A note about Notes: Substack's newest feature
I’ll start by saying I didn’t see what all the fuss was about when Elon Musk took over Twitter.
In a lot of ways, I actually thought it got better. I kept hearing about how it had become a hellscape somehow (always presented without evidence). But my experience didn’t match that at all.
What it seemed like instead is that unhinged political opinions on both sides of the fence disappeared from my feed. Annoying tweets from accounts I had unfollowed no longer showed up in my feed (I will never understand that one; I’ll save my “tech companies actually really suck at keeping us on their platforms” rant for another day). And I noticed the trending feed rarely ever has anything political in it (I’m told it’s more personalized.)
There were misfires of course, such as the first go-around at verification. But nothing quite compares to the self-own Elon recently pulled off with Substack.
The good news is that Musk via the Streisand effect helped promote the very Substack feature he was so mad about. Notes looks to be in a lot of ways a Twitter replacement that’s found on the Substack app.
To start with, I am a big fan of Substack. So much so that I even signed up to participate in an early investor round. It’s allowed journalists and other writers to make a living independent of major publications, thus promoting greater independence. It removes gatekeepers to great writing and reporting while managing not to institute a new set of gatekeepers. And it’s done the thing Elon promised but ultimately failed to do: defended free speech.
That said, I haven’t jumped on every new feature. Threads just didn’t seem that interesting to me, for instance.
But Elon’s meltdown over Notes made me pay attention to it. That Musk engaged in the same kind of shadowbanning that pre-Musk Twitter did, apparently at the government’s behest, says a lot about his real character. That Taibbi willingly gave up his access to further Twitter files scoops to stay true to his independent philosophy says a lot about his.
But all that said, Notes is actually pretty good. It’s like a better version of Twitter; like a version of the app for creators. You’ll find it in the Substack app, which I highly recommend anyway. I spend my early morning hours reading, and a lot of that time is on the Substack app than on Twitter. (As well as actual books, of course.)
I plan to use Notes to post quick things about Wausau and the Wausau area as I come across them, so for those who want to know things a little quicker, I can get that info out quicker. And of course, if you’re in the “give me what I need to know once per week” camp, Notes are easy enough to ignore.
To read Notes, check out the Substack app (link below) and click the second tab from the left. See you in the Notes.