State of the Newsletter

An overview of Something Interesting itself

I thought it might be an interesting and entertaining exercise in accountability for me to share the current state and trajectory of the newsletter itself with you, since you all are the ones that make it real. The Something Interesting community is small but growing and is highly connected and deeply engaged. Thanks for letting me share my passion with you. :-)

S.I. Readerbase: small but elite

In our first six months we’ve reached a subscriber base of ~580 readers with reasonably steady growth at ~0.5% per day. Our open rate averages between 35-45% and ~1 in 16 readers has decided to upgrade to a paid subscription. Thank you!

Our readerbase is exceptionally plugged in both to the crypto market and the tech industry more generally. Something Interesting is read by product and engineering leaders at Coinbase, Cointracker, Facebook, FTX, Google, OpenSea, Reddit, Robinhood, Stripe, Uniswap Labs and Wealthfront as well as founders, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.1

If you are wondering what caused those step functions up in readerbase in January, March and May, that is what it looks like when one of you all tweet something nice about the newsletter. Probably the single best way to support the newsletter (after subscribing 🙏) is to help more people find us by sharing posts with your friends and talking about our content on Twitter. Thanks to everyone who shares our posts!

Top Performing Content

First the top five posts as measured by engagement from subscribers - i.e. the posts that you all seemed to be the most interested in reading and sharing:

  1. A brief history of people determined to be wrong

  2. Deep dive: Owning Bitcoin

  3. Elon Musk and the art of whale-spotting

  4. Deep dive: Bitcoin and the environment

  5. Introducing the Something Interesting podcast

In contrast here are the top five posts by visitors, dominated by posts that happened to go viral on one platform or another:

  1. The Blockchain is a Dark Forest

  2. Proof of Stake will not save us

  3. It’s not NFTs you don’t understand, its art

  4. An open letter to Senator Warren

  5. The first 10 cryptocurrencies you meet

It is interesting to see "deep dive" posts dominating both lists as opposed to more current events focused materiel. Expect to see more long-form exploratory content in the future. I don’t have any obvious takeaways about the difference between the two lists, other than to note that visitors for "viral" posts didn’t convert all that efficiently so I am more interested in optimizing for content that resonates with subscribers as opposed to content that gets a lot of tourist traffic.

We also started the Bitcoin Glossary and the Bitcoin Reading List as living resources to help new folks get up to speed on the ideas and jargon that shape the space. For now our only paywalled content is our two part history of fundraising in crypto, tracing the evolution from Satoshi’s fair launch to Binance ponzicoins. Paid subscribers also get early access to the podcast.

The top five most clicked links were:

  1. Dogecoin to the moon

  2. A 3-year old explains Bitcoin

  3. Lindsay Lohan’s Bitcoin + Ethereum price targets

  4. A literal demonstration of consensus by some Byzantine generals

  5. Explaining Bitcoin at $100 to an empty room

Something Interesting NFTs

There are two families of Something Interesting NFTs:

  • 1 of 1 editions representing a specific Something Interesting Issue, issued as a reward to those subscribed at the highest tier (Patron of the Snarks)

  • 1 of 1 editions representing a specific Something Interesting correction, issued as a reward to the first reader to point out a mistake, typo or errata in an issue.

So far there are 9 patron NFTs and 7 correction NFTs held across 11 on-chain accounts. Only one Something Interesting NFT has ever been sold, the NFT representing the article Deep Dive: Non-Fungible Tokens. It sold a few weeks ago for 0.042 ETH (~$100 at the time).

Give me your guidance

My favorite sections of Something Interesting to write are the answers to reader questions. I read every reply to my posts and you can also find me on Twitter. I would also love to know more about what is working well for you with Something Interesting and what you would like to see more of! If you have a second please fill out this feedback form and let me know how to make Something Interesting even better for you!

Tell me what you think!

1

My mom is also a loyal subscriber. Hi Mom!