Thanks to all my subscribers for putting up with sporadic content the past week and a half. Having recently argued that Substack’s model is incredibly similar to that of Uber’s, but for journalists, I immediately fell foul of my own advice. For those who didn’t read the piece, I had argued journalists who sign up to Substack [often contractually committing up to three pieces a week] don’t necessarily realise the full extent of the costs and risks they expose themselves to, especially with respect to holiday, sick-leave and libel risk.
Fully cognisant of these factors (or so I thought), I set up The Blind Spot with the intent of scaling things up as quickly as possible to ensure reliable output. Even so, I did warn early subscribers that it might be a choppy ride in the early days as I get myself going.
This fact came into its own these past two weeks when I was hit by the triple whammy of half term, a funeral and food poisoning. So I would like to take this opportunity to thank my subscribers for absorbing the partial downtime.
It’s a funny old world working for your subscribers directly. You really do feel like any downtime has to be properly accounted for. Even the smallest amount of unscheduled time-off feels like a huge sin.
Relatedly, I remember reading Glenn Greenwald’s note to readers back in February, in which he profusely apologised to subscribers for a short period of downtime and thinking, “Jeez, chill out mate. I really don’t mind a few weeks without your content. Everyone needs a holiday.”
Greenwald was seemingly appeasing a few angry subscribers who had complained about a lack of content, arguing that it is better to post nothing than something of poor quality. I tend to agree with Greenwald (though of course I would). This is why I wasn’t very impressed when I was told in response to challenging the three-post a week commitment at Substack that the best way to get around it is to post small tidbits.
Spot markets live!
It hasn’t all been downtime here on my end. A lot of stuff has been happening at The Blind Spot behind the scenes.
One key development is that I have been cooperating with the good folks at Coodash on reinstituting a “live texting” system that can be used to offer professional markets coverage.
I am excited to report that the first testing of this system will happen on Monday, June 13, at 11am. My co-host for this test run will be Neil Collins, former City editor at the Daily Telegraph and FT columnist.
And… I’m in the market for some volunteers who can play the part of the commenting rabble.
If you’re interested in taking part in this beta test, please do email me on izabella@the-blindspot marking the title of the email “Spot Markets Live”.
It’s a closed system, so logins linked to your email will be required.