsetter’s website on my iPhone and found the incredibly affordable and awesome Clove Cottages which was exactly what we were looking for. Curated content beats a google search anyday of the week.

  2. Listings Project - This weekly email provides living and workspace for rent, sublet, swap, and sale focused around the arts community of New York and is curated by Stephanie Diamond. What I love about this is the options it provides. It’s like a curated Craigslist and has short and long term options for people looking for a place in New York. From temporary to permanent, art space to brownstone apartment, I browse through and find I’ve learned a lot about neighborhoods, about pricing in different places and it’s just a guilty pleasure to dream about living in one of these awesome places in New York. This enewsletter was recently written up in The New York Times, something that might catapult it past the very grassroots feel it has now, I just hope it keeps the same integrity of listings.

  3. The Hired Guns Gig Alerts - The Hired Guns is a recruiting firm that focuses on the digital space. What better way to get the word out about your clients and also increase traffic to your website for job seekers than an enewsletter! The gig alerts are listings of the jobs they have available, networking events and courses they have at The Hired Guns Academy. I like this newsletter first because the copy rocks. Seriously, they write some of the best copy I’ve ever seen. Second, while they don’t say who their client is, it’s very interesting to look and see who might be hiring and what types of jobs are out there. I use this for conversation with friends at agencies and in the digital space and in general to keep me hip about what’s happening. I’m also dying to attend one of their workshops which look awesome (How to get a literary agent for one) and think it’s savvy marketing to combine workshops and a newsletter to an industry where you help place people in companies.

  4. New Music Tipsheet - Scott Perry is like the cool rock n’ roll older brother of a friend where you want to break into his room and look at his record collection and dig through his box of concert stubs. New Music Tipsheet gives everyone, from someone like me who is a lifelong music fan to industry insiders, a look at the entire music industry including upcoming releases, TV listings, news, and headlines from today’s top music blogs. I’ll see what’s new, might check it against some of the music blogs, samples a few tracks while I’m working and slowly work my way down the Tipsheet during the week listening to new music and checking out who’s on tour and might be coming to a city near me (since I’m always on the move) and then rinse and repeat the next week. I like that it’s not editorialized, it’s straight information and I can decide for myself what I want to buy and what new artists I want to hear more of.

Well there you have it. A “Take 5” look at email newsletters in my inbox. Are these new to you? Are you going to sign up for them? What are some of your favorite newsletters? Leave a comment and I’ll look to include feedback I get into an upcoming “Take 5.”

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