20 Comments
Aug 28, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

Thanks for the perfect recap, Meg! And thanks to everyone who participated.

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I had also noticed that the subscribers list is public. I honestly don’t like that.

I am also quite sure that Notes is competing with the Comments section in our newsletters. Was this also a topic in your meeting?

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What we thought was fishy about the subscriber list thing was that it was done a bit on the sly. One day it wasn't there and the next day it was. It's also unfortunate (and this came up in the meeting) that with every new feature, writers need to scramble to alter their profile settings, etc. to side-step defaults. It's just not a good use of our time, IMO.

And I agree with you about Notes infringing on our comment engagement. I did mention it at this meeting and at the last one, since this has been my primary beef with Notes all along. It's pulling readers and writers out of their own posts to engage elsewhere. For my part, I much prefer talking with people about my writing where my writing is and have found this is the best way to get to know my readers.

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Aug 28, 2023Β·edited Aug 28, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

That's true about the subscriber list, I also just noticed it one day without any warning. I didn't know that by hiding my reads I can can be omitted from that list. It's good to know, thank you.

I am taking a break from Notes (this is day no.1) and honestly, I don't think I would be having this conversation with you (which is far more satisfying) if I would be scrolling on Notes giving random likes. I much prefer the quiet comments section.

Did you actually notice deep in comments since Notes was launched?

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author

Me too! Thanks for commenting today! And good luck with your Notes hiatus.

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Thank you! I am sure I'll enjoy it.

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Aug 28, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

I agree. I much prefer discussions to be placed here within specific posts, but then you battle an internal worry that you're missing out or missing the reach of notes or perhaps seeing other posts you wouldn't have. I try to just dabble now and again, to offset some of that, whilst still remaining primarily focussed on leaving comments within posts for authors.

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As soon as FOMO settles in I know I have to run. 🀣

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Aug 28, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

Hehe, a clear sign πŸ˜‚

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author

To play Devil's advocate (though I'm not sure I'm doing them any favor here): almost every new Substack feature is done on the sly. But yeah, it'd be nice if there was more transparency, overall.

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Great discussion, thank you for the recap!

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Thanks for reading!

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Thanks, guys! Yesterday I had actually put all my subscriptions back onto Visible because you have to go in and manually update them as you subscribe to new stuff. I was all..."Well...why wouldn't I show them all? More kudos to my favorite writers, right? I don't have any subscriptions that I don't want people to know about." But you brought up a super good reason to hide them - potential targeted marketing. With the addition of Follow (My C3PO is showing - I have a bad feeling about this...) and how easily that Notes could become Tweety, I reversed my decision and re-hid most of them. (Not Fictionistas.) πŸ€“πŸ˜ˆπŸ€“ Thanks for helping me housekeep, y'all!

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Aug 28, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

Thanks for sharing. Great to know.

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Aug 28, 2023Liked by Jackie Dana, Alex S. Garcia, Meg Oolders

It was very disappointing to learn that Substack, the corporate PR of which constantly says how it is better and different than other social media companies, is acting even worse, when it comes to openly displaying private subscriber lists. This was so inconceivable that I had never imagined it.

There is a fundamental difference between followers/casual users and subscribers, the latter of which are ideally going to become paid customers.

Did anyone ask them whether they want their personal subscriptions listed?

It is not really about which writers subscribe to other writers, and at least (for now, it looks) people who are not signed up for Substack or its damned app do not appear in such searches.

But I know great writers who already refuse to join Substack because of the perceived risk factor (as we learned in the meeting) of it violating EU privacy rules. There IS a market out of America, you know, and many of us have to engage with it.

What Corporate Substack must understand is that we the ordinary, unsalaried writers are on the front lines of their reckless and unannounced policies. The suits are not going to be blamed for implementation, but we writers will take it on the shins from readers every time something like this is implemented, without us even knowing anything about it.

At very least, there should be a very clear opt in/opt out feature for both writers and readers on joining and in managing settings for whether they want membership diplayed. Ideally with the disclaimer that 'we cannot guarantee that any personal information you provide will not be aggregated by third-party marketers and other internet entities,'

I do not want to ever hear another piece of glossy PR about Substacks utopian revolutionary vision for tech. Thank you.

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πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

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Aug 28, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

Is Notes turning into Twitter and do we want that? It’s a question I’ve been mulling over so good to see others have been too! The time to join is sometimes challenging (I'm in NZ) but just to say thank you for making the thinking available - really helpful.

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Hi Riley. A few of our EU members will be hosting another meetup in a couple of weeks - to try to reach a few more time zones. :-) Not sure it will be enough of a shift to help you way over there in NZ, but the post about that should be going out later this week!

Glad the recap was helpful. πŸ™‚

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Aug 28, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

Great summary, thanks for writing that up! Appreciate it.

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author

You're welcome!

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