Reflections, investigations and notes on themes I have spent a lot of time thinking about and acting on including sustainability, economics, language, technology, culture (mainly music and film), politics and policy, travel, health, cognition and spirituality
Briefings, discussion, notes on sustainability, architectural design, and more, discussing concepts, policies, methods, tools, projects, companies, with a focus balancing different anchors of change including movements, expertise, institutions, corporations, and the built sector.
Briefings, guidance and notes on platformization and servicization, and general digitalization in the real estate and built environment sector, with a focus on platforms and marketplaces, consumer and producer dynamics, retail and urbanism, new formats of living and working, sustainable lifestyles, efficient urban morphology.
In each case, as a subscriber you get access to:
- the main content which will be between roughly 5000-10,000 words a month in each newsletter, in email or webformat (or both, you choose)
- quarterly additional materials such as briefings, tool prototypes, resources, design samples
- access to a live conversation space (Discord) where other subscribers and friends are present, for a semi-curated semi-permanent discussion
'Newsletter' with the above features is becoming a shorthand for a curated, original-content -rich, interactive, semi-private communication channel. I'm not trying to build a newsletter business or focus, but I do think it's time to share content and build collaboration around it.
It feels to me to be one maturing alternative to public or trade news, social media, pub or dinner party chatter, and it combines the best of the precursors including blogs, classic news circulars, broadcast-focussed social media. The format is not fixed, so this is just a starting point.
Click on links above to just try, and subscribe to individual newsletters; or click Bundle Purchase to buy a year's worth of all three; or read below for more background:
3000 SEK for one year.
= 25% discount on individual subs.
It's not a recurring payment.
You will be issued logins separately..
I don't know if there are enough people to sustain three newsletters from me, but I know I have more than enough content to fill three newsletters. And the material, tone, audiences and value offered will be, and is intended to be, pretty different, even if the content is linked in the background.
If you look back on the front page of this site you'll see I have spent time on a few key themes and they broadly break down in the ways that these newsletters reflect. Also, my goals with them are very different.
jmanoo.ch is personal - even if often technical, it focuses on experience and first-person reflection, hopefully in a way relevant to others who don't find life boring.
resource vision is a professional hobby - a space to share previous work, to link the built sector and design professionals to sustainability, offer a reliable resource on sustainability policy, tools, and design techniques, and gather up conversations and collaborators.
lastmeter is a professional tool - a set of resources and conversations focussed on service integration in the built environment, efficient and sustainable housing and cities, real estate and urban businesses and governance, for people who want to design, build, sell or buy solutions in these areas.
The trajectories of each, and the conversations and collaborations around them, I expect to be very different. Some people will enjoy the linkages between the three, particularly if you know me, but one reason for separating them is many people interested in each might be surprised to find how different the content is in the others.
It's easy to explain why resource vision and last meter are paid products: I think they contain material that amounts to valuable and reliable professional analysis and guidance. But I can also explain more my expectations for those by sharing why I am charging access to a personal newsletter.
Almost everyone I know well has suggested I write for (paid) publication. And I have done that, with two books published, and some other material here and there. But I have resisted writing more because:- there is just so much to read. Why add more when so much of what we need to know or feel can be reached by reading again and better what is already written?
- I feel unsure of my own conclusions. Why would you write for others to read if you're not sure if you mean it, and you might have to change it later?
- I lack a voice. How can you write if you aren't sure which register or tone you are speaking with? Is it academic? Popular? Political? Funny? Ascerbic?
Now, however, I feel ok with these concerns. - The amount of paid content that is just bad, and the change times around us, make me feel that it's ok to at least try to contribute new material.
- While I don't feel I have as many conclusions as I would like, I do feel I can 'show my working', and that will help others, as well as me.
- I feel I have an emerging voice, if only by default, by sticking to the strategy deployed by Hemingway, Orwell and Anna Weiner: just remove words if you don't need them.
So the personal newsletter is intended to be worth reading, as much as the others, unlike say a blog, which - as I myself discovered by trying - is really only often intended to be worth writing, which is not the same.
Also, and maybe this is why people encourage me to write, I really put in overtime on thinking and investigating certain things, in ways that many have published much about - travel, spirituality, and more. I definitely won't just be sharing opinions, preferences, 'thoughts'. At the top of the jmanoo.ch newsletter, I share a list of stuff I have done that even most people that know me well don't know some (or any) of. Have a look and see if any of that makes you curious.
NB For any of the three newsletters, if you don't can't or don't way to pay, or you think you shouldn't pay because we are collaborating or you want to collaborate, just let me know. As such, it's not a strict paywall, but I do want there to be a shared sense of responsibility for the quality of the content and conversations shared. I think both I as writer and others as readers are likely committed to considered input and curated conversation if there's even a small amount of money involved.
I have well-managed expectations on newsletter-based ie self-published content. If you don't have a publication platform to grow the audience, conventionally, you may end up speaking to your neighbours, random cats, and the local drunk - and even they might want you to stop.
But for now, it feels that saying something is better than saying nothing. And, for example, Twitter feels closer to saying nothing at all than actually shaping and sharing meaningful content. I think there's at least a residual group of folks who will get value out of each of the newsletters, and some who will enjoy linking the three together. I myself will definitely enjoy explaining the long-range thinking and commitment that has taken me where I am today.
Some of the content shared will be reproduced from Twitter threads, or older posts elsewhere, but not very much. Quite a lot, over time, will be material shared from totally unpublished drafts and notes.Ideally, I will be able to use the content produced to help shape more substantial output, both larger products, and cumulative contribution. But maybe more importantly, I think it's time to connect to folks who are involved in related things, share my work and working, invite collaboration, and help with both with this content and directly.
I am committed to monthly content for these three newsletters for one year, as an initial experiment.
A bunch of upgrades will happen in the coming months, and beyond that, if they catch and grow the newsletters will have over time
- incrementally open or partially open content archives
- evolving interaction formats
- increasing focus on graphic content
- audio, video content
- evolving monetization models, including free tiers
- more interactive and visual content
- better archiving and interlinkage
- more, and more curated, interaction potential among subscribers.
If they don't, or I turn out to not like my own output, I will go back to not writing very much, and you can laugh at my hubris. Either way, thanks for reading this far. Check out one or more of the first newsletters, and if you have comments or questions, add them in the chat channels linked on each or email me.