Six newsletters that won’t see me hitting unsubscribe.

I recently culled a load of newsletters. Usual criteria applied: unread, unopened, boring. Some of which I hadn’t even subscribed to. (One was from a company who I had recently applied for a role. Anyhoop, despite several attempts to follow up the application, I didn’t hear from them. Then I did hear from them. They had subscribed me to their newsletter. Which was nice.)

Unsubscribe Graffiti

I digress. I typically don’t subscribe to pure b2b marketing newsletters, simply because I use twitter to find good articles, or rather, because I manage my following and lists pretty well the articles find me. So the list below is a mix of this and that. Nevertheless, I hope you find the same level of inspiration in them that I do.

1. Battenhall. A generalist yet solid and consistently good range of insights into social and comms. If you subscribe you can expect to get ad-hoc updates throughout the week and a monthly roundup. Such as this.

2. Longform. They have perfectly judged the length of it’s content and the time of delivery. So unsurprisingly it pops into my inbox on a Saturday afternoon (Morning if you’re in the US). This means I have time to read it. That said I typically save them to Instapaper which in turn pings them to my Kindle. It’s also my current favourite site.

3. In over your head. First thing I should say is that it isn’t a newsletter. In fact it’s the only blog to which I subscribe outside of my greader/feedly. Why? Because of this post, one of my favourite posts of all time. That aside, I’m a big fan of Julien’s no-nonsense approach to writing.

4. SEOMoz. Perhaps an obvious one. Nevertheless, they have nailed it.  Their monthly Top 10 is absolute gold. They balance their own content with curated content really well. In a nutshell, the best 10 articles on Inbound marketing, design, UX, customer experience.

5. 37 Signals.  Called ‘Incoming Transmission’ it covers topics such as business, web and design. Again they balance their own content and curated content really well so you’re as likely to read something by one of their designers on UX as your are about what happens to a face cloth in space.

6. Brain Pickings. I’ve only been subscribing a little while but blimey there is some fascinating stuff in there. Pure Inspiration. Such as this. I don’t always read it week to week but it’s one of those newsletters that if I unsubscribed I’d probably forget it existed and that wouldn’t be a good thing.

Which newsletters do you refuse to unsubscribe from?

Photo Credit: incurable_hippie via Compfight cc

Things I loved in April 2013

1. HHhH by Laurent Binet The story of Operation Anthropoid, the mission to kill Reinhard Heydrich. A quite incredible story told in a very uncoventional manner. Part historical and part autobiographical.

2. How to build a community for your business by @seomoz

3. Dieter Rams: Ten principles for good design by Vitsoe

4. How we do our email marketing at MailChimp by MailChimp

5. How do you find time for social media by @michaelbrenner

6. Why messing up might make you a better manager by @SEOChicks

7. Rainy Mood. Write to it, read to it, code to it. The most perfect ambient soundtrack.

8. A blast from my childhood. I spent most weekends at Farnborough skate ramp in varying degrees of success and painful failure progress. Finding this video brought it all back.

Things I loved in March 2013

1. How we accomplished (big) goals with content and social media marketing (in just 10 months) by @mackwebteam

2. This use of Vine by Beerbods. It’s  a bit heavy on the eyes, yet I think it sums up the Beerbods proposition very well.

3. The HubSpot culture code. by @HubSpot.  It’s a bit Netflix but that is the source code.

4. New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual  In no way am I graphic designer, though I am a sucker for graphic design and a brand manual.

5. I’m Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, and This Is How I Work Even he can’t work out a decent way to have proper to do lists in Evernote.

6. Adventures in the ransom trade A fantastic longform on the side of kidnapping you don’t see.

7. Make your marketing more bobular by @jwatton Be more personal.

9.  Quiet: The power of Introverts by Susan Cain (no affiliate) Having read this I’m not sure I’m as introverted as I perhaps thought I was, ambivert I think. Nevertheless, it’s a very good read. It is worth watching her google talk on the subject

A great use of Vine by Beerbods

I really like this use of Vine by the team at Beerbods.

I think this is as good an execution of Vine as I have seen for a number of reasons

1. It captures the essence of the Beerbods service

2. It literally lets the product do the talking.

3. It engages both the existing customer and the prospective customer base (myself included).

I assume that this will be a regular thing from Beerbods. It certainly makes sense.

I’ll also mention at this point there are a couple of great beers in there, namely the Odell 5 Barrell, Citra by Okaham Ales (a firm favourite from 2012) and I’ve heard nothing but good things about Wild Brew Co’s Epic Saison.

Things I loved in February 2013

Blimey, March already. Here are the things I loved in February 2013:

The Content Marketing Strategy Hangout

Here’s my review of it.

Culture Shock: A handbook for 21st Century Business by Will McInnes

I actually finished Culture Shock at the end of January. However, I’m still mulling over the content. Here’s my review. A more deserving review will be posted on amazon shortly.

Culture Shock by Will McInnes

Get Squeeze

Get Squeeze is a great tool for tracking the effectiveness of your content. John Watton has already covered this, have a read of his review.

Longform.org

Yes, it’s my new favourite website. Here’s just some of the articles that I enjoyed during Feb:

A Loaded Gun

How a Mexican drug cartel makes its millions

CIA operatives, barrels of whiskey and a biker named Thor

In the footsteps of a killer

My new favourite website: Longform.org

At the start of 2013, I set myself the goal of reading at least 24 books this year. January got off to a good start, I read 2 and a half books. Then I discovered Longform.org.

Focussing specifically on pieces longer than 2000 words, Longform “recommends new and classic non-fiction from around the web” with articles being submitted by writers and magazines such as GQ and The New Yorker.

I came across the site when it was recommended as part of the The Atlantic Wire‘s best 25 long reads of 2012.

There are three things I really like about the site:

1. Curation. The purpose of Longform.org is simple: to act as the location for quality storytelling. So whilst all the featured articles are freely available online, you know that only the very best are recommended. I’m yet to be disappointed.

2. Design. It’s clean and simple. I don’t have an iPad, but if I did, this app would be one of the first I’d download.

3. Integration with reading platforms.

Longform

It’s highly unlikely that I will read a 2000+ word article on my laptop, so one of the killer features for me is a drop down menu that lets you select how you read the articles away from the site. Its options include Readiblity, Instapaper, Pocket and Kindle. By selecting one of these from the menu each article synopsis contains a button that immediately lets you share it with your platform of choice. Love that.

There is so much good stuff on here. Sign up to the RSS feed. Also visit their Best of 2012 list and 2011 and 2010, which I’m working my way through.

Hope you all get as much from it as I am and will continue to.

Things I liked in January 2013

Quite simply, a list of stuff I enjoyed in January 2013. Things I like Jan 2013

Marketing: Crap. The single biggest threat to content threat to B2B marketing.

The team at Velocity are good at getting stuff off their chests. This particular rant is about how, regardless of your industry, the rush to adopt and implement content marketing will make it harder and harder for your content to rise above the noise. The only solution is to cut the crap and produce truly great content. As ever with Velocity this is a call to arms. It’s got the plaudits and quite rightly too.

Book: The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

Following a global disaster, Hig spends his days protecting his ranch and flying his Cessna to check for marauding bandits. One day he picks up a message from another pilot.

This is probably the most enjoyable book I’ve read in a while. It’s got a really interesting use of  punctuation, grammar and sentence structure and it’s all the better for it. I really enjoyed The Road by Cormac Mcarthy, The Dog Stars, however, is laced with more hope and optimism.

Long form posts

I read a hell of a lot of 500 word marketing posts and the occasional 10 “things” lists. For balance, and sanity, I make a point of reading outside my industry. Several of the articles below have been haunting my instapaper for a couple of months. A couple of which are over a year old. However, a 6 hour train journey to Scotland gave me the time to clear out my overflowing backlog. These three article from the New Yorker really struck a chord with me.

Craft beer: Drinking from the Mikkeller Cellar

A nice insight into the culture and ethos of everyone’s current favourite gypsy brewery, Mikkeller.