48 Comments

Great to see you here Michael. Although I’ve been here for over a year (since October 2021, end of WoP 7) it is refreshing to read what a newcomer broadly thinks about the migration process in 2023. I found Substack, by a significant factor, calmed my designer brain (which seeks to forever want to tweak and improve on non-writing related things of the writing experience) and allowed me to just hit publish. I have great affinity for the clean and simple substack draft environment, it’s seems to put my mind in the right frame for writing, just like seeing delicious food can make one salivate in preparation of eating. The network effects on the platform are noticeable even for a small writer like myself. And the heart button... Just perfection. Oh and TIL one can customize the nav bar! Anyways, excellent breakdown and welcome.

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Y E S

For me, writing is social. The comments section on my newsletter has been on fire recently, and that helps with motivation for when I am in the dip. I'm opting out of the private chat function on Substack at this point.

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I’m so over Squarespace. But porting everything over sounds like a nightmare--I’d love to hear more about how you did it.

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Jan 2Liked by Michael Dean

Thanks for the detailed breakdown. You put to words the vibe shift I was feeling.

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Back again after mulling for a while :)

I was explaining to Lyssa that your migration to Substack is momentous with your role as a trend setter for the indieweb folks, reflected in the comments. But it almost feels as though the world of indieweb has long past, with few remembering e.g. Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere (POSSE) https://indieweb.org/POSSE

I found myself forgetting too. My writing is now scattered across Substack and Medium instead of properly syndicated from my own website. The threat of being de-platformed (or even worse, becoming *undiscoverable*) meant a strong desire to get people onto mailing lists. Which meant promising "exclusive" content, which meant not syndicating...

But perhaps that is a trap I had willingly set myself into? There's technically nothing that prevents me from posting most Substack content onto my own website, barring those I wish to remain paywalled. Since RSS continues to lose to email inboxes still, the "benefit" of subscribing to a Substack can be email notification itself, rather than exclusivity.

The ideal imagery I have in mind is Japanese wood block-print--own the original and the wood block, make lots of reproductions everywhere. Without this ancient technology taking off at the time, the Great Wave off Kanagawa may not be as well-known.

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Thanks for this, Michael. Your analysis helped me answer a question I’ve been asking since joining WOP - should I build my own website?

I dreaded the task because I knew I get bogged down by aesthetics. Substack allows me to focus on the two important things: Write & Connect.

Looking forward to reading your whale-scale essays this year.

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Haha I avoided Substack for a while too, for the reason of getting to choose my own aesthetics.

Then I realized that was just feeding my ego, and as a writer my goal is to get my words in front of peoples eyes - and it didn’t matter if I was using Substack or anywhere else.

And Substack just makes everything a little easier! Editor, distribution, recognizable links. And with a Substack acc, you can engage with other writers more easily!

At the of the day, I realized it doesn’t matter if you’re writing on Substack or your personal website or both - both is probably better. You own the content and the list. Lastly, if you ever wanted to, it only takes a couple hours to switch platforms, but I promise you nobody would care.

Welcome to Substack! ✍️

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Great deconstruction Michael. I can relate, as I've gone through a similar journey - starting with Medium, then switching to Ghost, and most recently moving to Substack. It will be interesting to see how things develop in the future.

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I had my own website before Write of Passage 9, and from that point set up a Substack. Both my Convertkit email list and Substack list get my weekly newsletter, and - thanks to WOP - I've been publishing every Thursday without fail. Not bad considering I had a created an email list when I started my website, and then promptly failed to email them for about 2 years.

I love Karena's point about community - the ability to comment on people's ideas is great, particularly when other commenting spaces, like blog posts on websites, do have crickets inhabiting them!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the impact of Substack, and an insight into your reasons for switching

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Hi, thank you for sharing your thoughts and breaking down for us your reason for coming into Substack. I didn't know about custom tabs and all that until you break it down for me. I love your public logs too. It's really nice to understand what's going on behind your brain.

I've been using Roam Research as an private entry journal because it's one that I find works for mindmapping and capture my thoughts but maybe it's about time I go public.

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One of us, one of us . . .

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Welcome! I am surprised at how many of these Substack features I did not know about. Need to start messing around with my format.

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Poetry block allows you to do tab indents!

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Welcome to the dark side, or is the light?

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Great piece, Michael. And nice move. I think you unpacked it well by citing Erik’s work to support your own thoughts. And good to see you here! :)

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I'm thoroughly enjoying my experience with Substack! Since beginning my writing journey on Growthstore.xyz, I've been impressed by the platform's robust email capabilities and the powerful network effect it offers. These features have played a significant role in helping me surpass the 1,000-subscriber milestone.

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